Pools

 Pool Program

The Johnson County Health Department regulates public and semi-public Johnson County swimming pools.

Pool Rules– All public and semi-public pools are inspected for compliance under two rules:

 

·        410 IAC -22.1 – The Indiana State Department of Health  “Public and Semi-Public Swimming Pools Rule”  (Operating Standards)

Access the site at http://www.in.gov/isdh/21958.htm

·        675 IAC 20 – The Indiana Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission “Swimming Pool, Spa and Water Attraction Code, third edition.” (Construction Standards)

Access this site at: http://www.in.gov/dhs/2372.htm

 

Pool Operating Licenses  – Licenses run from May 30th to May 31st of the following year.

 

·        Existing Pool – If your pool has previously been licensed by Johnson County you will receive a “Swimming Pool Licensing Packet” via email in March of the licensing year.

The application, fee schedule, and other essentials are included.

(If not received by the end of March please contact the Health Department.)

 

New Pool or Remodeled Pool A “Swimming Pool Construction Permit Application” form must be submitted to the Health Department with the appropriate fee and the engineering plans prior to the start of construction.  A “New Pool Application” must later be submitted to apply for operation.

 

Water Sampling RequirementsPool operators must submit a weekly bacteriological water report.  You may use any state certified laboratory or the current co-op lab (Micro-Air) listed on the left side.

 

 

Detailed pool information and forms are available on the links listed on the left.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How often do I have to sample my pool water?
  2. What are the current Indiana rules governing Johnson County swimming areas?
  3. Does my private swimming pool need to be licensed?
  4. Does my semi-public or public pool, spa, or beach need to be licensed?
  5. How can I get my public pool licensed?
  6. Are Johnson County swimming pools and spas inspected?
  7. What are reasons a pool can be closed by the Johnson County Health Department?
  8. Where can I have my swimming pool water tested?
  9. Does Johnson County offer pool operation classes?
  10. Are there specific water temperature requirements for pools?
  11. What kinds of diseases can I get from swimming in a pool or spa that does not maintain water quality?
  12. I am the operator of a semi-public pool that has 2,500 square feet of surface area. Do I have to provide a lifeguard?
  13. While conducting a routine pre-opening inspection of the pool, the remains of what appears to be a solid fecal accident was discovered in one of the skimmer baskets. What should I do?
  14. The pH in my pool changes drastically throughout the day. Bather load does not seem affect these wide changes. What should I do?
  15. How often should I check the chemicals in the pool?
  16. I live in a neighborhood that owns and maintains a private pool for use by the homeowners in the subdivision. The pool is operated and maintained by the neighborhood association. Does the pool have to meet the standards of the rule?
  17. How can I help keep pools clean and safe?
  18. How do I clean up spills of body fluids on a pool deck?

How often do I have to sample my pool water?

Indiana State code requires that you submit one (1) sample per week whenever your pool is open.  A separate sample is required for each individual pool or spa.

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What are the current Indiana rules governing Johnson County swimming areas?

  • Johnson County has adopted the Indiana State Department of Health Swimming Pool Rule 410 IAC 6-2.1 for public and semi-public swimming pool maintenance and operation. The rule can be accessed via the internet at www.in.gov/isdh/se.htm .
  • Construction code standards for all swimming pools, spas and residential pools can be found in 675 IAC 20. The rule can be accessed via the internet at http://www.in.gov/legislative/ .

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Does my private swimming pool need to be licensed?

  • No. Swimming Pool & Spa Rule 410 IAC 6-2.1 does not apply to any pool, constructed at a one (1) or two (2) family dwelling, and maintained by an individual for the sole use of the household and house guests.

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Does my semi-public or public pool, spa, or beach need to be licensed?

  • Yes, the Johnson County Health Department requires an annual license be obtained for public and semi-public pools operating in the county.  This includes indoor and outdoor pools which operate annually or seasonally.  There is a fee  which is based on length of operation (waived for not-for-profit operations).  Licenses are renewed May 31st of each year.

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How can I get my public pool licensed?

  • Contact the Johnson County Health Department at (317) 346-4365 and speak to an Environmental Health Specialist working in the swimming pool program.
  • Every newly constructed pool must first submit plans for review and then pass an on-site field inspection.
  • After the construction review, you may then request an application for an annual license.  The completed form must be submitted with the required fee.

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Are Johnson County swimming pools and spas inspected?

  • Yes, public and semi-public pools and spas are routinely inspected by Environmental staff members of the Johnson County Health Department.

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What are reasons a pool can be closed by the Johnson County Health Department?

Swimming pools, spas, and beaches must maintain operating and sanitation standards as set-forth in the Indiana State Department of Health Swimming Pool Rule, 410 IAC 6-2.1.

A pool shall be closed when any of the following occurs:

– (1) Failure to meet bacteriological requirements of section 31(f) of this rule.  (Pools must test weekly for bacteriological contamination.)

– (2) Failure to meet disinfectant concentrations of section 30(b) of this rule.  (Pools must maintain specific concentrations of disinfectant.)

– (3) Failure to meet the water clarity requirements of section 31(a) of this rule. (Cloudy or discolored water may obscure the bottom.)

– (4) The grate on the main drain is missing or broken. (This is potential for suction-entrapment accidents.)

– (5) Failure to meet lifeguard requirements of section 35 of this rule.

– (6) A pump, filter, or disinfectant feeder is nonoperational.

–  (7) A nonsolid fecal accident occurs.

– (8) The spa water temperature exceeds one hundred four (104) degrees Fahrenheit.

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Where can I have my swimming pool water tested?

  • It is a state law requirement that each pool or beach submit a water sample to a Indiana State Certified laboratory the week prior to opening and then for every week it is open.  The owner/manager of each pool shall arrange for the collection and examination of each weekly sample.
  • A complete listing of Indiana Certified Environmental Microbiology Laboratories may be accessed at http://www.in.gov/isdh/labs/micro2001.
  • Johnson County has arranged for a cooperative group collection at several sites.  If you are interested, call the Johnson County Health Department for information:  (317) 346-4365.

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Does Johnson County offer pool operation classes?

  • Johnson County Environmental staff members conduct three to four pool operator classes each year in early spring (April and May).  Classes last 2 ½ hours and cover general pool operation and disinfectant requirements. Classes are free of charge.
  • It is highly recommended, however, that each pool have a nationally recognized Certified Pool Operator on staff.

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Are there specific water temperature requirements for pools?

  • The water temperature in spas may not exceed one hundred four (104) degrees Fahrenheit.
  • There are no legal requirements to maintain pools at comfortable swimming temperatures.  Swimmers should avoid or use great care when swimming in cold water.

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What kinds of diseases can I get from swimming in a pool or spa that does not maintain water quality?

Recreational Water Illnesses (RWI) varies in type and severity. Gastrointestinal illnesses such as Cryprosporidium, Shigella, E. coli and Norovirus occur in pools and spas each year. Respiratory infections such as Legionella, Pontiac Fever are common. Skin, ear and eye infections caused by Pseudomonas, Staph and Bacillus are also frequently associated with pools. Additional information on RWIs can be found on CDCs web site.

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I am the operator of a semi-public pool that has 2,500 square feet of surface area. Do I have to provide a lifeguard?

Yes. 410 IAC 6-2.1-35 states that “A qualified lifeguard is required for all semi-public pools with a surface area of two thousand (2,000) square feet or more. Lifeguards must be on duty at poolside at all times when the pools are open for use.”

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While conducting a routine pre-opening inspection of the pool, the remains of what appears to be a solid fecal accident was discovered in one of the skimmer baskets. What should I do?

The rule addresses two specific types of fecal accidents: solid and nonsolid. Specific procedures are outlined that detail appropriate steps to take for each type of incident and differ because of varying degrees of contamination. Those procedures are further based on the assumption that the accident is discovered quickly. This instance poses a unique situation that must be handled differently than specifically detailed in the rule.

A solid formed stool, discovered and removed quickly after the accident, has little time to shed significant numbers of disease producing organisms into the pool water. When the fecal material has the opportunity to remain in the pool for an extended period of time, the material will be eroded, dispersed throughout the pool and will lodge in the filter media where it will continue to shed organisms. To assure the greatest level of protection for the bather, incidents of this type should be handled as though the accident was nonsolid. The pool should be closed and the nonsolid stool procedures followed.

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The pH in my pool changes drastically throughout the day. Bather load does not seem affect these wide changes. What should I do?

There are two questions to consider. One; How old are the reagents in the test kit? Reagents have a shelf life that is affected by environmental factors such as heat, light and humidity. If the reagents, or the test kit itself, are stored in an area subject to wide changes in temperature, sunlight and humidity, the shelf life will be compromised. Test kits and reagents should be stored in a cabinet where these environmental factors are more easily controlled.

The second question to ask is what is the alkalinity of the pool water? Total Alkalinity is a measure of the pH buffering capacity, or the water’s resistance to a change in pH. Maintaining proper alkalinity is important to the life expectancy of the pool, because a low total alkalinity can result in highly corrosive water that will damage metal surfaces. Total alkalinity must be at least 80 parts per million (ppm). It is generally accepted that pool water should be maintained between 100 and 150 ppm of total alkalinity.

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How often should I check the chemicals in the pool?

1. pH and disinfectant residuals daily before the pool is open for use and at least one other time during the hours of pool use.

2. Combined chlorine at least twice a week when chlorine is used.

3. Total alkalinity at least once a week.

4. Cyanuric acid, when it is used, at least once a week.

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I live in a neighborhood that owns and maintains a private pool for use by the homeowners in the subdivision. The pool is operated and maintained by the neighborhood association. Does the pool have to meet the standards of the rule?

Yes. 410 IAC 6-2.1-17 defines a “Semi-public pool” as “any pool that is intended to be used for swimming or bathing and is operated solely for and in conjunction with:

1. schools, universities, and colleges;

2. hotels, motels, apartments, condominiums, bed and breakfasts, or similar lodgings;

3. camps or mobile home parks; or

4. membership clubs or associations.”

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How can I help keep pools clean and safe?

Three “PLEAs” for All Swimmers

Practice these three “PLEAs” to stop germs from causing illness at the pool:

  • Please don’t swim when you have diarrhea.  This is especially important for kids in diapers. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.
  • Please don’t swallow the pool water. In fact, avoid getting water in your mouth.
  • Please practice good hygiene. Take a shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.

Three “PLEAs” for Parents of Young Kids

Follow these three “PLEAs” to keep germs out of the pool and your community:

  • Please take your kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often. Waiting to hear “I have to go” may mean that it’s too late.
  • Please change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside. Germs can spread to surfaces and objects in and around the pool and spread illness.
  • Please wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming. Everyone has invisible amounts of fecal matter on their bottoms that may end up in the pool.

 

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How do I clean up spills of body fluids on a pool deck?

Body fluids, including blood, feces, and vomit are all considered potentially contaminated with bloodborne or other germs. Therefore, spills of these fluids on the pool deck should be cleaned up and the contaminated surfaces disinfected immediately.

Appropriate Disinfectants

Recipe for Bleach Disinfecting Solution
9 parts cool water
1 part household bleach
Add the household bleach to the water. Gently mix the solution.

Bleach

One of the most commonly used chemicals for disinfection is a homemade solution of household bleach and water. Since a solution of bleach and water loses its strength quickly, it should be mixed fresh before each clean-up to make sure it is effective.

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For more information, contact Chris Menze at 317) 346-4375 or cmenze@co.johnson.in.us also, Bob Smith at 317) 346-4372 or rsmith@co.johnson.in.us .
Revised: 03/12/15.