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Health Department Pool Inspections

Are the swimming pool facilities at your property in accordance with the health department’s regulations? With summer just around the corner ~ we need to make sure all pools are in compliance with the health department’s requirements.

Below you will find the most common items the health department looks for while completing their pool & grounds inspection.

Gates

All gates must be self-closing and latching. If the gate does not close and latch when held 2 feet away, the gate will be written up. The health department does not carry chains and locks they will call the management company or property engineer to let them know the gate needs repair immediately, if a gate is not self-closing and latching, a chain and padlock should be placed on the gate immediately.

Fencing

All surrounding pool area fencing may not have a gap of over 4 inches between any of the bars. The bottom of the fencing must be a maximum of 2 inches to soil; if it is hard cape, 4 inches is acceptable. This is required so small children are unable to squeeze through the bars.

Decking / Lounge Furniture

All decking must be free of any tripping hazards, such as raised decking at the expansion joint or cracked depth markers. Decks must not be to abrasive, or any aggregate showing. All items must be at least 4 feet from the edge of the pool, including trash containers, pool-side furniture, or any type of building walls and steps.

Coping

All coping around the pool and spa, should be solid and sitting flush with the deck. Meaning, if water was to be poured on top of the copings, the water should drain down on to the decking and into the proper drain. The joint between the decking and coping should be sealed with mastic at all times to prevent moisture from penetrating under the copings and decking. Without properly sealed joints, it will eventually lead to premature deck shifting, cracking and hollow coping.

Plaster

The plaster in the pools and spas must be crack free, and in good condition. If there is any staining in the plaster, it will be written up on the inspection report. Plaster must be in good condition, free from any delamination, rough spots, algae, or any debris that is accumulating on the bottom of the plaster. If plaster is in need of replacement the health inspector will note that on their report and request that it be resurfaced.

Tile

The tiles in all bodies of water must be crack free, and the correct depth marker tiles must be present in both interior, and exterior of the pool (exterior meaning deck depth marker tiles). Numbering of depth marker tiles must be legible at all times.

Emergency shut-off switch

All spas built after 1982 are to be equipped with an emergency shut-off switch. It is recommended that all spas be equipped with emergency shutoff switches, even though it is not mandatory on a spa prior to 1982.

Skimmers

All skimmers must be crack free, and have all skimmer weirs (flaps) attached. Skimmer lids cannot be secured to the deck in any way. Skimmer baskets should be able to be removed at all times. Skimmer baskets must be present at all times, along with anti-air lock devices.

Life Rings / Rescue Pole / Signs

The life ring should be present and easily-accessible at all times. A 3/16-inch rope should be attached to the life ring that can reach across the widest area of the pool. A rescue pole with a shepherds hook is required and needs to be next to the life ring. Rescue poles must be a minimum of 12 feet (no retractable poles are allowed). All signs must be present, without any tears, or faded lettering. Different cities have different lettering dimensions. Most signs come standard with 2-inch lettering and throughout the sign they will have 4-inch lettering depending on the point they want to get across. The typical signs needed for most properties that have just a pool and spa are "No Lifeguard on Duty," pool and spa occupancy, pool rules, spa caution, CPR, "No Diving," 911 sign and emergency shutoff Switch sign.

Water Chemistry

The chlorine levels, pH, and Cyanuric acid levels will be checked and recorded on the inspection. The chlorine level must be at a minimum of 1.0 parts per million (ppm.), anything under 1.0 ppm. Or over 10.0 ppm. will result in a reinspection date. The Cyanuric acid must be below 100 ppm. If the Cyanuric acid is over 100 ppm, the health department requires that the pool be partially drained in order to drop the level down. The acceptable levels of Cyanuric acid are 0 - 100 ppm.

Time clocks

All pool, spa and water systems must be controlled by a 24-hour time clock. All time clocks for circulation systems must run the hours the pool; spa or wader is available for use.

Chemical Feeders

All pools and spas must be controlled by an automatic chlorinator feeder. This means chlorine must be automatically dispersed in the return line of the system. The health inspector checks for its function.

Flow Meters

Health department inspects flow meters for proper operation. Flow meters gauge how many gallons per minute the pump is circulating the water through the system.

The Health Department uses this to make sure the pool has the proper 6-8 hour turnover rate. The health inspector will do a quick inspection of the overall condition of the pump room writing up any leaks. Health records must be kept on site either in the pump room or the manager’s office. The health records must have the service dates recorded with the chemical readings noted.

If the following items are noticed on the health inspection the pool area will be immediately closed:

By closing the pool, the Health Department will post one or more signs on all of the pool area entrance gates. When the pool area is closed by the health department, a written approval from the health inspector must be received before the pool can be reopened and available for use. If repairs are needed to get the pool back in accordance with the health department, a written explanation of repairs needed should be sent to the management company or property engineer.

Keeping the pool in accordance with Health Department Regulations will give the manager a hassle-free pool season and the visitors a pleasant and safe swim environment.

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