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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Water recreation program: Swimming pool and spa facilities

Service fees for pools and spas
When are pool and spa inspections performed by Public Health?
Plan Review process for owners/managers of pools and spas
Water recreation forms and documentation
Illness transmission in pools
Guideline used when pools are contaminated with feces or vomitus
Flood preparedness for pool facilities
Water recreation barriers compliance
External links

To request inspection reports for a pool, email Please include the facility name and address of where the pool is located.
When are pool and spa inspections performed by Public Health?

Two routine inspections are done each year. Tests of pool water for free chlorine residual, pH, alkalinity and when necessary cyanuric acid are done at each inspection. The routine inspections also include a safety evaluation of the walking surfaces, access doors and fences, recirculation equipment, safety and emergency equipment.

A Plan Review is required of all public and semi-public pools and spas prior to their construction, alteration or renovation. All plans are reviewed to ensure compliance with the King County Board of Health, Title 14 and Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-260, (WAC) 246-262 and The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

Plan Review process for owners/managers of pools and spas

Questions and answers regarding Plan Review preparation:

  1. Who is qualified to design and submit plans?
    Registered architects and registered professional engineers licensed in the State of Washington are qualified. The engineer or architect must also provide a construction report which verifies the project has been completed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications.

  2. What if I construct a pool facility without plan approval?
    State or local health department plan review is a requirement for legal operation of a regulated water recreation facility. In situations where pool facilities have been constructed without the required plan approval, extensive retrofitting and/or complete removal of such facilities have been and may be necessary.

  3. When are plans needed?
    A construction permit is required for swimming, spa, wading and spray pools. See "Water recreation forms and documentation" section below for form submission instructions.

    Facilities which are exempt from plan review include:
      • Single family residence pools (for sole use of family & invited guests)
      • Therapeutic water facilities operated exclusively for physical therapy (under the care of a licensed medical practitioner). Such facilities are reviewed by Department of Health, Health Facilities Licensing at 360-236-2944.
Water recreation forms and documentation (PDF)

Contact us:

Environmental Health Services
401 - 5th Ave, Suite 1100
Seattle, WA 98104

Phone: 206-263-9566

Printable rule posters: