Environmental Health Division
PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS
The Environmental Health Division swimming pool program is designed to assure citizens that state licensed swimming pools and spas that are open to the public meet Public Health Code requirements for water treatment, water quality, maintenance, construction, and bather safety. The Michigan building code contains requirements for construction, fencing and safety features. Private pools are exempt from MDEQ licensing and inspection.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality contracts with our department to perform inspections of licensed public pools and spas. Each licensed facility is inspected at least twice annually. During routine inspections, staff looks for compliance with construction, maintenance, safety, water treatment, and water quality regulations and standards. In addition, water quality in each public pool and spa is monitored weekly. Environmental Health reviews the
Public Swimming Pool Monthly Operation Report submitted by the operators. Samples for total bacteria and coliform bacteria are analyzed by the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services (HCS) Laboratory, or by a laboratory of the owner's choice. When inspections or water sampling indicates unsafe or unhealthy conditions, bathing facilities are ordered closed until water quality and facility conditions comply with Public Health Code standards.
Prior to construction of a new pool or spa, Environmental Health Division and MDEQ staff review plans. A construction permit application is necessary prior to construction. Construction plans are approved when proposed construction complies with regulations. New and remodeled facilities are inspected prior to opening to assure safe and healthy operation. Check the
MDEQ website for a construction permit application.
The Public Health Code requires all licensed pools to develop an Emergency Response Plan. The plans address blood spills and fecal accidents in pools, equipment failure, and water quality problems. The MDEQ has developed a
suggested practice (pdf) for pool contamination response.
Swimming pool rules are available at the MDEQ website.
Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act
On December 17, 2007, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SSAct) was signed into law. This important child safety law became effective in December 2008 and strives to:
- Enhance the safety of public and private pools and spas
- Encourage the use of layers of protection
- Reduce child drownings in pools and spas (nearly 300 each year involving children younger than five)
- Reduce the number of suction entrapment incidents, injuries and deaths
- Educate the public on the importance of constant supervision of children in and around water
Click here for a description of The Virginia Graeme Baker (VGB) Pool and Spa Safety Act.
You must fill out an application for approval of your new main drain covers and submit it to MDEQ at the address noted.
CDC Healthy Swimming Website
Certified Pool Operator Training
Safe Kids Coalition