Information update

Test swimming pool and spa water daily to keep bathers safe

Starting date:
July 11, 2019
Posting date:
July 11, 2019
Type of communication:
Information Update
Chemicals, Outdoor Living, Specialized Products
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Important Safety Information
General Public
Identification number:

Last updated: 2019-07-11


OTTAWA - It's time to swim again! Whether you use your backyard pool or spa to have fun with friends and family, to exercise, or simply to decompress, remember that microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses also want to hang out!

By testing daily and sanitizing your pool or spa water regularly, you can eliminate these unwanted bugs and avoid getting sick this summer. Even if the water looks clean, it could be contaminated. Swimming or bathing in water that hasn't been properly sanitized can cause ear and stomach infections and skin rashes, so testing your pool or spa water every day is very important.

Since the water in inflatable and kiddie pools is not treated, it is a good practice to empty and clean these after each use.

What you should do

Testing pool and spa water:

  • Always maintain the proper water balance in all types of pools and spas.
  • Test your water balance daily for sanitizer levels, pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness using a good quality test kit from a store that sells pool and spa equipment. You can also bring a water sample to a pool and spa dealer for testing.
  • Control algae levels. Algae can make pool and spa surfaces slippery, and can reduce the effectiveness of sanitizers.

Cleaning products and devices:

  • All pool and spa products (chemicals and devices) used to control microorganisms and algae must be registered or scheduled under the Pest Control Products Act. Make sure the product label has a pest control product (PCP) registration number, for example:
    • Reg. No. 00000 P.C.P. Act
    • Registration No. 00000 Pest Control Products Act, or indicates, "Scheduled under the Pest Control Products Act".

You can also search Health Canada's label database, online or with your mobile app, for the most recent product information.

  • Follow the label directions when using swimming pool and spa chemicals. The label tells you how much of the product to use and how to handle the product safely, including the use of proper protective equipment.
  • Swimming pool and spa devices that generate or dispense a sanitizer have detailed instructions in the user's manual, on the package and on the device itself. Always read the label and the user's manual before installing and using a device.

Storing products:

  • Pool and spa chemicals should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place, away from sunlight, and flammable materials, such as gasoline and fertilizers.
  • Keep all pool and spa chemicals away from children and pets to prevent accidental exposure.

Report health or safety concerns

Report any adverse events from a pest control product to the manufacturer, who is required by law to report it to Health Canada. You may also report a pesticide incident directly to Health Canada by completing an incident report form.

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