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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Public Swimming Pools

Contact the Public Swimming Pools Program

  •  850-245-4250
  •  
  •  

    Fax

    850-487-0864
  •  

    Mailing Address

    Bureau of Environmental Health, Water Programs 

    4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A-08 

    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1710 

Public Swimming Pools Overview 

*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF) and Microsoft Word format (DOC).  The free Adobe Reader or  Microsoft Word Viewer may be required to view these files. All PDFs on this page open in new window.

To protect the public health the department has adopted sanitation and safety standards for public pools in Chapter 64E-9, Florida Administrative Code (opens in a new window), and enforces those rules through the issuance of operating permits and inspections.  The revised 64E-9 Rule below is effective 7/20/16.  Permitting and inspections are done by the Environmental Health Section of the Florida Department of Health in each county 

  • Authority: Chapter 514, Florida Statutes
  • Rule: Chapter 64E-9, FAC
  • Public Swimming Pool and Bathing Place Advisory Review Board - Pool Variance Board Purpose, Membership, Agendas & Notices of Meetings
  • FOR THE PUBLIC - inspections & fencing
  • FOR BUSINESS - where to send pool plans, health & safety criteria
  • FOR BUSINESS - permits
  • Public Pool Service Technicians
  • Fecal Accidents
  • Forms
  • FOR BUILDING CODE OFFICIALS - Checklists, Briefings
  • Entrapment protection
  • Epsom Salt Float Tanks
  • Virginia Graeme Baker Federal Pool and Spa Safety Act
  • LIFEGUARD AND SWIMMING INSTRUCTOR TRAINING PROGRAMS
  • Links
  • FAQ
The Department of Health is responsible under Chapter 514, Florida Statutes (opens in a new window), for the routine surveillance of water quality and safety at all public swimming pools.

Chapter 64E-9 Florida Administrative Code, Public Pool rules (opens in a new window)

Revision Status of 64E-9, FAC (Doc, opens in new window, < 1mb)
Effective date: July 20, 2016

Public Swimming Pool and Bathing Place Advisory Review Board

Notice of Meeting/Workshop Hearing

DATE AND TIME: November 9, 2016, 10:00 A.M. - 2P.M., ET, or until completed, whichever is first.

PLACE: Reedy Creek Improvement District, 3rd Floor, 1900 Hotel
Plaza Blvd, Lake Buena Vista 32830, with parking in the adjacent AAU parking lot; telephone conference call in:

888-670-3525 toll-free, participant pass code:7708044610 then #.

GENERAL SUBJECT MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: This bimonthly meeting of the Public Swimming Pool and Bathing Place Advisory Review Board is for the Board to recommend agency action on variance application requests.

A copy of the agenda may be obtained by contacting Mr. August Ursin, Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Environmental Health, 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Mail Bin A08, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1710, (850)245-4444, ext. 2716,  Please note: Florida has a very broad public records law.  Most written communications to or from state officials regarding state business are public records available to the public and media upon request. Your e-mail communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure.  Email us  

Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this workshop/meeting is asked to advise the agency at least 3 days before the workshop/meeting by contacting: Mr. Ursin, contact information is listed above. If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, 1(800)955-8771 (TDD) or 1(800)955-8770 (Voice).

For more information, you may contact: Mr. Ursin, contact information is listed above.

FAR Notice ID 18193725 published 10/26/16

To inquire to become a board member, please visit the Governor’s Appointment Office’s website (opens in new window) 

Resources: Download a variance application (opens in new window, pdf<1mb)

View the most recent inspection results for your public pool

Pool fencing

Private pool fencing criteria to prevent drowning that is referenced in Chapter 515, Florida Statutes: CPSC Safety Barrier Guidelines for Home Pools (pdf <1mb) (opens in new window)

Where do I send my pool plans?

As of October 1, 2014, changes to Florida Statutes 514 and 553 require that an application for an operating permit must be submitted to the Department of Health before the Building Department can issue a construction or modification permit for a public pool.  The new application form DH4159 and the Permitting Sequence is found in the next section below.  The Building Department also cannot issue a Certificate of Completion or Occupancy until the Department of Health issues the operating permit. 

We recommend you contact the Department at least a week before the planned opening. Program office staff is available in Tallahassee (850-245-4240) or Orlando (407-317-7172) to answer any questions.  View a map of where to send to your pool plans (pdf <1mb, opens in new window).

An individual who services a public pool by maintaining the cleanliness, water quality and chemical balance of public pools shall be certified. To be certified an individual must demonstrate knowledge of public pools. Examples of such knowledge include: pool cleaning, general pool maintenance, make-up water supply, bacteriological, chemical and physical quality of water and water purification, testing, treatment, and disinfection procedures. To ensure that the pool technicians are knowledgeable, said technician shall attend a training course of national recognition that is approved by the department of at least 16 hours in length and shall pass a test acceptable to the department.

Florida Department of Health Approved Public Pool Service Technician Certification Courses (pdf <1mb, opens in a new windows

View Tips on preventing Fecal Accidents and Response Procedures in the event of a Fecal Accident (pdf <1mb, opens in a new window), as well as help in determining the time frame and how much liquid chlorine should be added to your pool to sanitize and re-open the pool after an accident.

These forms are available for download in a "fill-in" rich text format (rtf).  If you are not familiar with problems that may arise using this type of form, please download the read_me (rtf) (<1mb and opens in new window) file.

All rtfs and pdfs and MS docs are <1mb and open in a new window

DH4157 Pool Owner/Operator Verification of Entrapment Safety Features (pdf<1mb, opens in new window)

DH4158 Bathing Place Bacteria Advisory (pdf<1mb opens in new window)

DH4159 (Formerly DH918) Application For Swimming Pool Operating Permit (pdf<1mb, opens in new window)

DH form 921 (rtf) Monthly Swimming Pool Report

DH form 1704 (rtf) Application for Swimming Pool Exempt Status >32 Units

DH form 4065 (rtf) Application for Swimming Pool Exempt Status  32 Units or Less

DH form 4080 (rtf) Application for Variance from Chapter 64E-9, F.A.C., Swimming Pools and Bathing Places

DH form 4080 (pdf) Application for Variance from Chapter 64E-9, F.A.C., Swimming Pools and Bathing Places- Fillable pdf version

Section 514.0315, Florida Statutes (opens in a new window), requires all public swimming pools and spas to be equipped with an anti-entrapment system or device that complies with American Society of Mechanical

Engineers/American National Standards Institute standard A112.19.8, or any successor standard.  All new pools and spas are required to use a gravity drainage system that uses a collector tank.  The law provides the owner or operator of a public pool or spa several options for pools and spas built before January 1, 1993. 

All pdfs are < 1mb and open in a new window)

Verification Form for Entrapment Protection (pdf)

Safety Checklist for Safety Vacuum Release System (pdf)

Safety Checklist for Suction Limiting Vent System (pdf)

Public pools are regulated by the Florida Department of Health (DOH) to protect the public health and safety.  Section 514.011, Florida Statutes, essentially defines a public pool as a watertight structure of filtered and disinfected water used for bathing by the public, and includes pools operated by a health spa.  A floatation tank offered for public use at any location is a public pool under this definition.  This device is therefore under the jurisdiction of and regulated by the DOH.  The detailed criteria for equipment, design, water quality, and operation is established in the state’s public pool rules, Chapter 64E-9, Florida Administrative Code, and the Florida Building Code Section 454.1.  The DOH code requires operation permits and these are granted only when a pool meets all the codes’ criteria.  In order to comply, you may need the cooperation and assistance of the device’s manufacturer for the engineering aspects of this special purpose pool. 

The attached Final Orders for Variance have been approved statewide for three manufacturers of float tanks.  These describe precisely the allowed variances and significant changes that must be made to every float tank before an operating permit can be granted by DOH.  Additional information regarding microbial growth is also available:

NSF Float Tank microbial water test 2012 pdf (<1mb)

Float Rooms USA LLC Final Order Granting Petition for Permanent Variance pdf (3mb)

Royal Spa Float Tank Final Order Granting Petition for Permanent Variance 7-27-2015 (pdf <1mb)

Superior Float Tanks (fka US) Final Order Granting Petition for Permanent Variance pdf (<1mb)

A law to prevent entrapment drowning and injury at all public pools in the United States that took effect on December 19, 2008 and requires retrofit actions.

All pdfs open in a new window and are <1mb.

Pool Owner/Operator Verification of Entrapment Safety Features (pdf)

Code Compliant Drain List by Company (pdf)

Consumer Product Safety Commission Pool Safety website (opens in new window)

Any individual or organization that wishes to provide a Lifeguard or Swimming Instructor training and certification course in the State of Florida must use a “Nationally Recognized Aquatic Training Program” or equivalent as defined in 64E-9.008(2)(a)2 of the Florida Administrative Code.

Florida Department of Health Approved Lifeguard and Swimming Instructor Programs (pdf<1mb, opens in new window)

For information on submitting your Lifeguard or Swimming Instructor training and certification program for verification of equivalence to “Nationally Recognized Aquatic Training Program” standards please contact Mr. August Ursin, Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Environmental Health, 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Mail Bin A08, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1710, (850)245-4444, ext. 2716,
Please note: Florida has a very broad public records law. Most written communications to or from state officials regarding state business are public records available to the public and media upon request. Your e-mail communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure.
Email us

CDC Healthy Swimming website - This Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website provides information on recreational water illnesses and what the public, health professionals and pool facility operators can do to prevent their transmission: CDC Healthy Swimming website (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming) (opens in new window)


ANSI Certified Lab’s Product Listing websites for NSF/ANSI Standard 60 Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals- Health Effects.

NSF International (opens in new window)

Water Quality Association (opens in new window)

UL LLC (Underwriters Laboratories) (opens in new window)

ANSI Certified Lab’s Product Listing websites for  NSF/ANSI Standard 50 Swimming Pool Products

NSF International (opens in new window)

Applied Research Laboratories (opens in new window)

IAPMO R&T (opens in new window)

Does the state have a rule against children in diapers going in public swimming pools?

​Florida has no specific rule against children in diapers entering public swimming pools.  The use of swim diapers is recommended for children who are not toilet trained.

Can service dogs go into public swimming pools or the pool area?

Service animals are allowed onto the pool deck, but ​not into the pool.  While service dogs are generally allowed to accompany their owners​ anywhere the public would normally be allowed to go, they may be excluded under certain conditions, such as a threat to the health and safety of others. ​The Department of Health considers any animal in a public pool a public health threat.