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Public Health District Compiles List of Guidelines for Filling Pools

The public health district has compiled a list of guidelines on acceptable water for filling and refilling public swimming pools under stage 5 restrictions.
The public health district has compiled a list of guidelines on acceptable water for filling and refilling public swimming pools under stage 5 restrictions.

During stage 5, swimming pools cannot be filled with potable water from the city. That means public pools operators must have water hauled from outside the city or use well water. Health officials say where that water comes from and how it's transported is very important.

Environmental Health Administrator Susan Morris explained, "It can't be transported in a truck for potable water cause well water is not potable water but we don't want it transported in a truck that hauls waste water or some other type of water."

While the guidelines will be a requirement for public swimming pools, city health officials say they are a great standard for private pool owners to use if they plan to buy well water.

This statement was provided: Stage 5 Pool Water and Treatment Guidance

Wichita Falls, Texas- During the Stage 5 Drought Catastrophe, Public swimming pools cannot be filled using potable supplied by the City of Wichita Falls. The Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District has issued guidance documents (below) for acceptable sources of water and treatment of the water for public swimming pools. The documents are designed to help pool operators provide a healthy swimming environment for the public with a consistent method of safe delivery of water to their facility without using City of Wichita Falls resources.

The Texas Department of State Health Services requires water well operators, who provide water for public swimming pools, to have a chemical analysis water test done once every 3 years. The results are provided to pool operator so they can adjust and treat the water to comply with the recommended maximum levels of secondary constituents (chemical levels) before introducing the water into a pool. The Health District will require testing for microbial contaminants and pH of the well water and will routinely inspect swimming pools for microbial contaminants, pH, free available chlorine, and cyanuric acid.

While the Health District does not regulate private swimming pools, the guide is recommended for homeowners to use as well to keep their family and friends healthy while enjoying their swimming pool. The use of storm water collection/runoff or gray water is not permitted in public pools and is not recommended for use in private swimming pools. For questions please contact the Environmental Health Division at 940-761-7820.


WICHITA FALLS WICHITA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICT
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DIVISION
(940) 761-7820

WHAT IS AND IS NOT ACCEPTABLE WATER FILL FOR PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS?
Potable Water:
Water that meets all applicable standards for an approved drinking water source of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 290, Public Drinking Water, Subchapter D, Rules and Regulations for Public Water Systems, as amended, and 30 TAC Chapter 290, Public Drinking Water, Subchapter F, Drinking Water Standards Governing Drinking Water Quality And Reporting Requirements For Public Water Systems, as amended, or the equivalent.
When potable water is distributed by tank truck or trailer, the water must be obtained from an approved source; the equipment used must be approved by the TCEQ and be constructed in accordance with specific TCEQ standards. Here is a partial listing of those standards:
  • the tank truck must be labeled “Drinking Water”
  • the tank must be watertight and made of an approved material
  • the tank shall be disinfected monthly or any time contamination is suspected
  • the tank must be sampled at least once per month
  • record keeping such as the amount of water hauled, purchases, sampling results, disinfection dates and the source of water.


For complete rules on hauling potable water, see applicable rules in 30 TAC § 290.44(i) relating to Public Drinking Water.
For a list of licensed water haulers TCEQ maintains a website at: http://www.tceq.texas.gov/assets/public/permitting/watersupply/pdw/drought/water_haulers.pdf


The following sources of water are NOT potable; therefore, cannot be used in a public swimming pool: stored rain water, diverted rain water from a roof or building, storm water runoff, grey water, water from a stream or lake that has not been treated to the above definition.


NOTE: When purchasing water from another city, make sure the source is not purchased from the City of Wichita Falls, if so; it is a violation of Stage Five Water Restrictions.


Well Water
Well water on site of the swimming pool that meets the criteria set forth by the Texas Department of State Health Services’ guidance document: Recommended Minimum Practices for Ensuring Adequate Water Quality of Water Supplies for Public Pools, Spas, and Public Interactive Water Features (attached) may be used in public swimming pools.
The guidance requires two tests. One is a water sample to test for total coliform, fecal coliform, E.coli, or other fecal indicator organisms. The Health department lab can do this test for $15.00. The other test is a chemical analysis test that has to be conducted once every 3 years. We have priced the test through Pace Analytical for approximately $407.00. There are other independent labs that can do both tests but they must be TCEQ certified.
Well water that is used from off site of the swimming pool that meets the criteria set forth by the Texas Department of State Health Services’ guidance document: Recommended Minimum Practices for Ensuring Adequate Water Quality of Water Supplies for Public Pools, Spas, and Public Interactive Water Features (attached) may be used under the following additional conditions set forth by the Health District:
  • the tank truck must be labeled “Well Water” and only used for well water
  • the tank must be watertight and made of an approved material in accordance with the standards for hauling drinking water.
  • the tank must be sampled to test for total coliform, fecal coliform, E.coli, or other fecal indicator organisms at least once per month
  • the tank shall be disinfected any time contamination is confirmed or suspected
  • record keeping such as the amount of water hauled, purchases, sampling results, disinfection dates and the source of water on a form approved by the Health District. Copies shall be kept by the water well company and on site of the swimming pool for a period of three (3) years.
  • The well water must be hyper-chlorinated to a-free available chlorine (FAC) reading using the DPD testing method of 5-8 ppm each time the tank is filled. A FAC reading shall be taken or documentation of amount and type of disinfection added to water at the time the tank leaves the water well site. A FAC reading shall be taken before the water is dispensed at the pool. The FAC going into the swimming pool shall be no lower than 3ppm using the DPD testing method.
The ideal method of introducing hauled in water well water is to circulate and treat the water in holding tanks until needed in the swimming pool. This however, is not a requirement.


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