In Washington State, floatation systems (also known as float tanks, isolation tanks, and sensory deprivation tanks) are considered special use pools under Chapter 70.90 RCW and Chapter 246-260 WAC and are regulated to ensure health and safety. To assist state and local health department regulators, we have developed the guidance document, Float Tanks: Guidelines for Regulating Floatation Systems as Special Use Pools (PDF).
The following floatation systems don't need a construction permit from the state or local health department. Check with your local building department for their guidance and requirements.
- Floatation systems for the sole use of residents and invited guests at a single-family dwelling.
- Floatation systems for the sole use of residents and invited guests of a duplex owned by the residents.
- Floatation systems operated exclusively for physical therapy or rehabilitation under the supervision of a licensed medical practitioner.
For new construction or modification of an existing floatation system facility (also known as float center) for the public, you will need to obtain a permit. Who you get the permit from depends upon the county in which construction is occurring.
Clark, King, or Pierce County
For floatation system facilities in Clark, King, or Pierce counties, contact the local health department for permit application information.
All Other Counties
For all other floatation system facilities outside the counties listed above, follow the instructions below. Make sure to include all required documents.
Because floatation systems are considered special use pools and require a thorough plan review on a case-by-case basis, the application and plan review process can take longer than usual. Be sure to submit a complete application package well in advance (60 days or more) of the desired construction start date.
Part 1: Submit Payment and Fee Submittal Form*
*Currently there is no fee category for floatation systems on the form. Select the “spa” category for this application. If you are applying for multiple floatation systems, specify the number of floatation systems and pay the appropriate amount. Multiple floatation systems that are identical may be covered under one fee. To determine if you have identical floatation systems, use the Characteristics Data Form below. For more information on fees, see the Fee Policy (PDF).
Mail the completed fee submittal form and fee payment to: WA Department of Health, Revenue Service, PO Box 1099, Olympia, WA 98507-1099
Make check payable to: WA DOH Water Recreation
Part 2: Submit Construction Permit Application Package
Email the following items to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Construction Permit Application Form (Word)
- Plan Details (PDF).
- Characteristics Data Form (Word)
- Statement of Efficacy and Safety (Word)
- Operation Plans (Word)
- Water Source Plan (Word)
- Wastewater Disposal Plan (PDF)
- User Advisory Statement (Word)
- Laboratory Agreement Form (Word)
Note: Submitting incomplete applications will delay processing.
If you have questions, contact the Water Recreation Program.