Rules and Guidelines
Washington State rules on 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.
See our guidelines to help you comply with state rules and federal law. Guidance documents to help you comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act include: what you need to know about the federal law, selecting a new drain cover, single main drains, determining when plan review is required, and more.
Report Serious Injury and Illness
Pool owners or operators of regulated facilities must report any death, near drowning, serious injury, or communicable disease associated with the facility. Complete the form and contact your local health department within 48 hours of the incident. If you're unable to reach your local health department, contact us.
Injury Report Form (PDF) or Injury Report Form (Word Fillable) – Report death, near drowning, or serious injury associated with your facility.
Illness Report Form (PDF) or Illness Report Form (Word Fillable) – Report communicable disease associated with your facility.
Training for Pool Operators
Pool operators need to be properly trained in water chemistry and mechanical components to effectively maintain pools. The following trainings are available.
Internationally Recognized Training
Pool and Hot Tub Alliance's Certified Pool Operator courses
National Recreation and Park Association's Aquatic Facility Operator courses
State and Local Training
Washington State Environmental Health Association, in joint sponsorship with the Department of Health, typically offer training every spring.
Several local health agencies provide training, often in the spring. Contact the local health agencies in Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, or Whatcom counties for information about their pool operator trainings.
Pool Operator's Manual
Pool Operator's Manual can be purchased from the Washington State Environmental Health Association website. The manual covers safety and health operations of swimming pools and spas.
Pool Rule Signs
Create your own pool safety rule signs using our template of rules that comply with WAC 246-260-131 (5). Rules for swimming, spa, wading, and spray pools are provided, as well as suggested rules for diving boards.
Pool Monitoring Log Sheets
Swimming Pool Log Sheet (PDF) or Swimming Pool Log Sheet (Word Fillable Form) – Log sheet for documenting chemical treatment and maintenance of swimming pools.
Spa, Wading, or Recirculating Spray Pool Log Sheet (PDF) or Spa and Wading Pool Log Sheet (Word Fillable Form) – Log sheet for documenting chemical treatment and maintenance of spas, wading pools, or recirculating spray pools.
Shallow Water Lifeguards and Attendants
Shallow Water Lifeguards and Attendants (PDF) – Brochure that explains the use of shallow water lifeguards and attendants at private swimming club facilities.
Shallow Water Lifeguard and Attendant Training (PDF) – Training providers for shallow water lifeguards and attendants.
Water Clarity Monitoring
Kids Disappear When the Water's Not Clear (PDF) – Brochure on the importance of pool operators routinely monitoring pool water clarity to prevent drowning.
Water Recreation Illnesses
12 Steps for Prevention of Recreational Water Illnesses (For Pool Staff), CDC
Shutting Down and Reopening Water Recreation Facilities Guidance (PDF)
Cleaning Up Body Fluid Spills on Pool Surfaces, CDC (PDF)
Fecal Incident Response Recommendations for Aquatic Staff, CDC (PDF)
Fecal/Vomit/Blood Contamination Response, Section 6.5, 2016 Annex to the Model Aquatic Health Code, CDC (PDF)
Irritants (Chloramines) and Indoor Pool Air Quality, CDC
Content Source: Water Recreation Program