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Salt Lake County Health Department
General Information  
Phone: (385) 468-4100

Swimming Pools

Pool/Spa Permits

All public swimming pools and spas in Salt Lake County must have a current health department permit to operate.

To maintain a swimming pool/spa permit, a facility must:

  • Submit a completed Pool/Spa Application to the  Water Quality Bureau (initial permit only). USE ONLY THE FREE ADOBE ACROBAT READER TO COMPLETE AND SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION. Some web browser PDF viewers may not properly submit your application.
  • Submit the appropriate permit fee: $355 for seasonal operation (May through September), $675 for year-round. Annual renewal is required.
  • Register the pool's Certified Pool Operator with the health department (see "For Operators" tab). If a pool’s Registered Pool Operator (RPO) terminates employment, the facility has 30 days to employ a new RPO.
  • Maintain a completed Pool Data Sheet posted in the pump room.
  • Properly maintain the chemical balance in pools to protect public health.

Ownership Changes

Permits are not transferable. When a change of ownership occurs at a property with a pool, spa, or interactive water feature, the new owner must apply for a new permit via all steps listed above.

Private Pools

Private residential swimming pools (whose use is restricted to an individual, one family, or no more than three living units’ residents and guests) do not require a health department permit, but should have a six-foot-high fence surrounding the pool area with a self-closing, self-latching gate.

Construction

Building a new public pool, spa, or water feature in Salt Lake County requires a health department inspection and approval process.

Before construction begins, you must submit the following to the  Water Quality Bureau:

  1. A completed Pool Plan Review ApplicationUSE ONLY THE FREE ADOBE ACROBAT READER TO COMPLETE AND SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION. Some web browser PDF viewers may not properly submit your application.
  2. The appropriate plan review fee (amount is indicated on the application).
  3. A complete set of pool plans, stamped and signed by an engineer licensed in the State of Utah, emailed to HealthWater@slco.org.
  4. Included in the emailed plans, a general site plan showing restrooms, showers, fencing, gates, etc.
  5. Engineering calculations, including equipment specifications.
  6. For outdoor pools, spas, and water features: a deck lighting photometrix .

Upon receipt of all materials, a pool inspector will review the plans and email a stamp-approved copy of the plans to involved parties, including the engineer, residing city's planning department, and the pool contractor.

After approval, the pool contractor can call and schedule the pre-gunite, pre-plaster, and final inspection as work progresses, as well as any additional inspections the project requires, as determined by the department.

Some pools/spas will require additional inspections.

For Operators

Public swimming pools in Salt Lake County must employ a Registered Pool Operator (RPO) certified by the health department. One RPO may operate up to 10 pools under the same ownership. RPO Certification is valid for five (5) years from the date of issue unless revoked or suspended by the health department.

To become a Registered Pool Operator, you must:

  • Successfully complete a Certified Pool Operator (CPO) training course and pass an examination approved by the Utah Department of Health (see below).
  • Complete the RPO ApplicationUSE ONLY THE FREE ADOBE ACROBAT READER TO COMPLETE AND SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION. Some web browser PDF viewers may not properly submit your application.
  • Pay the $25 application fee.

CPO Training Courses

Certified Pool Operator classes are two days long and include a written examination. The cost for the course varies, but is generally between $200 and $300.

Water Sampling

The health department takes samples of swimming pool water a minimum of once per month per swimming pool (this includes each kiddie pool, whirlpools, water slides, etc.). In addition to checking the pH and chlorine levels while we are there, pool samplers take a water sample to test for total coliform count and heterotrophic plate count; high levels of either test could indicate a potential bacterial problem in the water. 

If your pool fails a bacteriological sample, a sampler will come back and take a second sample of your pool for that month. If your second sample fails, a health inspector will visit your facility with a formal complaint and educate your CPO on how to better care for your pool. They will also analyze the pool to determine if it is an imminent health hazard and may close the pool temporarily until the CPO corrects the problems.

Water Treatment

In addition to harming people in the pool, water with the wrong chemical balance can also damage various parts of the pool and lead to expensive repair costs. The documents and site below will help you properly maintain the chemical balance in pools.

Please call us at 385-468-3862 if you have any questions about properly maintaining your pool.

Crypto/Water Illnesses

Swimming is a fun, active, and healthy way to spend leisure time. However, in the past two decades we have seen an increase in the number of recreational water illnesses (RWI), like cryptosporidiosis, in our community.

What is cryptosporidiosis?

Cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by a very small parasite. Both the parasite and the disease are often called crypto. Crypto cysts are much more resistant to chlorine in swimming pool water than most germs.

What are the symptoms of crypto?

Most people who get crypto have watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, an upset stomach, or slight fever. In some people the diarrhea can be so severe that they lose weight. Other people with crypto may have no symptoms.

How is crypto spread by swimming?

Most outbreaks of diarrhea associated with pools appear to be related to fecal contamination of the water by someone who is ill with diarrhea. In addition, tiny amounts of fecal matter are rinsed off all swimmers' bottoms as they swim through the water.

For any public swimming facility, continuous filtration and disinfection of water should reduce the risk of spreading illness. However, patrons may still be exposed to crypto during the time it takes for chlorine to work or for water to be cycled through filters.  Much higher levels of chlorine or contact time periods are required to destroy crypto cysts.

How can I protect myself and my family from crypto?

Pool operators work hard to prevent the spread of Crypto. However, they can only do so much. It is important that each of us makes decisions that will protect one another.  Following these simple steps helps protects your family and others:

  • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.
  • Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.
  • Don’t swallow the pool water. Avoid getting water in your mouth.
  • Take your kids on bathroom breaks and check diapers often. Waiting to hear “I have to go” may mean that it’s too late.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and NOT poolside. Germs can spread in and around the pool.
  • Wash your child thoroughly (especially his or her rear end) with soap and water before they enter or re-enter the pool. Invisible amounts of fecal matter can end up in the pool.

What do I do if I have crypto or I think I got sick from a pool?

Notify us so we can work to correct any problems and help protect others.

Visit the Utah Department of Health or CDC’s Healthy Swimming pagesfor more information