A complete guide to HSG282: everything you need to know

Published: 01 June 2023

Meeting compliance and adhering to regulations is a key part of your responsibility as a business owner. Whether you're renting out a property through a temporary stay app or you're expanding your services as a holiday park business owner, HSG282 is a key legislation to avoid risk and reduce the spread of pathogens such as Legionella. 

What is HSG282?

HSG282 is a set of guidelines defined by the Health and Safety Executive in 2017, specifically focusing on spa-pool systems such as hot tubs and pools with jets. This legislation aims to help businesses reduce the risks of infectious agents in their hot tub and pool systems, providing a better standard of public safety.

While HSG282 compliance isn't a legal requirement and isn't directly enforced, it is a best practice that businesses should follow to protect themselves and their customers. 

Why is HSG282 important?

Beyond reducing legal risk, complying with these guidelines is also important for reducing the risk of illness to yourself, your employees, and your customers. If you offer access to a hot tub or any other kind of spa pool that heats up to a warm temperature, it's important that you follow the correct steps to keep everything sanitary, clean, and disinfected.

The less visible areas of hot tubs, such as inside the jets, are often the biggest risk. By complying with HSG282, your guests can enjoy their experience with no risk of dangerous pathogens causing sickness. Maintaining a suitable pH balance by using appropriate testers or meters is one way to avoid this problem from occurring - which we cover in further detail below.

a hot tub spa pool built into wooden decking

Preventing pathogens and illness

The primary goal of HSG282 guidance is to prevent the spread of illness. Pathogens like Legionella multiply and spread  in warm, wet environments such as hot tubs. Hot tubs also agitate water, effectively aerosolising dangerous pathogens so they can be breathed in.

Some of these pathogens include:

  • Legionella
  • Coliforms
  • Mycobacteria
  • Giardia
  • E-coli
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Enterococci
  • Staphylococcus
  • Pseudomonas
  • Acinetobacter
  • Klebsiella
  • Enterobacter
  • Stenotrophomonas

The illnesses that result from these pathogens - especially someone who is immunocompromised - can be serious, and even potentially deadly. Following HSG282 as part of regular maintenance helps to reduce this risk by monitoring pH twice-daily and dosing the water to prevent pathogen growth.

What happens if I don't comply with HSG282?

HSG282 isn't the law. However, compliance with HSG282 is a best practice and an ideal way to reduce risks to both guests and employees. Here are a few of the problems that can arise if you fail to meet compliance:

Potential customer illness

A hot tub or spa pool that isn't properly maintained, checked, and disinfected can lead to sickness. Skin infections, irritation, or even severe illnesses such as gastrointestinal disease and legionnaires' disease can result from hot tubs that are not sanitised or balanced correctly.

Sickness in employees

Employees who clean and maintain hot tubs and spa pools may also become sick if exposed to pathogens. As cleaning practices involve using the jets in pool-spa devices and close interaction with various fixtures and fittings of facilities, employees could become exposed to infections and illnesses.

Possible legal risk

If a person becomes sick because they've used your hot tub or spa pool, they may also choose to take legal action against you or your business. While you don't have a legal responsibility to comply with HSG282, if a lawyer decides you don't meet the requirements of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, not following HSG282 guidelines could be used against you.

Reputation and negative press

Your business may suffer if you don't keep up the necessary standards for clean, pathogen-free hot tubs. Poor reviews and negative customer experiences can lead to a negative reputation, which in turn can lead to reduced bookings.

What guidelines do I need to follow?

The guidelines that the HSE list for HSG282 include:

  • The spa pool or hot tub's water capacity should exceed or equal 250 litres per individual bathing seat.
  • The hot tub should be able to filter and turn over the total water capacity within fifteen minutes
  • A built-in sanitisation system should be included in the spa or hot tub.
  • An ozone or UV system should be fitted.
  • No air blower should be fitted to the hot tub or spa
  • Pipework or waterfall features that cannot be purged or switched off (dead legs) are not recommended.
  • A high-flow filtration system or 24-hour filter is recommended for your hot tub or spa

In addition to these regulations, HSG282 details the level of regular maintenance needed to reduce risks and prevent pathogens. These include:

  • Using fresh new water with different guests.
  • Twice-daily testing and recording, including pH testing, with chemical readjustments as needed.
  •  5 years of records stored
  • A cleaned filter with each new guest.
  • Regular system flushes.
  • Monthly and quarterly testing for pathogens and microbiocidals.

We have included a simple checklist at the end of this article to help you achieve HSG282 compliance.


What tools do I need to comply with HSG282?

1. A schematic diagram

A schematic design of the hot tub or spa pool you own is an essential part of your preventative kit. Having a clear diagram of your equipment enables you to clean and disinfect everything to a high standard safely. Schematics can also be helpful for ensuring tests are conducted properly in the right places, such as testing for microbiological materials within jets or your hot tub's filter.

2. Chemical dosing equipment

Chemical dosing equipment helps to maintain the correct pH and chemical levels within the hot tub, keeping everything balanced and disinfected with proper management. An automatic chemical doser saves time, or you could choose a manual method to suit the needs and demand of your hot tub or spa pool.

3. A pH tester or meter

Monitoring pH is vital in ensuring the water in your hot tub or spa pool is balanced. pH affects how effective your disinfection process is, allowing you to clear your hot tub of any bacteria and pathogens. Hanna supplies accurate digital pH testers, photometers and controllers for HSG282 compliance.

4. Chemical and microbiological testing kits

Alongside checking the pH of your water on a twice-daily basis, you'll also need the necessary tools to conduct chemical checks and tests for specific microbiological material in your hot tub. HSG282 guidelines require regular checks as a part of maintenance.

What are the best tools for pH testing?

Digital pH testing instrumentation is the ideal choice for reliable, accurate twice-daily measurement. As pH testing experts, we have a range of solutions to suit your HSG282 compliance requirements:

1. HI-981074 Pool Line pH Tester

A dip and check hot tub tester like the HI-981074 Tester is an ideal choice for use in holiday homes and short term rental properties. This tester is compact and portable, providing accurate and fast results for twice-daily testing

  • Efficient testing
  • Portable and compact

2. HI-971044 Pool Line Multiparameter Photometer

A photometer is a reliable choice for testing key parameters in both pool and hot tub water. The HI-971044 Photometer is a multiparameter meter that is ideal for HSG282 testing, covering pH, alkalinity, free chlorine and total chlorine, and cyanuric acid.

  • All key parameters included
  • IP67 rated waterproof design

3. BL-122-10 Pool Line pH Controller and Dosing Pump

An automated pH controller and doser provides a labour-free alternative to testers and meters. Businesses with multiple hot tubs to maintain can utilise the BL-122-10 for hands-free monitoring and dosing, without the need to test manually or measure chemicals to keep the hot tub water clean and safe.

  •  Automatically monitors pH and chlorine
  • Doses water directly within defined parameters

a selection of portable Hanna pH testing meters for full HSG282 compliance

HSG282 compliance checklist

Twice daily checklist

  • Test pH with a suitable pH tester
  • Record the results of testing
  • Check the clarity of the water
  • Balance chemicals as needed
  • Record any action taken

Daily checklist

  • Clean the water line and surfaces with appropriate disinfectant
  • Remove debris from the skimmer basket
  • Check the chemical feeder and refill it as necessary

Weekly checklist

  • Empty the hot tub or spa pool
  • Clean all areas of the hot tub, including headrests and cover
  • Check the stairs and handrail
  • Refill with a shock dose
  • Test the pH level and record the results
  • Replace any filters

Monthly checklist

  • Remove and clean jets
  • Purge spa pipework with an appropriate cleaner
  • Send water sample for microbiological testing
  • Ensure records for pH are correctly maintained
  • Send water sample for legionella testing every three months

pH testers and meters designed to meet compliance 

As trained experts in pools and hot tubs, Hanna Instruments can provide guidance on the best solution to align with legislation and reduce risk. Browse our fully HSG282 compliant pH testers online today to discover the ideal product for your budget and goals.

Our specialist pool ambassador can offer you the guidance you need, from initial set-up to installation of our pool controller automated range. Speak to our experts today to discuss how to achieve HSG282 compliance.

Hot Tub

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