Public Swimming Pool and Spas

The Health Department licenses approximately 65 public pools and spas. Public swimming pools, wading pools, and spas include those located in apartments, hotels, motels, neighborhood associations, parks, health clubs, and other health regulated recreational establishments.

Swimming Pools and Spas

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) swimming is one of the most popular recreational activities in the United States. The Richland Public Health Environmental Health Division licenses and inspects public swimming pools and spas to minimize the risk of illness and other health related problems, and to reduce safety hazards resulting in accidents from an improperly maintained pool.


Year-round pools are inspected twice a year and seasonal outdoor pools are inspected annually. Routine inspections provide education, identify problems and site violations of State rules, and provide written notice of necessary corrections. Public swimming pool and spa inspections focus on safety, including pool supervision, pool enclosures, lifeguard requirements, and lifesaving equipment and its use. Registered Environmental Health Specialists also check chemical treatment and the proper operation and maintenance of filtration equipment.


Additional Resources

Recreational Water Illnesses

Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, interactive fountains, lakes, rivers, or oceans. RWIs can also be caused by chemicals in the water or chemicals that evaporate from the water and cause indoor air quality problems. RWIs can be a wide variety of infections, including gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic and wound infections.

The most commonly reported RWI is diarrhea. Diarrheal illnesses can be caused by germs such as Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium), Giardia, Shigella, norovirus and E. coli O157:H7.


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