Garden State Laboratories, Inc.

Analytical Excellence Since 1943

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Pool and Lake Testing

The New Jersey Department of Health has proposed amendments to the Public Recreational Bathing Regulations (N.J.A.C. 8:26-1 et. seq.). These amendments, if promulgated will affect the microbiological sampling and processing of public recreatioinal bathing facilities. These proposed amendments are available to view on the web.

Here is a link to an EnviroPolitics Blog video with Lab Director Harvey Klein, M.S., discussing the proposed Public Recreational Bathing Regs and Drinking Water standards.

Garden State Laboratories, Inc. is one of the largest recreational bathing water testing laboratories on the east coast. Recreational bathing waters include public swimming pools, lakes, beaches, whirlpools, spas and hot tubs. Garden State Labs tests for both bacteria and chemical content in recreational bathing waters. If you need testing services please call us at 800-273-8901 or email us.

The New Jersey State Department of Health has set bacterial and chemical standards for public recreational bathing waters (N.J.A.C. 8:26-1 et seq). These regulations govern construction, safety, operations and water quality. 

New Chlorine Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) Recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control has published in June 2015, a scientific article on the effect of chlorine stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid - CYA) on the inactivation by chlorine of the microorganism, Cryptosporidium.  Based upon this article Garden State Labs, Inc. is recommending that if CYA is utilized, CYA be used at 10 parts per million (mg/l) and not exceed 20 ppm.  If used, we recommend that CYA be tested weekly.

Effect of Cyanuric Acid on the Inactivation of Cryptosporidium parvum under Hyperchlorination Conditions:  Jennifer L. Murphy,Michael J. Arrowood, Xin Lu,Michele C. Hlavsa,† Michael J. Beach,†and Vincent R. Hill†; †Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, United States: (c) American Chemical Society, Environmental Science and Technology 2015, 49, 7348−7355

New Rapid Pool Testing Methods

Garden State Labs is using new bacteriological testing methods.

Change in Free Chlorine/Bromine Standards

Pursuant to communications with the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services and based upon their interpretations of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) free chlorine and bromine levels in public recreational bathing waters, Garden State Laboratories has made a change in our reporting procedure.

Free Chlorine levels in both indoor and outdoor swimming pools will be noted as conforming to ANSI standards when equal to or between 1.0 and 10.0 ppm.  ANSI's ideal range is 2.0 to 4.0 ppm.  In whirlpools, spas and hot tubs the free chlorine should be 2.0 to 10.0 ppm with an ideal range of 3.0 to 5.0 ppm.

The ANSI standard for bromine in swimming pools, whirlpools, spas and hot tubs is 2.0 to 10.0 ppm.  The ideal bromine range is 4.0 to 6.0 ppm.

Swimming pool, whirlpool, spa and hot tub water should be within acceptable standards for other parameters such as pH, combined chlorine, total alkalinity, stabilizer (cyanuric acid) and pool water clarity.

Our analytical reports have been updated to include these interpretations. Here is the link to the NJ Dept. of Health Free Chlorine Residual Guidance Document.

The New Jersey regulations require weekly testing for bacteria by a State Certified Laboratory and testing every two hours for pH and disinfectants (such as free chlorine or bromine) in swimming pools, whirlpools, spas and hot tubs. Lakes and beaches have to test for bacteria weekly. The bacterial tests are the standard plate count and total coliform in swimming pools, the standard plate count and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in whirlpools, spas and hot tubs, and fecal coliform in lakes and beaches.

The NJDEP is now requiring enterococci testing for ocean beaches. The enterococci result shall not exceed 104 enterococci per 100 ml. In the future, E. coli may be used to replace fecal coliform in some natural waters.

The State Regs also require that a Trained Pool Operator (TPO) be hired by all recreational bathing facilities to be responsible for maintenance and mechanical operations.

Federal OSHA regulations also require that lifeguards be trained to deal with potential exposures to blood and bloodborne pathogens.

With over 67 years of water testing experience we can help you with many types of water quality problems.

We are often asked about bacteria in water, what type of disinfectant to use and what are acceptable levels. You may email us with your questions and we will try to help. Please be as detailed as possible.

For important information about the Care and Feeding of Pool Waters:

Click here for chlorine and other disinfectants

Click here for pH

Click here for chlorine stabilization and cyanuric acid.

Click here for information on the use of DPD & phenol red tablet and liquid reagents - Garden State Labs uses tablets.

There are a variety of pool and recreational bathing pages on the Web. Here are some with information about recreational bathing waters, health and swimming (The information contained on these pages may or may not be accurate, Garden State Labs is not responsible for any information found on these pages);

The New Jersey State Department of Health Public Recreational Bathing Regulations, NJ State Sanitary Code, Chapter IX N.J.A.C. 8:26, Effective Date: August 5, 2016.

The New Jersey State Department of Health Bacterial and Chemical Public Bathing Standard

The Centers for Disease Control's EXCELLENT web site for Swimming Pools/ Recreational Water Safety.

The National Swimming Pool Foundation has information about pool operations and training. It lists a schedule for Certified Pool Operator (CPO) courses.

The Professional Pool Operators of America supported swimming pool and waterpark operators. It had many informational articles. For an interesting article about chlorine stabilization and cyanuric acid, click here.

If you know of other interesting links relating to recreational bathing waters email us and we may post them.


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Garden State Laboratories, Inc.
410 Hillside Avenue
Hillside, NJ 07205

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