About Public Pools
A public pool means any swimming pool, spa, spray ground, or special purpose pool operated for the use of the general public with or without charge, or for the use of the members and guests of a private club, including any swimming pool located on the grounds of a hotel, motel, inn, an apartment complex, or any residential setting other than a single-family home.
Public health protections can help prevent illnesses, accidents, and drownings. Properly maintained and regulated public pools greatly minimize these risks.
There are many diseases that can be transmitted in pool water, especially if they are not properly maintained. People can carry bacteria, viruses and parasites within their bodies and on their skin. Some of these organisms can be released into the pool water to infect other swimmers. Organisms may enter the body through the mouth, nose, ears, and eyes.
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Residential Public Pools
Health inspectors visit multiple family dwellings annually (i.e. apartment buildings and condominiums with 5 or more units at private and commercial properties), and swimming pools and spas (approximately 12,000) associated with these buildings to make sure that residential housing within Los Angeles County is safe, sanitary, and fit for human habitation. Inspections are also conducted to address complaints, for example, complaints of green or poorly maintained pools. Inspections are conducted by the District Surveillance and Enforcement (DSE) Branch. Contact DSE Branch for questions and complaints.
Health inspectors visit and enforce laws and regulations relating to approximately 3,200 public pools in Los Angeles County. This includes swimming pools, spas, wading pools and special purpose pools located at hotels and motels, public and private schools, health clubs, city and county parks, mobile home parks, resorts and organizations, medical facilities, and water theme parks. Inspections are conducted by the Recreational Waters Program. Please contact Recreational Waters Program for questions and complaints.
Construction plans for all new public pools and renovations of existing pools are reviewed and approved by the Recreational Waters Program.
The Recreational Waters program Certifies Individuals as Swimming Pool Service Technicians. All individuals engaged in the business of maintaining pools are required to be certified by Los Angeles County.
Responsibilities and Services
- Conduct routine and follow-up inspections at public pools
- Respond to public complaints regarding public pools
- Evaluate visual quality of water and cleanliness of pool walls, floors, water line tiles, coping, skimmers, and deck areas
- Test pool water for pH, chlorine residual, alkalinity, and when necessary, cyanuric acid levels, total dissolved solids, and calcium hardness
- Evaluate the pool's recirculation and purification system such as filters, pumps, skimmers, main drains, return lines, flow meters, pressure gauges, chlorination, and acid feeders
- Evaluate swimming pool equipment, ask about the Approved Pool Equipment List
- Evaluate the maintenance of related pool facilities such as restrooms, locker rooms, showers, saunas, steam rooms, pool enclosures, and equipment rooms
Construction Plan Review
- Review and approve public pool construction plans for compliance with State law
- Conduct field construction inspections at all stages of construction until the pool is complete
Swimming Pool Service Technicians
- Certify Swimming Pool Service Technicians to service public and private pools in Los Angeles County and issue renewals of certifications
The Swimming Pools & Spas program is subject to the California Health & Safety Code, California Code of Regulations Titles 17, and 22, California Building Code Title 24, Los Angeles County Code Title 11. Enforcement is conducted in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and cities with contracts for this service pertaining to Swimming Pools & Spas. Please note if your Swimming Pool or Spa reside in the cities of Pasadena, Long Beach, or Vernon, review local guidelines to remain in compliance.
Tips for Swimming Safety
Swimming is one of the most popular recreational activities in the country. Millions of people swim safely each year. However, disease transmission can occur while swimming. Here are some helpful tips to reduce your chances and other pool users' chances of becoming ill.
- Do Not enter the water if you or your child has diarrhea or a communicable disease. People can spread germs in the water even without having an "accident"
- Do Not swallow the water. Swimming is communal bathing. When you are in the water you are bathing with everyone else in the pool and chlorine does not kill all germs
- Do Not count on swim diapers or pants to keep fecal matter from leaking into the water. These products are not leak proof
- Do wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after a bowel movement or changing diapers. Germs on hands end up everywhere, including in the water
- Do take your child to the toilet for bathroom breaks often. Waiting to hear "I have to go" may mean it's too late
- Do change diapers in a bathroom, not near the pool. Germs can contaminate surfaces and objects around the water
- Do wash your child thoroughly, especially his or her bottom with soap and water before swimming. Everyone has invisible amounts of fecal matter on his or her bottom that ends up in the water
- Do notify the lifeguard if you see fecal matter in the water or if you see persons changing diapers at poolside
- Do keep an eye on your child at all times. Remember, children can drown in silence
For more information check the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Healthy Swimming Page
Information for Pool Owners and Operators
- Operation and Maintenance of Public Pools
- Guidelines for Pool Operators
- Automatic Controller and Daily Testing Guidelines
- Safety Signs and Equipment
- Virginia Graeme Baker Act Advisory
- Recommended Chemical Levels
- Pool Code Book
- Maintaining A Swimming Pool to Prevent Mosquito Breeding and Disease
- Swimming and Illness FAQs
- Instructions for Management of Fecal, Vomit, Blood Contamination, Near Drowning or Drowning Incidents at Public Pools
Report a Problem
If you observe code violations or would like to report an issue you may call the call center at (888) 700-9995 or to the Recreational Waters program at (626) 430-5360 or File a Complaint Online. In addition, inquiries can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org