REGULATIONS GOVERNING TOURIST ESTABLISHMENT SWIMMING POOLS AND OTHER PUBLIC POOLS
Permits Plan Review.
A permit shall be obtained from the State Health
Commissioner before the construction, remodeling, or major alteration of any
swimming pool. Plans and specifications shall have been approved by the State Health
Commissioner prior to the issuance of such permit. Plans and specifications
must be submitted in triplicate to the State Health Commissioner, and one set
of plans and specifications, when approved, will be so stamped and returned to
the applicant. Original tracings will not be stamped for approval. In
order to ensure the health and safety of all swimming pool patrons, any person
planning to initially open a swimming pool after construction, remodeling, or
major alteration at a tourist lodging facility must, prior to operation of the
swimming pool, submit to the local health department in the locality in which
the tourist lodging facility is located, complete plans or statements that show
1. Plans for pump and recirculation system.
2. Plans for the operation and maintenance of the pool disinfection and filtration system, including plans for the filtration room.
3. The proposed source and location of the pool water supply, and proposed method and location of all wastewater disposal systems.
4. The name and mailing address of the person operating the pool, and the physical address of the pool.
5. Such other pertinent information as the Health Commissioner may deem necessary to ensure a safe and healthy environment for users of the swimming pool.
B. When, upon review of the plans, the Health Commissioner is satisfied that the proposed plans, if executed, will meet the requirements of this chapter and other pertinent laws and regulations designed to protect the public health, written approval shall be issued by the Health Commissioner.
C. When upon review of the plans, the Health Commissioner determines that the proposed plans prevent a safe, sanitary operation, the plans shall be disapproved and the applicant shall be notified in writing of any deficiency in the plans that constitute the basis for disapproval. The applicant shall be notified of the opportunity for administrative process as provided by the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).
D. No person shall operate a tourist establishment swimming pool or spa until written approval has been granted by the Health Commissioner.
E. Any person whose plans have been disapproved may request and shall be granted an appeal as described by the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).
Swimming Pools; Design and Construction
12VAC5-460-40. Water supplies.
All water used in swimming pools shall be from sources that
are approved by the State Health Commissioner. No
piping arrangements shall exist
which, under any conditions, will permit sewage or waste water shall be
allowed to enter the swimming pool water system, or water from the
swimming pool to enter the make-up water supply.
12VAC5-460-60. Materials of pool shell.
Swimming pool shells shall be
constructed of reinforced
concrete or its equivalent in strength and durability, designed and built to
withstand anticipated stresses, water tight, and shall have smooth and easily
cleanable surfaces kept clean . A white or light colored
waterproof The interior finish which will withstand repeated
brushings, scrubbing, and cleaning procedures shall completely line the pool to
the coping shall be maintained so that it does not obscure objects or
surfaces within the pool or spa.
Shape and slopes. (Repealed.)
The pool shall be designed and constructed of such shape, contour, etc., that efficient and safe control of the bathers can be accomplished. In water depths under five feet, the slope of the bottom shall not exceed one foot in 12 feet. Pool walls shall be vertical from the break point toward the deep end for at least three feet below the water line and vertical from the break point to the shallow end to within one foot of the finished floor of the pool.
12VAC5-460-80. Pool decks.
There shall be a deck at least four feet wide extending
around the entire perimeter of the pool. The deck shall be constructed of
concrete or other approved material. The material shall Decks
shall be maintained to have a nonslip but smooth finish. The deck shall
have a pitch of not less than 1/8 of an inch nor more than 5/8 of an inch to
the foot and be so designed as to conduct drainage Drainage shall
be directed away from the pool area in a manner that will not create or
maintain pools of water or a nuisance.
All Any fences or other barriers, and any gates and
latches, required by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (Building
Code) outdoor swimming pools shall be enclosed by a substantial barrier
or fence of at least three feet in height to promote safety and cleanliness of
water properly maintained, and in good operable condition. A gate
at least three feet in height and of material as substantial as the fence or
barrier shall be provided. When safety criteria for barriers are not
prescribed by the Building Code in effect at the time of the pools
construction, steps shall be taken to protect against undesired access into the
12VAC5-460-100. Steps and ladders.
Two or more ladders shall be provided for all pools having
a perimeter greater than 100 feet and one means of egress for pools having a
perimeter of 100 feet or less. Steps projecting into the pool area are
prohibited. All ladders, steps, and handrails required by the Virginia
Uniform Statewide Building Code shall be properly maintained, and in operable
condition. Treads of Nonslip finishes shall be maintained on
all pool steps, ladders, or other means of ingress or egress shall be
of nonslip construction. Each recessed step area shall be provided with one or
12VAC5-460-110. Overflow facilities.
Provision shall be made for removal The presence of
floating material and scum is prohibited; pools shall have adequate water
circulation and filtration equipment sufficient to keep floating material or
scum from accumulating on from the surface of the water. If a recessed type of gutter located near the top of the
walls is to be used, the gutter shall have a minimum depth of three inches and
shall be of a design which will permit satisfactory cleaning of the overflow
channel. The gutter drain outlets shall be spaced around the pool not more than
15 feet on centers. The gutter bottom shall slope toward these outlets with a
minimum slope of 1/8 of an inch to the foot. The drains shall not be less than
2 ½ inches in diameter and the total orifice area of the grating shall be at
least twice the cross-sectional area of the outlet pipe. For pools with overflowing gutters, a water level control
tank shall be provided which will effectively provide for maintenance of the
water level so as to produce constant surface skimming action at all times. The above described gutter may be replaced by an
arrangement of overflow devices in the pool walls which provides the proper
removal of scum and floating material. There shall be one such device for each
400 square feet of pool area with a minimum of four per pool, each of which
shall be individually controlled. If the recirculation system is designed for water to enter
the bottom portion of the pool and overflow the top, then adequate drainage of
the scum and floating material from the deck must be provided. This drainage
may be by a continuous drain or multiple drains. (See also 12VAC5-460-80.) In
multiple drains, each drain grating shall have a total orifice area of as least
four times the cross-sectional area of drain pipe, which shall have a minimum
diameter of 2 ½ inches. In the use of drain channels, continuous to and around
the perimeter of the pool, the channel grating shall be designed so as not to
create a hazard to fingers and toes and be restraint to corrosion.
12VAC5-460-120. Inlets and outlets.
The inlets for recirculation shall be submerged and located
to Pool circulation systems shall produce uniform circulation of
water throughout the swimming pool without the existence of dead spots. Wall
inlets should be located on not more than 20 foot centers entirely around the
perimeter of the swimming pool. Bottom inlets shall be spaced, depending on the
pool dimensions, so as to produce uniform water circulation. The number of
bottom inlets shall be the same as required of wall inlets. Each inlet is to be
designed as an adjustable orifice or provided with a valve. An outlet drain shall be provided for completely emptying
the swimming pool. Direct connection to a sanitary sewer shall not be
permitted. Disposal of waste water to a storm sewer or natural watercourse
shall be subject to approval of the State Health Commissioner. When not otherwise
prescribed by the Building Code in effect at the time of the pools
construction, The the outlet drain shall be covered with a
grate of such design that it cannot be readily removed by, or produce any
hazard to, the bathers.
12VAC5-460-130. Depth marking.
The depth of the water in the swimming pool shall be marked
at every foot increment of depth in water depths five feet and under on both
sides of the pool. In water deeper than five feet the markings need not be closer
than three feet apart. Numerals and lettering shall be at least five inches in
size and of good contrast with the walls and decks. Depth markers shall
be plainly visible and maintained in accordance with the Virginia Uniform
Statewide Building Code. When depth markers are not prescribed by the Building
Code in effect at the time of the pools construction, steps shall be taken to
ensure that the depth of all sections of the pool can be determined by swimmers.
Diving boards. (Repealed.)
At least 12 feet of free and obstructed headroom shall be provided above the diving boards.
The minimum depth of water in the diving area shall be determined as follows:
Elevation of Diving Point Above Water Surface
Depth of Water
End wall to Maximum Depth
Maximum Depth to 5 ft.
0 to 24 in. inclusive
24 in. to 30 in. inclusive
30 in. plus to 1 meter inclusive
8 ft. 6 in.
1 meter plus to 3 meters inclusive
3 meters plus 5 meters
14 ft. 6 in.
The minimum length of any diving area terminating at a vertical wall shall be 30 feet.
Where multiple diving boards are used, the space between center lines shall not be less than 10 feet, and the center of no board shall be closer than 10 feet to a side wall. These dimensions shall apply both from a point of projection four feet from the end wall and the point of maximum depth.
The space between center lines of three-meter and five-meter diving boards shall be not less than 15 feet and between five-meter and 10- meter boards shall be not less than 18 feet. The minimum distances from center lines of five-meter and 10-meter boards shall be the same as to the side walls.
Where When pools are to be used after dark, the
swimming pool area shall be equipped with lighting fixtures of such number and
design as to light all parts of the pool, the water therein, and the entire
area shall be well lit. Fixtures should be installed in such a manner
as to shall not create no a hazard to the bathers. The
design and installation maintenance and operation of the fixtures
should shall be such that lifeguards can clearly see every part
of the swimming pool including decks, spring boards, and other appurtenances
without being blinded by glare. If installed, submarine lights shall provide
at least one watt per square foot of pool area. Each The
electrical grounding of all submarine light lights shall be
properly connected to a ground wire maintained.
12VAC5-460-170. Recirculation systems.
All swimming pools shall be equipped with a The recirculation
system , including all consisting of pumps, hair and lint
catchers, filters, disinfection equipment, and necessary pipe connections to
the inlets and outlets, shall be maintained in working order as designed.
Adequate provision shall be made for backwashing filters. When not
prescribed by the Building Code in effect at the time of the pools
construction, Recirculation recirculation systems shall be
designed for an eight hour or less turnover of the swimming pool water.
12VAC5-460-200. Hair and lint catchers, gutters.
Hair and lint catchers shall be
installed ahead of the
filter pump and be designed and located so that they can able to be easily
and simply be dismantled for cleaning and inspection. Floating
material and scum shall not be allowed to collect on the surface of the water.
recirculation system shall be equipped with a filtration
system that will filter the entire contents of the swimming pool within
eight hours or less at the rate of three gallons or less per square foot per
minute shall be maintained and operated as designed. In sand
filters, the layer of filter sand shall be at least 20 inches in depth,
properly supported by uniform layers of clean graded gravel to a minimum depth
of 12 inches or supported by porous plates. The filter sand shall have an
effective size of between 0.45 and 0.55 millimeters with a uniformity
co-efficient not greater than 1.7. In anthracite coal filters, the anthracite
shall have a depth of at least 24 inches and shall have an effective size
between 0.6 and 0.8 millimeters with a uniformity co-efficient of not greater
than 1.8. Pressure filters shall be equipped with readily accessible air relief
valves and access holes large enough to permit inspections, maintenance, and
repair work. Each pressure filter system shall be equipped with a pressure
gauge at least four inches in diameter on the inlet and outlet to indicate the
pressure in pounds per square inch, and a sight glass that can be easily
removed for cleaning shall be provided on the waste discharge line. Gravity
type filters shall be equipped with loss of head gauges.
The filtration rate for diatomaceous earth filters and similar equipment may not exceed 1-1/2 gallons per square foot of filter area with eight hours turn-over of pool volume unless continuous slurry feed is provided, in which case, the rate shall not exceed three gallons per minute per square foot of filter area.
Arrangements or equipment shall be provided for application of
filter aid and proper precoating and cleaning of filter elements. All filters
shall be capable of being cleaned or backwashed by use of the washwater pump
and the manipulation of valves.
In view of the constant change of design of
such equipment, it will be necessary to evaluate each system individually.
Approval or rejection of systems will be at the discretion of the State Health
Commissioner, based upon the need for protecting the health and safety of those
using any such pool.
12VAC5-460-220. Rate of flow indicators.
Recirculation When not prescribed by the Building
Code in effect at the time of the pools construction, the recirculation system
shall be equipped with a rate of flow indicator reading in gallons per minute ,.
Indicators shall be properly maintained, easily readable, and located so as
to indicate both the rate of flow of the effluent from the filter and the rate
of backwash in gallons per minute in sand or anthracite coal filters.
Suction cleaners. (Repealed.)
Suction cleaners shall be provided. Where the suction cleaner is operated by the recirculating pump, a device shall be provided for throttling the flow from the pool outlet, and the suction cleaner line shall be connected through the hair and lint catcher.
12VAC5-460-240. Chemical feeding equipment.
Means shall be provided for regulating the feeding of
chemicals Chemicals shall be automatically fed into the water in the
recirculation system . The installation of by mechanically operated,
positive, chemical feeders or open-type chemical machines is required. The
installation of closed-type Closed-type solution pots is are
12VAC5-460-330. Commissioner approval.
For any items not specifically covered in this chapter or
the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, the State Health Commissioner
is authorized to require that all
materials, methods of construction and
design swimming pool features shall be proven to function
adequately, effectively and without excessive maintenance and operational
difficulties before he grants approval thereof, and such approval shall be
based upon the need for protecting to protect the health and safety
of those using swimming pools.
It shall be the duty of the applicant to provide such data, tests, or other adequate proof that the device, material, or product will satisfactorily perform the function for which it is intended before such item shall be approved or accepted for tests.
12VAC5-460-350. Location and slopes.
Wading pools shall be located so that drainage from
surrounding areas will not wash contamination into pools during rainfall.
bottom of wading pools shall slope not less than three inches in 10 feet toward
12VAC5-460-360. Deck area.
pools shall be entirely surrounded by a deck at
least four feet in width. Decks pool decks shall be constructed
of a permanently impervious material which shall maintained to have
and retain a finish as smooth as possible that is nonslip to bare feet. The
deck shall slope not less than three inches in 10 feet away from the pool edge,
and the water on the deck shall be discharged to waste.
Wading When not prescribed by the Building Code in
effect at the time of the facilitys construction, wading pools and wading
areas shall be separated from swimming pools by appropriate protectional
12VAC5-460-380. Water circulation systems.
A complete recirculation system shall be installed at
wading pools which cannot be served adequately by an adjacent swimming pool
recirculation system. The recirculation system of wading pools shall be maintained
in working order as designed. When not prescribed by the Building Code in
effect at the time of the pools construction, the recirculation system shall
provide a pool volume turn-over rate of once in three hours or less or have a .
An alternate method to the water circulation system is the
continuous addition of water properly treated water
continuously added at a rate of flow sufficient to replace all of the water
in the wading pool once in three hours or less. The overflow water, with this
method, shall be continuously discharged to waste.
12VAC5-460-400. Water supplies.
Water sprayed into a pool shall be from an approved supply.
Spray heads shall be
installed properly maintained as designed so
that there will be no possibility of their submergence and, as a result, of
Spray pools shall be
constructed of permanently impervious
material which shall maintained to have and retain a finish
as smooth as possible that is , but nonslip to bare feet.
Spray pool bottoms shall slope not less than three inches in 10 feet toward the drains.
Spray pools shall be equipped at low points with an
unvalved drain to waste. The drain Drains of spray pools shall be of
such size and design maintained and operated in a manner so that
water sprayed into the pool will not pond in the pool bottom.
12VAC5-460-440. Deck areas.
Spray pools shall be entirely surrounded by a deck at least
four feet in width. Decks shall be constructed of a permanently
impervious material which shall maintained to have and retain a
finish as smooth as possible and nonslip to bare feet. The deck shall slope
not less than three inches in 10 feet away from the pool edge and the water on
the deck discharged to waste.