A public swimming pool collectively means a public swimming pool, public spa, special use pool, and wading pool or spray ground. A public swimming pool is defined as any indoor or outdoor structure, chamber, or tank containing a body of water that is intended to be used collectively for swimming, diving, or bathing.
The goal of the swimming pool and spa program is to prevent recreational water illness and accidents at public swimming pools. Our inspectors routinely inspect every public swimming pool (while open to the public) paying particular attention to water quality, maintenance of filtration and circulation equipment, safety equipment, record-keeping, and the maintenance of the overall facility.
Operators are required to keep a weekly log of the water quality tests, accidents (fecal, vomitus and injury as they happen) and chemicals added on a Weekly Operation Report. For situations when a pool or spa is contaminated with fecal or vomitus material, the Fecal Incident Flow Chart must be followed.
Plan approval for substantial alteration of public swimming pool:
If a pool or spa is renovated or substantially altered, plans must be submitted to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and written approval received before any work is started. Visit the ODH website to access their Plan Review Application. The following activities qualify as a substantial alteration or substantial alteration:
For equipment replacement, approval must be obtained by submitting an Equipment Replacement Form to the Ohio Department of Health. Equipment replacement refers to one of the following:
Public Swimming Pool and Spa Drowning Prevention Program:
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in children ages 1 to 4 in Ohio. It is the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in children ages 5 to 9 and 10 to 14. Survivors of severe drowning incidents can experience long-term disabilities including memory problems, learning deficiencies, and loss of basic cognitive functioning. Historically, Ohio has not systematically collected detailed information on public swimming pool-related injuries or deaths.
Recognizing the usefulness of this information for preventing drowning incidents, the Ohio Department of Health has initiated the Public Swimming Pool and Spa Drowning Prevention Program to determine the frequency and circumstances of these occurrences and to identify opportunities to prevent serious injuries in the future.
Any incident associated with a public swimming pool or spa facility that results in death, serious injury, or assistance from emergency medical personnel shall be reported to the licensor within 72 hours following the incident. “Serious injury” is defined as an injury that does not require immediate hospital admission but does require medical treatment, other than first aid. Voluntary reporting of other injuries is highly encouraged.
Injuries are to be reported using the “Ohio Public Swimming Pool and Spa Injury Report Form” (HEA 0203). Instructions for reporting can be found here: “Completing the Ohio Public Swimming Pool and Spa Injury Report Form”.
For questions regarding the Swimming Pool and Spa Program contact us. For further information concerning plan review requirements, you can contact the Ohio Department of Health.