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Public Swimming Pools
Public Swimming Pools
Public Swimming Pools
Public swimming pools, spas and special use pools are regulated under the authority of Chapter 3749 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) and Chapter 3701-31 of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC).

Public Swimming Pool and Spa Drowning Prevention Program:

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in children ages 1 to 4 in Ohio; it is the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths in children ages 5 to 9 and 10 to 14. Survivors of severe drowning incidents can experience long-term disabilities including memory problems, learning deficiencies, and loss of basic cognitive functioning. Historically, Ohio has not systematically collected detailed information on public swimming pool-related injuries or deaths.

Recognizing the usefulness of this information for preventing drowning incidents, the Ohio Department of Health has initiated the Public Swimming Pool and Spa Drowning Prevention Program to determine the frequency and circumstances of these occurrences and to identify opportunities to prevent serious injuries in the future.

Any incident associated with a public swimming pool or spa facility that results in death, serious injury, or assistance from emergency medical personnel shall be reported to the licensor within seventy-two hours following the incident. “Serious injury” is defined as an injury that does not require immediate hospital admission but does require medical treatment, other than first aid. Voluntary reporting of other injuries is highly encouraged.

Injuries are able to be reported online using the “Ohio Public Swimming Pool and Spa Injury Incident Report Form”.

Healthy and Safe Swimming Week:

May 24-30 marks the annual Healthy and Safe Swimming Week!  Together with CDC, Ohio is encouraging everyone to stay safe in all bodies of water and this year we are highlighting ways to prevent recreational waterborne illness by providing information on swimming and diarrhea.

We encourage all owners and operators of swimming pools take steps to prevent waterborne illnesses by:

  • providing continuous and close supervision to swimmers;
  • providing restroom facilities at the pool;
  • maintaining restroom facilities in a clean and sanitary condition;
  • providing signage for pool users on good hygiene practices;
  • restricting persons with diarrhea from using the pool; and
  • maintaining water quality to reduce pathogens in the pool water.

Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-19

Public Swimming Pools

The public swimming pool rules were created to establish minimum standards, applicable throughout Ohio, for the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of these facilities in order to protect the bathing public from injury, minimize the potential for disease transmission, and provide a safe and healthy aquatic recreational environment. These rules do not pertain to private residential pools.

A public swimming pool collectively means a:

  • Public Swimming Pool
  • Public Spa
  • Special Use Pool
  • Wading Pool
  • Spray Ground

Public swimming pool vs. private residential pool?

A public swimming pool is defined as any indoor or outdoor structure, chamber, or tank containing a body of water that is intended to be used collectively for swimming, diving, or bathing.

A private residential pool is one located at a dwelling housing no more than three families and used exclusively by the residents and their non-paying guests.

Services provided by the ODH Public Swimming Pool program:

  • Technical assistance and training on the construction, operation, maintenance, troubleshooting and evaluation of public swimming pools
  • Review and approval of engineered plans that have been designed to meet all of the requirements found within 3701-31 of the OAC 
  • Inspections during the construction process to ensure that the pool is installed per the rules and approved plans
  • Guidance to local health district staff for the implementation of the public swimming pool/spa/special use pool regulatory program
  • Periodic surveys of local health district licensing programs to assess their compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements
  • Resource for the general public relative to aquatic recreation issues, protection from disease transmission, personal safety, and complaint investigations
  • Maintains approved lists of automatic chemical controllersinterior surface colors, and lifeguard, first-aid, & CPR training
  • Reviews all logos prior to approval and installation or application on the bottom of a public swimming pool

Get in touch

General information:  614-644-7438 

Construction inspection requests:  614-644-7468

Engineering:  614-644-7527