Swimming Pool Program

The Hamilton County Health Department water program consists of permitting and inspecting of all public and semi-public swimming pools and spas. Hamilton County currently permits and inspects over 300 pools annually. Pools are permitted as either seasonal operation (May-September) or year round operations. Applications are issued approximately 6 weeks prior to expiration of the facilities permit. The Hamilton County Health Department pool/spa inspections follow the requirements of the Indiana State Department of Health 2003 Swimming Pool Rule 410 IAC 6-2.1.

Program Inspections

Inspections are based on a variety of pool operations such general pool conditions, bathhouse, bather load, operating and safety equipment, water quality levels and required weekly water sampling requirements. Pools are required to keep on site a record of all pool maintenance completed. A Certified Pool Operator on staff is recommended for pools in Hamilton County. Samples must be submitted weekly during operation periods, failure to meet disinfection or sampling requirements is reason for immediate closure of an unsafe pool. For a list of Indiana Certified Drinking Water Laboratories, visit their website.

State Resources

  • Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ about Public and Semi-Public Pools.
  • 410 IAC 6-2.1 - The Public and Semi-Public Pools Rule.
  • ISDH Guidelines (PDF) have been issued for interactive water fountains ,also known as "spray grounds," "wet decks," "splash pads," "spray pads," or "spray parks".
  • 675 IAC 20 (PDF) - The Fire Prevention And Building Safety Commission Swimming Pool Construction Code.

Pool & Spa Safety

Effective December 20, 2008, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act requires:
  • Each public pool and spa, both new and existing, be equipped with drain covers conforming to the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 - 2007 Standard.
  • Each public pool and spa in the United States with a single main drain other than an unblockable drain be equipped, at a minimum, with 1 or more of the following devices or systems designed to prevent entrapment by pool or spa drains:
    1. A safety vacuum release system which ceases operation of the pump, reverses the circulation flow, or otherwise provides a vacuum release at a suction outlet when a blockage is detected, that has been tested by an independent third party and found to conform to ASME/ANSI standard A112.19.17 or ASTM standard F2387.
    2. A suction-limiting vent system with a tamper-resistant atmospheric opening.
    3. A gravity drainage system that utilizes a collector tank.
    4. An automatic pump shut-off system.
    5. A device or system that disables the drain.
    6. Any other system approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ASME/ANSI standard A112.19.17 or ASTM standard F2387.
  • Safety Drain Covers - Each swimming pool or spa drain cover manufactured, distributed, or entered into commerce in the United States shall conform to the American National Standard ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 - 2007 Suction Fittings for Use in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Compliance with this Standard will be enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission as a consumer product safety rule.

State Pool Resources & Guidelines

  • Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards: Making Pools and Spas Safer - The guidelines provide safety information that will help identify and eliminate dangerous entrapment hazards in swimming pools, wading pools, spas, and hot tubs. They address the hazards of body entrapment, hair entrapment/entanglement, and evisceration/disembowelment. These guidelines are intended for use in building, maintaining, and upgrading public and private pools and spas.
  • How to Plan For the Unexpected - Preventing Child Drownings (PDF) - Discusses how to reduce risks of child drownings in residential swimming pools. Gives safety tips and provides guidance for fences and gates, pool covers, barriers, alarms, etc.
  • Safety Barrier Guidelines for Home Pools (PDF) - Explains guidelines for barriers intended to prevent drownings and near-drownings of children in home pools, spas and hot tubs. Guidelines cover fences, gates, audible alarms for doors with access to pools, and power safety covers.
  • Spas, Hot Tubs, and Whirlpools Safety Alert - Discusses hazards associated with spas and hot tubs; and precautions to prevent deaths and injuries.
  • List of State Certified Laboratories (PDF) - Indiana State Department of Health Rule 410 IAC 6-2.1 requires pool water samples tests be performed by a state-approved laboratory.
  • Swimming Pool Log Sheets (PDF) - A printable daily log that can be used to document pool conditions. A daily log of pool operating conditions is required by 410 IAC 6-2-10.
  • Break Point Chlorination - How to shock a pool to eliminate chlorinates.
  • Increase or Decrease Chlorine - How to increase or decrease chlorine in a pool or spa.
  • Chemical Adjustment Formulas - How to increase or decrease total alkalinity, calcium hardness, stabilizer, and pH.
  • Injury/Incident Report (PDF) - Rule 410 IAC 6-2 requires that serious injuries (requiring attention by a medical doctor) and drowning be reported to the Environmental Health section.

Center for Disease Control Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Swimming Web Page - This website provides information on recreational water illnesses (RWIs) and what the public, health professionals and pool facilities can do to prevent their transmission. Also available on their web page:


CDC Healthy Swimming Behaviors - Healthy Swimming behaviors are needed to protect you and your kids from RWIs (recreational water illnesses) and will help stop germs from getting in the pool in the first place.


CDC Fecal Accidents - These are the Healthy Swimming recommendations for responding to fecal accidents and body fluids in pools.

Inspection Program

12 Steps for Prevention of Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) - CDC information about recreational water illnesses and ways to help prevent them for people who own, manage, operate, or work at pools, water parks, hot tubs, and spas. The Health Department is currently developing an electronic base inspection program.