Public Swimming Pools
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
- 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
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
DATE AND TIME: March 8, 2017, 9:45 A.M. - 2 P.M., ET, or when 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.
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)
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).
DOH Permit Application and Permitting Sequence (rtf, Word files open in a new window)
Public Swimming Pool Permit Process (pdf<1mb, opens in new window)
DH4159 Application For Swimming Pool Operating Permit (pdf<1mb, opens in new window)
FL Department of Health Pool Operating Permit Application Sequence (rtf <1mb, opens in new window)
Critical Health and Safety Criteria for New Pools (Doc<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.
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
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
Public Pool briefings & Statewide Public Pool List for Building Code Officials
Checklists for Public Swimming Pool Plan Review
All Word Docs open in a new window and are <1mb.
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)
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
What determines when public swimming pools can remain open?
Pool owners choose when their pools can be used. There are no required hours that a public swimming pool must be open. However, it cannot be open at night unless the pool and pool deck have proper lighting for the safety of patrons. The lighting above and below water must be approved by the local building department after a professional conducts a field test. Then, "night swimming approved" will be noted on the pool permit. State code defines night as 30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise.
Pool hours must be posted on the rules sign.