Water recreation program
Swimming pool and spa permits, guidelines and resources
All Permitted Pool owners and operators,
It is important that we all do our part to protect everyone from COVID-19. Please follow the Governor's Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery, and Health Officer orders. Maintain physical distance from others to slow the spread of the virus and preserve the health care system's capacity to treat people at highest need.
- King County is currently in Phase 3.
Per the Governor's announced changes that went into effect March 22, 2021, most swimming pools, spas, wading pools and splash pads can now open in phase 1 and phase 2, when following the applicable guidance from Washington State Department of Health. Waterparks, standalone splash parks, recreational water contact facilities and activity pool play features will not be able to open during phase 1.
No water recreation facility may operate until it can meet and maintain all the requirements in the Washington State Department of Health reopening guidance, including providing materials, schedules and equipment required to comply.
Lifeguards must be on duty where required by WAC -246-260-131(6).
See the Washington State Department of Health reopening guidance on what will be necessary to reopen in Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3; updated March 22, 2021. Begin by planning for facility and employee safety measures, physical distancing, personal hygiene, environmental hygiene, limiting access to facility, and where applicable, revised lifeguarding plans.
- If your pool or spa remains closed, you will want keep it in good condition.
- All Water Recreation Facilities are required to have a current permit, even if they will not open this year. Permit renewal notices will be mailed in late April.
- If a pool currently has a not in use permit, you must obtain a regular operation permit before opening. Contact us at KCPoolPlans@kingcounty.gov or 206-263-5966 for details.
- See Frequently Asked Questions for pool permit options for 2020-2021.
- Renovation/equipment replacement
- Is your pool and/or spa Virginia Graeme Baker (VGB) compliant?
- Staff training
- Know when to close your pool
- Report drownings, near drowings and injuries to Health Dept.
- Renovating and remodling requirements
- Online portal services
- Operating pool equipment, training and water quality logs
- Water quality standards
- Pool and spa contact information required
- Reporting requirements for injuries and illnesses
- VGB compliance plan review and drain cover replacement
- And more...
- Planning a pool party to open the apartment or condo pool this summer?
- Tips to keep your pool safe and avoid health department closure/re-inspection fees
- Tips for preparing for seasonal pool openings
- And more...
- Pool operating permits
- Understanding when you need to close your pool
- Promoting a safer summer swimming season
- And more...
When pool and spa inspections are 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.
Water Recreation Program
Environmental Health Division
401 - 5th Ave, Suite 1100
Seattle, WA 98104
- Mon. Wed. Fri: 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
- Tues. and Thurs: 10:30 am to 3:00 pm
- Phones are answered until 3:00 pm
To request inspection reports for a pool, please call us and include the facility name and address of where the pool is located.
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