Water Recreation Facility Laws, Rules, and Guidelines

Potential Agency Request Legislation

The department is considering agency request legislation (2025 legislative session) to align chapter 70.90 RCW with the CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code. Learn more about this potential agency request legislation and provide input in this process!

Active Rulemaking

Water Recreation Facilities Rule Revision

Washington State Law

Water Recreation Facilities, Chapter 70.90 RCW

Washington State Regulations

Most of these rules pertain to the construction and maintenance of regulated recreational water facilities such as swimming pools, spas, water parks, and wading pools. Regulated facilities include pools at athletic or private clubs, municipal or park facilities, hotels, motels, apartments, condominiums, mobile home parks, RV parks, and homeowner association communities. Single-family homes are not regulated by these rules but must follow city or county building code requirements.

Water Recreation Facilities, Chapter 246-260 WAC

Recreational Water Contact Facilities, Chapter 246-262 WAC



Barrier Design - Guidelines for Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, and Spas (PDF) – Preventing unauthorized people from gaining access to pools and spas is a key component in drowning prevention.

Cold Plunge

Cold Plunge Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

Designated Swim Areas

Washington State Designated Swim Area Guidelines (PDF) – Guidance for designated open water swim areas developed by Seattle Children's Hospital and the Department of Health.


Single Main Drains - Guidelines for Pools (PDF) – Guidelines to meet state and federal requirements. Entrapment accidents can be prevented by applying current design standards.

Single Unblockable Drain Ruling Reversed (PDF)

Floatation Systems

Float Tanks: Guidelines for Regulating Floatation Systems as Special Use Pools (PDF)

Float Tank Facility Construction Permit

Resources for Pool Operators and Builders

Pool Facility Owners and Operators

Pool Facility Designers and Builders


Content Source: Water Recreation Program