Information for Operators

Information for Operators

Public swimming pool operators are the first line of defense against injury and illness at public aquatic facilities.  The following information may be helpful to maintaining your operation in a safe and healthy manner.


Is your facility thinking about modifying your pool/hot tub/special use pool?  Do you need a new piece of equipment in your pump room? WAIT! Before you make any changes, continue reading. Depending on the extent, some changes may require prior approval from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

  • Replacement equipment that is identical (same manufacturer, same model number) to the original and previously approved equipment is considered as maintenance and repair that does not require special approval.
  • Changes to equipment, including the use of additives or substitute materials, reagents or chemicals that affect equipment performance and are not authorized by the manufacturer, affect the product listing; accordingly, such are substantial alterations that must be authorized by ODH. This includes:
    • Replacement of a disinfection reagent feed device with a different method of delivery, different reagent, or that changes the disinfectant outpu;t
    • Replacement of a circulation filter with a different size, different method of filtration, different media, or a different method of operation;
    • Replacement of a circulation, jet, or special feature pump that changes the operation of the pool or associated equipment;
    • Replacement of a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS)/Automatic Pump Shut-off System (ASPO) to prevent potential entrapment from drain outlets;
  • A new public swimming pool/spa/special use pool must go through plan review through ODH.
  • Other substantial alterations requiring more extensive plan review shall be submitted with plans and a completed Application for Plan Review to ODH.



Public Swimming Pool Incident Report Form

Ohio Department of Health Public Swimming Pool Equipment Replacement Notification Report

Ohio Department of Health Application For Plan Review Public Swimming Pools and Spas


Resources for Alterations:

Acceptable Automatic Pool Chemical Controllers

Acceptable Pool/Spa Paints and Coating Colors


Preventing Recreational Water Illness

A Recreational Water Illness (RWI) is defined as an illness caused by germs and chemicals found in the water we swim in. To learn more about common RWI’s and to prevent them from occurring in your pool or hot tub, visit the following links:

Somebody Pooped in My Pool – What Do I Do?!

Cryptosporidium Factsheet

Giardia Factsheet

Legionella Factsheet

MRSA Factsheet

“Hot Tub Rash” Factsheet

“Swimmer’s Ear” Factsheet


Pool Chemical Safety

Chemicals are a crucial part of keeping swimming pools and spas clean and healthy. However, improper use or storage of them can be dangerous to you and your patrons. Review the following videos and posters to make sure everybody at your facility stays safe.

Pool Chemical Safety

The Importance of Testing the Interlock Flow Switches on Chemical Feeders

Safe Pool Chemical Storage

Safe Pool Chemical Use


Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act is a federal law that went into effect on December 19, 2008. The act places certain manufacturer and installation requirements on swimming pool/spa drain covers and drain systems to prevent suction entrapment which could lead to injury, drowning, or even death.

Summary of the VGB act


VGB Compliance Diagram


Education & Training

The Pool & Spa Safety Basics course is offered by Summit County Public Health annually in May as a free class (cancelled unti further notice) designed to cover the basic principles of pool & spa operations.   The course will focus on the operator’s role in following the health and safety guidelines necessary to help prevent injury, illness and accidents.

SCPH Pool & Spa Safety Training Workbook

Pool & Hot Tub Alliance

Approved Safety Certifications List – Lifeguard/CPR/First Aid


Helpful Resources & Handouts

Data Sheet for Pools, Spas, and Special-Use Pools

Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2019 Toolkit

Weekly Operation Report Form

Injury/Incident Report Form

Reasons to Close a Pool/Spa

What Should go Inside Your First Aid Kit?

Recreational Water Signage

Your Disinfection Team: Chlorine & pH