Pool Program

Pool Program


For up to date information about COVID-19, including resource documents such as the Public Health Order, frequently asked questions, informational posters, and guidance visit www.coronavirus-sd.com.


Effective March 19, 2020:
To slow the transmission of COVID-19, the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) will be temporarily closing all public lobby spaces effective Friday, March 20th. To ensure our customer’s needs are being met, DEH will be going to a virtual business process until further notice. 


On June 12, 2020, the County of San Diego, Health Officer Order was amended to allow the use of swimming pools, which also includes waders and interactive water features (i.e. splashpads). However indoor swimming and spas/hot tubs/sauna indoors and outdoors must remain closed.

Prior to re-opening, each swimming pool facility will need to review and implement COVID-19 preventative measures described in the County of San Diego Public Swimming Pool Operations During COVID-19 Guidance and complete and post a copy of the County Safe Re-Opening Plan at the pool facility. Section E of the Safe Re-Opening Plan must be filled in with a description of the precautions your facility has implemented to meet the measures in the County of San Diego Public Swimming Operations During COVID-19 Guidance.

Ensure pool chemicals are balanced and the filtration system is functional so the pool water remains clear to reduce the risk of drowning. This will also prevent the pool from becoming a mosquito breeding source.

The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) recommends the following best practices to maintain your swimming pool:

  • Maintain free available chlorine levels at 2.0-4.0 ppm
  • Maintain pH at 7.2-7.8
  • Maintain a schedule for the recirculation system to be operable

What changed on August 28, 2020?
San Diego County is currently in Tier 2 – Risk Level Substantial. Effective Monday, August 31st, many of the sectors listed can resume indoor activities with a limited capacity and COVID-19 safety precaution modifications in place. These precautions are outlined in the State Guidelines and the Safe Reopening Plans or Food Facility Protocols, specific to your industry. Indoor swimming pools at Gyms/Fitness Centers will not be able to reopen until San Diego County is in Tier 3. Gyms/Fitness Centers providing indoor infant drowning prevention classes or day camps are deemed essential and allowed to be open and operating. Indoor and Outdoor Spas, Saunas and Hot Tubs will not be able to reopen until San Diego County is in Tier 4.


Pool Facilities: Frequently Asked Question and Answers (Updated 09/02/20)
Orientación para la Operación de Piscinas Públicas durante el COVID-19 (Actualizar documento)



The week before Memorial Day has been designated National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. Each year, Healthy and Safe Swimming Week focuses on simple steps swimmers and pool operators can take to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone. This year’s theme is "Check Out Healthy and Safe Swimming," encouraging pool operators, swimmers and parents of young swimmers to take an active role in protecting their health and safety by checking for inspection results before getting in public pools or hot tubs/spas, and by doing their own quick and easy 4-step inspection before getting into the water. 

For more information on how to join us and participate in Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, please visit the newly updated CDC Healthy Swimming Website.


You can find informative documents on our Pool Publication page and Pool Plan Check page.

2015 Seminar Presentation

CCDEH - Pool Code Guidance: PDF
Title 22 Regulation Changes (Effective January 1, 2015):
Guidance to Create an Incidence Response Plan: PDF
Water Contamination Response Log: PDF
Common Pool & Spa Terms:   PDF
Swimming Pool Safety:   PDF  
Swimming Pool & Spa Self-Inspection:  
Daily Swimming Pool & Spa Chemistry Log:   PDF



Swimming pools can be the source of many diseases and injuries, such as Giardia, Cryptosporidia, and E. coli as well as slips, falls, and accidental entrapment. The purpose of the Department of Environmental Health Food and Housing Division (FHD) Pool program is to assure that all public swimming pools and spas are maintained in a safe and healthful condition. In light of these considerations, the proper construction, maintenance, and operation of public swimming pools and spas is of significant public health importance.

FHD has approximately 4,000 public pools and spas under permit, including those located in apartments, hotels, parks, health clubs, bathhouses, and other health-regulated recreational establishments.  These pools are inspected by environmental health specialists to identify problems, list violations of the CA Health and Safety Code, and provide written notification of necessary corrections. Click here to watch a San Diego County Swimming Pool Inspection Walk-through.


In addition to inspections, FHD partners with the pool industry and other organizations to sponsor educational opportunities and provide other resources. Every other spring, FHD co-sponsors a one-day pool seminar for the pool industry to provide ongoing education.  FHD is partnered with the community-based Drowning Prevention Foundation to raise awareness about ways to prevent drownings. Each May, FHD participates in Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week, in association with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), to educate the public about the spread of recreational water illnesses. "Testing the Waters", a County Television Network video, showcases our pool inspection program. Be sure to watch this video, "Checking Public Pools for Safer Drains",  to learn more about the new state law, AB 1020, which requires public pool operators to install anti-entrapment drain covers and safety systems.


The Swimming Pool Operator Guide provides specific information to assist the layman in the proper maintenance and operation of pool and spas. This and other valuable swimming pool and spa related information is provided on our Pool Publications page, as well as our Pool Plan Check page. 

Simple steps that help save lives at a pool or spa: Pool Safely Educational Video (Piscina Segura Video Educativo). 

To stay informed about swimming pool safety issues, subscribe to receive free E-mail Updates on our DEH home page, enter your e-mail information, then select the topic Water: Swimming Pool Safety.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about our pool program, please call the FHD Duty Specialist at (858) 505-6900 or e-mail fhdutyeh@sdcounty.ca.gov   To report a problem with a public pool or spa, please call our FHD Complaint Desk at (858) 505-6903.


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