Public Swimming Pools, Spas, and Interactive Water Features
Swimming pools, water parks, spas, and interactive water features are sources for year-round family fun in South Alabama and places to cool off during the hot summer months. Although the risks are low, they can also be sources of waterborne diseases like E. coli and Cryptosporidium. These organisms can easily get into our swimming pools, spas, and water features through fecal contamination. Although chlorine, in time, can be effective against these organisms, overcrowding in pools, water parks, and spas can rapidly reduce chlorine levels. A few disease organisms like Cryptosporidium are resistant to chlorine so the chlorine needs time to be effective against these organisms.
For this reason, ADPH environmentalists conduct routine inspections of all permitted public pools, spas, and interactive water features at least two times from May 1 to August 31 and at least two times from September 1 to May 1. In addition to reviewing water and sanitizer levels, the inspectors check a host of other items including depth markings, life saving equipment, posted rules, disinfectant equipment, and the current maintenance log.
The Swimming Pool Inspection Program is designed to protect the public from the risk of disease and injury at public swimming pools, spas and interactive water features. The governing authority for this program is the Baldwin County Health Department.
If you wish to open a public swimming pool, spa, or interactive water feature, you will need an operating permit. An operating permit is issued after:
1. Submission of pool plans and approval with construction permit is issued.
2. Submission of a permit application with fee(s) through our department.
3. Successful completion of the health inspection.
4. Proof of "required training" is completed by the swimming pool, spa, or interactive water feature operator.
Regulations and Forms
- Rules Governing the Construction, Equipment, and Operation of Public Swimming Pools and Spas
- Pool Log Sheet (Spreadsheet)
The federal government enacted the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act requiring anti-entrapment devices for swimming pools and spas on December 19, 2007, which became effective one year later. More information on this law can be found at PoolSafely.gov.
More information pertaining to swimming pools and spas can be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Healthy Swimming/Recreational Water page. For Certified Pool Operator class locations, visit the National Swimming Pool Foundation.
Page last updated: April 28, 2017