Public Swimming Pools and Spas
Licensing and InspectionThe Department of Public Health and Environment licenses swimming pools and whirlpool / spa pools at apartment buildings, hotels, food establishments, manufactured home parks, recreational camping areas and/or youth camps. These pools and spas are inspected annually for health and safety violations. The regulations for pools and spas are outlined in the Washington County Pool Ordinance and the Minnesota Pool Code.
For seasonal pools, health and safety items must be in place prior to opening the pool. Please utilize this checklist which includes the minimum requirements.
Public pools and spas are routinely inspected for a variety of factors, including the following areas:
- Water chemistry (disinfectant, pH, alkalinity, etc.), clarity and temperature
- Operations – including a certified pool operator, daily records, pool test kit
- Life, health and safety issues – life poles, ring buoys, signage, depth markings, ladders, lifeguards, spine boards, etc.
- Access restrictions
- Equipment repair and operation
- Pool structure, repair cleanliness, lighting
- Support facilities, such as locker rooms, saunas, showers and toilets
- Special pool operations and signage requirements, such as for spas and flumes
- Building and pool structure and maintenance, lighting, ventilation, cleanliness
New Construction or Alterations to Existing Pools
Plans for new construction or alterations to existing public swimming pools or whirlpool/spa pools must be submitted to the Minnesota Department of Health. A public pool shall not be constructed or altered until plans and specifications have been submitted to and approved by the Minnesota Health Department Health. The CPO must inform the Health Department upon completion of the plan to determine compliance with Minn. Rules Chapter 4717.
Regular and precise testing of swimming pool and spa water is necessary for maintaining a sanitary pool environment. The following chemical factors should be tested daily with an approved test kit to ensure that pool water is kept within predetermined standards.
|Free Chlorine||Pools||Spas||Wading Pool|
|Minimum||1.0 ppm||2.0 ppm||1.0 ppm|
|Ideal||3.0 ppm||4.0 ppm||4.0 ppm|
|Maximum||10.0 ppm||10.0 ppm||10.0 ppm|
Total - Free = Combined
Superchlorination is the practice of adding large quantities of chlorinating chemical to kill algae and microorganisms, eliminate slime, destroy odors, or improve the ability to maintain a disinfectant residual. (**Washington County follows the CDC guidelines for Superchlorination when dealing with fecal and vomitus/blood incidents**) Contact time and amount of chlorine concentration vary depending on the situation.
Follow these three requirements when superchlorinating:
One (1) unit of lifesaving equipment is required for every 2000 sq. feet of pool surface area.
A unit of lifesaving equipment consists of:
All pool incidents that require assistance from emergency personnel must be reported to the Public Health Department by the end of the next business day. Refer to MN Department of Health’s injury report form on side of this web page
Signs must be posted within the pool enclosure.
Certified Pool Operator (CPO) Responsibilities
A public swimming pool must be closed immediately for any of the following items: