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Legal Aspects Regulating the Use of Biocides for Water Treatment in Public Swimming Pools


Driven by our mission to provide you with accurate and trustworthy information in the field of our expertise, today we would like to draw your attention to the legal aspects of the use of biocides for water treatment in public swimming pools.


The information below has been provided by the National Centre for Public Health and Analysis (NCPHA) at the Ministry of Health (MoH) following an inquiry made by our team.


What are the parameters of the water in public swimming pools and what are the regulations which regulate these parameters?


The regulatory act which governs the parameter requirements for the water in public swimming pools is Ordinance No.34 on Hygiene of Sports Facilities and Equipment (promulgated in the State Gazette issue 82/1975, as amended in SG issue 25/2002).


Specifically, Article 18, paragraph 3 of the Ordinance determines the permissible values concerning the chemical composition of the water in swimming pools. They are detailed in the section outlining the water quality requirements for public pools.


Which regulatory acts govern the use of biocides used for treatment in swimming pools?


Chemical substances and mixtures available on the market and used as disinfectants, including those for treating water in swimming pools, fall under the category of the so-called biocides. These biocides are regulated by both national and European legislation on the subject.


The European regulations which govern the use of biocides are:

  • Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2012 concerning the making available on the market and use of biocidal products;
  • Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1062/2014 of 4 August 2014 on the work programme for the systematic examination of all existing active substances contained in biocidal products referred to in Regulation (EU) No 528/2012;


On a national level, regulations concerning the use of biocides include:

  • Act on the Protection from the Harmful Impact of Chemical Substances and Mixtures (APHICSM);
  • Ordinance on the Form and Content of the Documents Required for the Issuance of Authorization for Placing a Biocidal Product or a Group of Biocidal Product on the Market under Article 18 of the Act on the Protection from the Harmful Impact of Chemical Substances and Mixtures (adopted by Decree No. 8 of the Council of Ministers of 22 January 2018, promulgated in SG No. 9/2018).


According to the applicable legislation, biocidal products are subject to an authorization regime through various procedures. Biocides which may be used for the disinfection of water in swimming pools are of product-type 2 as per Annex V to Regulation (EU) No 528/2012, provided an authorization has been issued for this specific field of application.


Active substances of biocides as well as substances which generate active substances must:

  • Be approves


  • Be undergoing an evaluation procedure at a European level following the submission of a complete dossier, accepted or validated by the competent authority of a Member State.


These active substances and substances, generating active substances, collectively referred to as “relevant substances”, are included in the list under Article 95 (1) of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 for the respective product types, along with the companies authorized to supply those to the European Market.


The list in accordance with Article 95 (1) is published on the webpage of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) here.


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