Water Recreation Rule Updates

Water Recreation Facilities

Chapter 246-260 WAC, Water Recreation Facilities, and chapter 246-262 WAC, Recreational Water Contact Facilities, outline requirements necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of users of water recreation facilities and recreational water contact facilities.

The rules regulate aquatic and water recreation facilities such as swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, splash pads, water parks (including slides, lagoons, and lazy rivers), natural designated swim areas, and more. The rules aim to keep the public safe by outlining requirements related to permits for construction and operation, operating plans, water quality standards, inspections, equipment, emergency response, and personnel training. 

In December 2016, the Board filed a CR-101, Preproposal Statement of Inquiry (PDF), to explore possible updates to chapters 246-260 and 246-262 WAC, including but not limited to:

  • Updates based on industry innovations and best practices.
  • Consideration of the most recent Model Aquatic Health Code published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Requirements under 2017 legislation regarding inflatable water slides (HB 1449).
  • Improving clarity and useability, including possible consolidation of the two rules under a single chapter.

The Board and the Department of Health are conducting a survey to gauge the public’s understanding of, and interest in, these regulations. Survey responses will help better understand important issues related to the rules, engage interested parties, and prioritize policy issues as the rules are revised.

To be added to the interested parties’ distribution list for this work, email WaterRecreation@sboh.wa.gov.

Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050 and RCW 70.90.120.
State Board of Health Contact: Kaitlyn Donahoe, 360-584-6737
State Department of Health Contact: Ashlie Laydon

For media inquiries about this rule, contact Kelie Kahler, Board Communication Manager, 360-236-4102