EWAC medical’s movable swimming pool floor is the first in Europe which has successfully passed a dye test. This dye test is prescribed for all newly built swimming pools in Europe according to standard EN 15288-2:2008. The movie underneath proves that EWAC Medical’s movable swimming pool floor passes the test well within the set time limit. Please continue reading to find out more information about the importance of a dye test.

What is the dye test?

The dye test is described in annex A of the EN 15288-2:2008. A dye test will prove that no ‘dead pockets’ are present in the swimming pool. A dead pocket is a volume of water in the pool where no circulation is present. This can occur in several places at the same time in a swimming pool if the circulation system is insufficient. In these areas the swimming pool water is insufficiently replenished and disinfected, which will lead to local bacterial growth. In most cases dead pockets result from de pool configuration combined with the water treatment plant.

A dye test is executed by first neutralising all chlorine present in the pool. This can be done by adding a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Then a hose is connected to the chlorine injection point to inject a harmless colouring agent to the supply water. After starting the injection of the colouring agent, the entire swimming pool should evenly colour within 15 minutes. Reconnecting and activating the chlorine injection system after this, will make the colouration disappear.

What are the risks if a pool fails the dye test?

If a pool fails the dye test, the circulation of the pool does not meet the standard of safety anymore. In any European country that has accepted the standard (as most European countries will) this will weaken the legal position of the pool management in any hygiene related incidents. Pool management is responsible for hygiene and safety, to be verified in accordance with the EN 15288:2008 standard. If the recirculation of the pool water is not in accordance with the standard, there is a health risk to the public because of either the presence of infectious bacteria is the pool water or the presence of pockets with very high chlorine content.

Should the dye test also be performed in pools fitted with a movable swimming pool floor?

The standard does not discriminate between pools with or without a movable swimming pool floor. In an installation with a movable swimming pool floor the dye test should be performed and judged in the exact same way as a normal swimming pool. In many cases however, a movable swimming pool floor forms a sizeable obstacle in passing the test, especially due to a lack of water permeability, which hinders water circulation.

Who is responsible for the safety of the pool?

The primary responsibility lies with the pool management. If there is an incident in a swimming pool with legal consequences, pool management will have to answer to this in front of the court.

Is any room for dispensation?

The pool management can not be dispensated from its obligation to adhere to local laws or standards in relation to safety and hygiene.

Are all existing pools obligated to be modified in accordance with the standard?

If an existing pool does not conform to the latest standard, the risk lies with swimming pool management. In case of an incident with legal consequences, pool management will have to answer about the fact that the swimming pool did not conform to the latest standard.

What if the existing swimming pool is renovated?

If a swimming pool is renovated only the part of the pool that is actually included in the renovation, will be examined in accordance with the latest standard. This means that if for instance the water treatment plant is renovated, automatically a dye test should be performed prior to taking the installation into operation.

Do all new pools have to conform to the new standard?

All newly built pools have to conform to the last version of the standard. At taking the new installation into operation, a dye test should be performed as described in the standard. Even before building activities for a new pool facility commences, the facilities basic design has to be filed with the government, which will examine the technical aspects of the design. Furthermore the standard requires the dye test to be repeated every five years.

Wat is the scope of the standard?

The new EN 15288 consists of two parts:
EN 15288-1:2008 Swimming pools – Part 1: Safety requirements for design
EN 15288-2:2008 Swimming pools – Part 2: Safety requirements for operation

In the standard further safety requirements are specified for the design of pools, as well as for daily operation. For instance the standard defines rules for the amount of space required around the pool and for lighting aspects.
In the safety rules for operation a method is described to confirm that water circulation in the pool is sufficient. This is done by performing a dye test.

What are the legal consequences of the standard?

The standard was drawn up in a cross-European effort, and will be adopted by all the countries involved in the European Union. Any conflicting regulations within the separate countries must be withdrawn. It is allowed however to introduce stricter regulations or additional rules as deemed necessary in a specific country. A standard as such is not a law, however realistically the standard will in most cases be changed into law after introduction. At the moment the standard should be interpreted as a snapshot of the current state of technology. So even though the standard has no legal status, it most certainly will have consequences which will be eventually laid down in jurisprudence.

To which types of pools does the standard EN 15288 apply?

The standard applies to all pools except those meant for private use.

What is the importance of the introduction of the EN 15288 standard?

The standard forms an important contribution to the safety in pools, as a consequence of which health problems and accidents related to the use or working in a swimming pool can be avoided.

What is the use of having an movable swimming pool floor in a swimming pool?

With an movable swimming pool floor in a swimming pool, the pool can be made suitable for different groups of people. For instance mother and child swimming, swimming education for children, aquajogging and aquarobics. In therapy situations, the movable swimming pool floor can be used to change the water depth as required for the specific patient.

Which manufacturers have succesfully passed the dye test?

Until now there is only one manufacturer of movable swimming pool floors that has passed the test. This is EWAC Medical.

Are there any alternative solutions to solve the problem of water quality? For instance by placing double water inlet nozzles or nozzles in the pool walls?

Whether placing double water inlet nozzles or nozzles in the pool walls will have an acceptable result depends on the result of a dye test, in which an acceptable amount of colouration must be achieved within 15 minutes with the floor in the most usual positon. When using side inlet nozzles, it has to be proven that the water under the movable swimming pool floor colours sufficiently proportionally with the rest of the pool. Until now this has not been proven.