Recreational water injuries and illnesses

Everyone has a role to play in keeping our recreational water facilities clean and safe.

What is a recreational water facility?

There are two types of recreational water facilities. Recreational water facilities are either regulated or non-regulated.

Regulated facilities include public pools and spas, public wading pools, public spray or splash pads and waterslide receiving basins. This term does not include pools or spas located on a private residential property that is limited to use for swimming or bathing by the owner or occupant, members of their family, or their visitors. It also does not include pools and spas that are used solely for commercial display or demonstration purposes.

Other recreational water bodies include public beaches and recreational camp waterfronts where the waterfront is used for aquatic activities as part of a Class A or Class B camp.

What are recreational water illnesses?

Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) include a number of illnesses and the health effects can range from minor symptoms to serious illness. If a person comes in contact with untreated or dirty water, they may develop skin, ear, or eye infections or irritations. If someone drinks contaminated water, they may get stomach or intestinal illnesses. Diarrhea is the most commonly reported symptom of recreational water illness.

How can deaths from drowning be prevented?

Admission standards help reduce the number of young children that drown each year. These standards were developed by the Office of the Chief Coroner to help lifeguards and assistant lifeguards make sure there is enough supervision of young bathers in a pool and surrounding area. The Ministry of Health and Public Health Sudbury & Districts strongly support these recommendations for the purposes of preventing injuries and fatalities.

What are some tips to help keep you safe around recreational water?

Children and weak swimmers

General safety

Health and hygiene

For more information on recreational water illnesses or injuries, contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200) to speak with a public health inspector. For inspection results for recreational water facilities and public beaches, visit our online disclosure site Check Before You Go!

This item was last modified on August 15, 2019