Public Pools and Spas

Community Development Agency

The purpose of the Pool Program is to assure that all public swimming pools and spas are maintained in a safe and healthful condition. Marin County Environmental Health Pool Program personnel inspect pools and spas, and respond to complaints to ensure compliance with State laws regarding public health and safety.

Definition of a Public Pool, Spa, or Spray Grounds

Permit and other fee information is available in the EHS Pool Program Fee Schedule.

California Department of Public Health, California Swimming Pool Requirements


Plan Check Process

Pool Plan Check Forms

Operating a Swimming Pool

The booklet titled "Public Swimming Pools and Spas" contains excerpts from The California Health and Safety Code, The California Code of Regulations, The California Building Code, and The California Electrical Code. This booklet provides valuable information for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of public swimming pools. It is expected that any person who operates a public swimming pool in the County of Marin will do so in accordance with these codes as a matter of good business practice, protection of the public health and legal obligation. You may purchase this booklet from the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health (CCDEH) or visit the California Department of Public Health's website for links to the code sections that apply to public pools.

Inspections and Inspection Reports

Public swimming pools in Marin County are inspected by Environmental Health Services. Inspection reports are issued to the owner or manager by email or in person if they are present for the inspection. The inspection report will indicate violations of law, with corrective actions. Often the inspection report will indicate a reinspection date. The inspector will, on or after this date, inspect the pool to see that the violations listed in the initial inspection report have been corrected. If the violations have not been completely corrected and it is necessary to set another reinspection date, this will be indicated on the first reinspection report. Further noncompliance may result in procedures to suspend or revoke the permit to operate a public swimming pool and pool closure.

Remodeling, Equipment Changes and New Construction

You are required to contact Environmental Health Services prior to any new construction, remodeling (such as replastering), or equipment changes. In many cases a permit will be required; in all cases Environmental Health Services must give approval, except in the case where a piece of equipment is being replaced with an exact duplicate.

The following are state law requirements:

  • All gates opening into pool area must be self-closing and self-latching.
  • Circulation and sanitation equipment must be operating during all times pool is open for use.
  • The minimum level for free Chlorine in a pool open for use is 1.0 ppm or 2.0 ppm if a chlorine stabilizer is used. The PH must be maintained between 7.2-7.8. The maximum level for cyanuric acid stabilizer is 100 ppm. Chemical levels outside of these legal requirements may result in immediate pool closure.
  • Chlorine tablets placed in the skimmer or in a floating dispensing device are not allowed.
  • The pool operator must maintain daily records of information regarding pool operation, including disinfectant residual, pH, and maintenance procedures such as cleaning of fitters and quantity of chemicals used.
  • Automatic pool cleaning equipment (such as pool sweeps) must be kept out of the pool during times the pool is open for use.
  • The pool main drain cover must be secured in place so that it can be removed only with tools.
  • All skimmers must have a weir, and a removable strainer basket.

A complete description of public swimming pool regulations may be found in the booklet noted previously, namely Public Swimming Pools and Spas. This booklet may be purchased at Marin County Environmental Health Services or you can download it at the above link.

Additional Resources: