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WRF operating permits are from June 1 of the purchase year to May 31 of the following year.

Yes. All WRFs including Recreational Water Contact Facilities (RWCFs) regulated under Chapter 246-260 WAC and Chapter 246-262 WAC require an annual operating permit.

See the Washington State Department of Health reopening guidance on what will be necessary to reopen in Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3.

If the WRF will remain closed from June 1 through May 31, you may renew the regular operating permit, or you may qualify for a WRF "not in use" operating permit.

  • WRF regular annual operating permits at $633.00
  • Non-Recirculating Spray Pool operating permits at $337.00
  • WRF “not in use” operating permits at $172.00
  • WRF regular operating permits obtained after Nov. 30th @ 50% fee are only for newly constructed WRFs opening after Nov. 30th.

The direct cost of the permit is $172.00. This could be an initial savings this year. However, once you switch to a “not in use” operating permit, before you re-open the pool, there are operational code requirements that must be met. One of those requirements is a compliance inspection, the fee for compliance inspections is $229.80/hour, you are charged travel time plus inspection time (estimate average cost to be approximately $400.00). If you have not completed a Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act plan review with the Health Department this will also be required prior to re-opening and will add additional costs to re-open. Therefore, switching to a “not in use” operating permit for just one year is not likely to be an overall cost savings.

The change to a WRF "not in use" operating permit may be made only when the facility owner/operator is renewing their permit and only if the owner/operator agrees in writing, as part of the permit application submittal, to maintain all the operational standards and conditions of a WRF "not in use" operating permit.

  • The WRF must not be in a condition of physical deterioration, damage, or contain safety hazards requiring repair or reconstruction of the WRF. Examples of disqualifying conditions include, but are not limited to, large cracks or other significant openings in the WRF deck, walls, or foundation; uplifting of the WRF from the ground; or accumulation of stagnant water, vegetation, or debris in the WRF basin.
  • The barrier surrounding the WRF must be in compliance at all times with WAC 246-260-031 (4).
  • Owners/operators shall prevent access to the WRF by means of locked barriers. Exception: A WRF enclosure area has one or more pools with a regular operating permit in addition to a WRF with a "not in use" operating permit.
  • Owners/operators shall not open the WRF to bathers for use from June 1 of the year the "not in use" operating permit issuance to May 31 of the following year.
  • Owners/operators shall maintain the WRF so that it does not create a nuisance or disease hazard.
  • Owners/operators shall post prominent signage stating the WRF is closed.
  • If a WRF develops an ice layer, the owner/operator must install a safety cover meeting ASTM standard F1346-91 or the entire WRF area must be closed.
  • Owners/operators shall maintain the WRF under one of the following conditions:
    • The WRF is covered with a safety cover meeting ASTM standard F1346-91 that is properly attached and in good condition; or
    • The WRF meets water clarity standards as outlined under Table 111.2 of Appendix A, as referenced in WAC 246-260-111: or
    • The WRF is empty with no safety cover, and the main drains and bottom of the WRF are visible at all times.

Yes. The owner/operator must complete a WRF "Not in Use" Operational Standards and Conditions Acknowledgement Form.  The acknowledgement form can be downloaded under forms and documents at www.kingcounty.gov/pools.  The acknowledgement form lists all the required operational standards and conditions to obtain and maintain a “not in use” permitted facility, along with the required photo documentation to be submitted.  All completed forms and required documentation can be sent to electronically to KCPoolPlans@kingcounty.gov or mailed to our office at: Water Recreation Program, 401 5th Ave., Suite 1100, Seattle, WA 98104, Attn: Water Recreational Technical Senior.  Applications will be evaluated for acceptance.  Incomplete forms and documentation will not be accepted and will be returned for further instructions.

The WRF shall not be operated the entire year the "not in use" operating permit is held, from June 1 -May 31 of the following year. A WRF "not in use" operating permit is required until the WRF is either put back into operation after obtaining a regular operating permit or back filled.

Please contact your local building department for any back-fill requirements that must be met.

If the WRF is back filled by June 1, the facility need not obtain a WRF operating permit. After the pool is back filled, the Owner/Operator shall contact their Health & Environmental Investigator to schedule a site visit to officially document the WRF was back filled. Please contact our office at 206-263-9566 to obtain the designated Health & Environmental Investigator’s name and phone number.

The Owner/Operator shall obtain a WRF operating permit. To make a change to a "not in use" operating permit, complete the "not in use" Operating Permit Agreement Form, noted above. After the pool is back filled, the Owner/Operator shall contact their Health & Environmental Investigator to schedule a site visit to officially document the WRF was back filled. Please contact our office at 206-263-9566 to obtain the designated Health & Environmental Investigator’s name and phone number.


If you have additional questions regarding WRF operating permits, please contact us at 206-263-9566.