Who’s the Boss? Get to Know the Standard Setting Agencies Associated with Your Swimming Pool

If you have job that involves a swimming pool, you answer to agencies and organizations that impact the way you do business every single day. Some, you may be familiar with – like your health department. Others, you may not get to know until it’s too late. Here are a few of the impactful organizations setting the standards and regulations in aquatics.




Local Health Departments – It’s no surprise that the health department impacts your swimming pool operations – they’re the group that issues your permit to operate. Utilize the health department as a partner in public health. Their expertise can be employed as an extra set of eyes reducing your facilities risk exposure. Your health department is tasked with enforcing your state pool code which will align with your health and safety initiatives. Build a great rapport with your health officials, they’re a tremendous resource. Not familiar with your state code? Find it here.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Although the CDC isn’t a regulatory body, they set important standards for public health and disease prevention. Their website, is loaded with helpful information, most notably their standards on fecal accident response protocols in swimming pools.

The CDC is also the driving force behind the Model Aquatic Health Code – one unifying pool code based on scientifically supported, academically based information. Ever wonder why each state has a different code for swimming pools? The CDC asked the same question. The MAHC is their answer to improve consistency and share best practices across state lines.


The Department of Justice – The DOJ is responsible for enforcing ADA policy. In 2010, the DOJ published updated regulations which for the first time contained specific information and requirements for many recreational facilities, including swimming pools, wading pools and spas.  How does that impact your facility? These guidelines make it likely that your pool needs accessible forms of entry, including a dedicated pool lift. Their Q&A page is helpful, as is their hotline: 1-800-514-0301


The Environmental Protection Agency – The EPA enforces the Clean Water Act. At your aquatic facility, you have a big responsibility in protecting the water table and need to be cautious with your disposal of chemicals and pool water. For more information on the safe disposal of your pool chemicals, and discharge of pool water, visit the EPA’s discharge site here: Clean Water Act – Summary and Resources


Occupational Safety and Health Administration – OSHA is all about worker safety. Their guidelines and regulations can impact your employees and peers in many ways. Your lifeguard team may have close interaction with bloodborne pathogens. Your maintenance team should follow their specifics on electrical safety. You should be following strict standards on chemical storage and handling found on material safety data sheets. OSHA is a tremendous resource and you should employ their educational tools to make your workplace safe.


This list is an overview that includes only some of the many agencies impacting your swimming pool regulations and standards. For more on remaining compliant with all guidelines, please contact our office.