Pools & Hot Tubs
Swimming or playing in water that is contaminated or high in natural toxins can cause illness, which is why the Snohomish Health District regulates pool water quality and safety features in Snohomish County. We conduct routine inspections at parks, hotels, athletic clubs, apartment complexes, and schools, including:
- Swimming pools
- Wading pools
- Spray pools
The Snohomish Health District also helps keep the community safe by:
- Reviewing plans for new and remodeled public swimming pools and spas
- Inspecting the construction of these facilities
- Investigating injuries and complaints of illness or unsanitary conditions at all public facilities
Pool and hot tub complaints and injuries
When a serious injury—requiring 911 to be called or needing immediate medical treatment at a clinic or an emergency room—or a drowning occurs at a regulated pool or hot tub in Snohomish County, the owner or operator must report the incident to Snohomish Health District within 48 hours using the state's Water Recreation Injury Report Form (online PDF).
To file a complaint about a Snohomish County pool or hot tub, submit a Complaint Investigation Request (PDF).
Pool and hot tub inspections
The Snohomish Health District inspects all pools and hot tubs several times a year and checks for:
- Proper chemical balance to ensure disinfection
- Appropriate gates and fences surrounding the water facility
- Appropriate safety and emergency equipment
Regulated pool owners must have signage that states pool rules and safety information. The signage must be placed in a visible area of the pool with readable lettering (all of the text must be at least 3/8 of an inch high).
See WAC 246-260-131 (5) for a list of Washington State rules and the Department of Health website for suggested wording for pool signs.
Recommendations for swimmer health
Whether you are enjoying the water by the pool, lake or river, follow these Snohomish Health District recommendations for preventing illness and water contamination:
- People with infectious illness, including vomiting or diarrhea within the past 7 days, should not enter the water.
- Shower thoroughly before entering the water.
- Small children should be taken on frequent bathroom breaks.
- Everyone should thoroughly wash their hands with soapy water after using the restroom or changing diapers.
- Swimmers should wash their hands and face thoroughly with soapy water before eating or preparing food.
- Pets should not be allowed in pools or public swimming beach and should be kept on a leash. Pet dropping should be collected by the owner and disposed properly.
- Waterfowl should not be fed or otherwise encouraged to be in public bathing areas.
Always watch children when they are in or near the water – even if they know how to swim. About 8 people die of drowning each year in Snohomish County.
See the Safe Kids
website for drowning prevention