Hygiene and safety at swimming locations

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVOLast updated on Nederlandse versie

Swimming pools must meet hygiene and safety regulations. Only in exceptional circumstances can you apply for (temporary) exemption from 1 or more of these regulations to the province .

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at your municipality, province, or water authority

If you run or want to start a swimming pool, you must comply with hygiene and safety regulations. This also applies to open water swimming locations designated by Dutch provincial authorities.

The law sets minimum requirements for the quality of swimming water. Provincial authorities can set additional requirements, such as a duty to inform the public about legionella prevention at your swimming venue.

Hygiene regulations for swimming pools

There are hygiene regulations (in Dutch) covering among others:

  • swimming and bathing water
  • number of showers and toilets and their layout
  • materials used
  • number of visitors at any one time

You must have the quality of the water in your swimming pool checked by an accredited laboratory.

You can apply for an (temporary) exemption from these regulations to the province only in exceptional circumstances. For instance, if you want to renovate your swimming pool.

Regulations for safety of visitors

To ensure the safety of visitors, you must follow the rules on these subjects:

  • first aid equipment
  • signs showing the water depth
  • materials used
  • supervision

Safe & Clean Quality Mark

The Swimming Pool Hallmark Foundation (Stichting Zwembadkeur) issues the Safe & Clean Quality Mark (Keurmerk Veilig & Schoon, in Dutch). With this quality mark, you prove that your swimming pool meets the hygiene and safety regulations and quality requirements.

Swimming in open water

If you operate a recreational lake, you must follow the rules for open water swimming locations. For example, you can only operate the location during bathing season, between 1 May and 1 October. During this period, the water of all official swimming locations gets inspected at least once a month. Your swimming location will get inspected by the water board (waterschap) or by the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat).

The water quality of open water swimming locations does not get tested outside of bathing season.

The Dutch-language website Zwemwater.nl has more information on hygiene and safety in natural swimming locations.

Online application procedure via Message Box

At the province of Noord-Brabant you can also use Message Box to apply digitally for a temporary exemption from the hygiene and safety regulations for bathing establishments. This also applies to information on the prevention of legionella in bathing establishments. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.

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This webpage is part of an EU quality network