Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
6/15/2024

Chapter 460. Regulations Governing Tourist Establishment Swimming Pools and Other Public Pools

Part I
General Provisions

12VAC5-460-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Construction" means any construction, remodeling, or major alterations.

"Design load" means the maximum number of persons permitted in the pool at any given time, to be determined by dividing the total square footage of swimming pool water surface area by 27.

"Operator" or "manager" means the individual or individuals responsible for operation and management of the lodging facility and all of its facilities including the swimming pool.

"Person" means an individual, firm, corporation or association.

"State Health Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Health for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Swimming pool" shall mean any swimming, wading, or spray pool, including all appurtenant equipment, structures, and facilities provided for the use of guests by transient lodging establishments.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 1, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-20. Local requirements.

In addition to the requirements of this chapter, all applicable local ordinances, including plumbing, building, electrical, and zoning ordinances shall also apply in the construction, maintenance, and operation of all swimming pools.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 2.1, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-30. Plan review.

A. To ensure the health and safety of all swimming pool patrons, any person planning to initially open a swimming pool after construction, remodeling, or major alteration at a tourist lodging facility must, prior to operation of the swimming pool, submit to the local health department in the locality in which the tourist lodging facility is located complete plans or statements that show the following:

1. Plans for the pump and recirculation system.

2. Plans for the operation and maintenance of the pool disinfection and filtration system, including plans for the filtration room.

3. The proposed source and location of the pool water supply and the proposed method and location of all wastewater disposal systems.

4. The name and mailing address of the person operating the pool and the physical address of the pool.

5. Such other pertinent information as the State Health Commissioner may deem necessary to ensure a safe and healthy environment for users of the swimming pool.

B. When, upon review of the plans, the State Health Commissioner is satisfied that the proposed plans if executed will meet the requirements of this chapter and other pertinent laws and regulations designed to protect the public health, written approval shall be issued by the State Health Commissioner.

C. When, upon review of the plans, the State Health Commissioner determines that the proposed plans prevent a safe sanitary operation, the plans shall be disapproved and the applicant shall be notified in writing of any deficiency in the plans that constitute the basis for disapproval. The applicant shall be notified of the opportunity for administrative process as provided by the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

D. No person shall operate a tourist establishment swimming pool or spa until written approval has been granted by the State Health Commissioner.

E. Any person whose plans have been disapproved may request and shall be granted an appeal as described by the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

Part II
Swimming Pools; Design and Construction

12VAC5-460-40. Water supplies.

All water used in swimming pools shall be from sources that are approved by the State Health Commissioner. No sewage or wastewater shall be allowed to enter the swimming pool water system. No water from the swimming pool shall be allowed to enter the make-up water supply.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-50. Location.

The location of a pool shall in no way hinder the operation for which it is designed nor adversely affect the bathers' safety or water quality.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 5, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-60. Materials of pool shell.

Swimming pool shells shall be kept clean. The interior finish shall be maintained so that it does not obscure objects or surfaces within the pool or spa.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-70. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 7, eff. March 1, 1962; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-80. Pool decks.

Decks shall be maintained to have a nonslip but smooth finish. Drainage shall be directed away from the pool area in a manner that will not create or maintain pools of water or a nuisance.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-90. Fences.

Any fences or other barriers, and any gates and latches required by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63), shall be properly maintained and in good operable condition. When safety criteria for barriers are not prescribed by the Building Code in effect at the time of the pool's construction, steps shall be taken to protect against undesired access into the pool area.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-100. Steps and ladders.

All ladders, steps, and handrails required by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63) shall be properly maintained and in operable condition. Nonslip finishes shall be maintained on all pool steps, ladders, or other means of ingress or egress.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-110. Overflow facilities.

The presence of floating material and scum is prohibited; pools shall have adequate water circulation and filtration equipment sufficient to keep floating material or scum from accumulating on the surface of the water.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-120. Inlets and outlets.

Pool circulation systems shall produce uniform circulation of water throughout the swimming pool without the existence of dead spots.

Direct connection to a sanitary sewer shall not be permitted. When not otherwise prescribed by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63) in effect at the time of the pool's construction, the outlet drain shall be covered with a grate of such design that it cannot be readily removed by or produce any hazard to the bathers.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-130. Depth marking.

Depth markers shall be plainly visible and maintained in accordance with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63). When depth markers are not prescribed by the Building Code in effect at the time of the pool's construction, steps shall be taken to ensure that the depth of all sections of the pool can be determined by swimmers.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-140. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 14, eff. March 1, 1962; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-150. Lighting.

When pools are to be used after dark, all parts of the pool, the water therein, and the entire area shall be well lit. Fixtures shall not create a hazard to the bathers. The maintenance and operation of the fixtures shall be such that lifeguards can clearly see every part of the swimming pool, including decks, spring boards, and other appurtenances, without being blinded by glare. The electrical grounding of all submarine lights shall be properly maintained.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-160. Food and drink facilities.

Food and drink preparation, serving, consumption facilities shall be permitted only within designated areas approved for these purposes.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 16, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-170. Recirculation systems.

The recirculation system, including all pumps, hair and lint catchers, filters, disinfection equipment, and necessary pipe connections to the inlets and outlets, shall be maintained in working order as designed. Adequate provision shall be made for backwashing filters. When not prescribed by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63) in effect at the time of the pool's construction, recirculation systems shall be designed for an eight hour or less turnover of the swimming pool water.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-180. Filter rooms.

Any room containing the filtration equipment, pumps, and other recirculation system appurtenances shall be finished in a light color and be provided with adequate illumination and ventilation. The floor of the filter room shall be designed to provide adequate drainage. The provision of any facility for discharging filter backwashing water onto the filter floor is strictly prohibited, and adequate provision shall be made for the discharge of backwash water. All of the recirculation equipment in filter rooms shall be installed so that it may easily be operated or repaired. All entrances below ground surface shall be by stairway and vertical door. Adequate headroom shall be provided above all filters. Below-ground filter rooms shall be provided with mechanical ventilation.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 18, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-190. Pumps.

Pumping equipment shall have sufficient capacity to discharge the volume of water for the required turn-over of the pool against the maximum head in the recirculation system. The pump used for backwashing sand filters shall have sufficient capacity to backwash the unit at the rate of at least 12 gallons per minute per square foot of filter area against the maximum head developed during backwashing.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 19, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-200. Hair and lint catchers, gutters.

Hair and lint catchers shall be able to be easily and simply dismantled for cleaning and inspection. Floating material and scum shall not be allowed to collect on the surface of the water.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-210. Filters.

The filtration system shall be maintained and operated as designed. In sand filters, the layer of filter sand shall be at least 20 inches in depth, properly supported by uniform layers of clean graded gravel to a minimum depth of 12 inches or supported by porous plates. The filter sand shall have an effective size of between 0.45 and 0.55 millimeters with a uniformity coefficient not greater than 1.7. In anthracite coal filters, the anthracite shall have a depth of at least 24 inches and shall have an effective size between 0.6 and 0.8 millimeters with a uniformity coefficient of not greater than 1.8. Pressure filters shall be equipped with readily accessible air relief valves and access holes large enough to permit inspections, maintenance, and repair work. Each pressure filter system shall be equipped with a pressure gauge at least four inches in diameter on the inlet and outlet to indicate the pressure in pounds per square inch, and a sight glass that can be easily removed for cleaning shall be provided on the waste discharge line. Gravity type filters shall be equipped with loss of head gauges.

The filtration rate for diatomaceous earth filters and similar equipment may not exceed 1-1/2 gallons per square foot of filter area with eight hours turn-over of pool volume unless continuous slurry feed is provided, in which case, the rate shall not exceed three gallons per minute per square foot of filter area.

Arrangements or equipment shall be provided for application of filter aid and proper precoating and cleaning of filter elements. All filters shall be capable of being cleaned or backwashed by use of the washwater pump and the manipulation of valves.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-220. Rate of flow indicators.

When not prescribed by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63) in effect at the time of the pool's construction, the recirculation system shall be equipped with a rate of flow indicator reading in gallons per minute. Indicators shall be properly maintained, easily readable, and located so as to indicate both the rate of flow of the effluent from the filter and the rate of backwash in gallons per minute in sand or anthracite coal filters.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-230. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 23, eff. March 1, 1962; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-240. Chemical feeding equipment.

Chemicals shall be automatically fed into the water in the recirculation system by mechanically operated, positive chemical feeders or open-type chemical machines. Closed-type solution pots are prohibited.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-250. Disinfection equipment.

All swimming pools shall be provided with approved chlorine feeding equipment. The chlorinating equipment shall be capable of applying a dose up to 6.0 ppm of chlorine at the rate of recirculation. Chlorine gas feeding equipment and chlorine gas cylinders shall be installed in an enclosed space or room separate from the filter room and equipped with a door capable of being locked. When this chlorinator room is tight, it shall be equipped with a forced draft fan exhausting to the outside from the floor level, and a fresh air inlet shall be provided near the ceiling. Forced draft apparatus shall have sufficient capacity to exhaust the contents of the room in at least three minutes. The chlorine gas tanks shall be protected from direct sunlight and fastened in place during storage and use. An approved type gas mask shall be provided where chlorine gas is being utilized. Gas masks shall be located accessible to, but outside of, the chlorinator room.

Nothing in this section shall be construed as debarring any other method of disinfection or filtration equipment demonstrated to be of at least equal efficiency and approved by the State Health Commissioner.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 25, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-260. Chemical testing equipment.

Each swimming pool shall be provided with satisfactory equipment for the determination of hydrogen-ion concentration (pH) ranging from 6.8 to 8.0. Satisfactory equipment shall also be provided for the determination of residual chlorine content ranging from 0.0 to 1.0.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 26, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-270. Operating records.

Acceptable records of the operation of the swimming pool shall be maintained. These records shall include pH levels, free chlorine residual, water clarity, cleanliness, and such other things as may be required for the health and safety of the bathers. These records shall be kept on file for a period of one year.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 27, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-280. Disinfection.

The chlorination equipment shall be operated so as to maintain a free chlorine residual content of not less than 0.5 ppm at all points throughout the swimming pool water when there are bathers present.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 28, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-290. Alkalinity.

The hydrogen-ion concentration should be maintained at 7.2 or above.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 29, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-300. Filtration; water clarity.

The filters should be operated 24 hours per day during the season of use of the swimming pool. At all times when the pool is open for use, the water shall be sufficiently clear to permit a disc six inches in diameter, divided into alternate black and white quadrants, when placed on the bottom of the pool at the deepest point, to be clearly visible from the swimming pool deck at all distances up to ten yards in a horizontal direction from the projection of the disc on the swimming pool surface.

Chemicals other than chlorine, sodium or calcium hypochlorite, lime, soda ash, and aluminum sulfate shall not be used to treat swimming pool water without permission.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 30, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-310. Filter room placards.

A placard shall be prominently displayed showing the following data: (i) size of the swimming pool in feet and volume in gallons; (ii) capacity of the filters in square feet and gallons per minute; (iii) capacity of the pumps in gallons per minute at the appropriate head in feet; (iv) head loss at which the filters should be backwashed; and (v) complete instructions for operating the recirculation and disinfection equipment.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 31, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-320. Lifeguards.

The management of any transient lodging establishment where a swimming pool has been provided for the use of guests shall designate and have on duty a reliable and competent person as a lifeguard and management shall further provide for the use of this lifeguard, such life saving equipment as may be required depending upon the size and depth of the pool.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 31, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-330. Commissioner approval.

For any items not specifically covered in this chapter or the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63), the State Health Commissioner is authorized to require that all swimming pool features function adequately, effectively, and without excessive maintenance and operational difficulties to protect the health and safety of those using swimming pools.

It shall be the duty of the applicant to provide such data, tests, or other adequate proof that the device, material, or product will satisfactorily perform the function for which it is intended before such item shall be approved or accepted for tests.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-340. Water supplies, lighting, overflow facilities, inlets and outlets.

See 12VAC5-460-40 through 12VAC5-460-150.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 33, eff. March 1, 1962.

12VAC5-460-350. Location and slopes.

Wading pools shall be located so that drainage from surrounding areas will not wash contamination into pools during rainfall.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-360. Deck area.

Wading pool decks shall be maintained to have and retain a finish as smooth as possible that is nonslip to bare feet.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-370. Protection.

When not prescribed by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63) in effect at the time of the facility's construction, wading pools and wading areas shall be separated from swimming pools by appropriate protection features.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-380. Water circulation systems.

The recirculation system of wading pools shall be maintained in working order as designed. When not prescribed by the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (13VAC5-63) in effect at the time of the pool's construction, the recirculation system shall provide a pool volume turn-over rate of once in three hours or less or have properly treated water continuously added at a rate of flow sufficient to replace all of the water in the wading pool once in three hours or less. The overflow water, with this method, shall be continuously discharged to waste.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-390. Waste discharge.

See 12VAC5-460-120.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 38, eff. March 1, 1962.

Part III
Spray Pools

12VAC5-460-400. Water supplies.

Water sprayed into a pool shall be from an approved supply. Spray heads shall be properly maintained as designed.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-410. Materials.

Spray pools shall be maintained to have a finish as smooth as possible, but nonslip to bare feet.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-420. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 41, eff. March 1, 1962; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-430. Drains.

Drains of spray pools shall be maintained and operated in a manner so that water sprayed into the pool will not pond in the pool bottom.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

12VAC5-460-440. Deck areas.

Decks shall be maintained to have and retain a finish as smooth as possible and nonslip to bare feet.

Statutory Authority

§ 35.1-11 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-35-05 § 3, eff. March 1, 1962; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 1, eff. October 17, 2019.

FORMS (12VAC5-460).

Swimming Pool Operators Weekly Report - #LHS-183.

Swimming Pool Inspection Form - #LHS-182.

Swimming Pool Construction Report - T.E.S. 1505.

Water Quality Test Results.

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