Pools & Spas

If you operate a pool, hot tub, or float tank in Whatcom County, you’ll need to follow the Washington State rules for water recreation facilities and have a current annual operating permit issued by us.

  • Each year you must apply for an annual operating permit, issued by us. Learn more about permit fees.
  • If you’re remodeling or building a new pool, spa, or float tank, you must get approval from the Washington State Department of Health in addition to the necessary building permits.
  • Report any injuries or illnesses to us within 48 hours. Call 360-778-6000 or email us.

We work to ensure that pools, spas, and other water recreation facilities are safe and healthy for public use. We regularly inspect facilities, investigate complaints and provide training for pool operators.

Permits & Inspections

Pools, spas, float tanks, water parks, wading pools, and other types of water recreation facilities must have an annual operating permit issued each year by the Whatcom County Health Department.

  • Permits are non-transferrable. Any change in ownership or management requires a new permit.
  • Start the process to apply for your annual operating permit.  
    • Submit plans to the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH).
    • After receiving written approval from WSDOH, submit a permit application to the Whatcom County Health Department.
    • Schedule a pre-operational inspection by calling 360-778-6000.


Annual operating permit fees are available on our current permit application (PDF)

Pool & Spa Safety

Help prevent injuries by posting rules where they are easy to see. Use symbols and pictures for easy understanding. Get more information about signage requirements.

You must report any injuries or illnesses associated with your pool, spa, or other facilities to us within 48 hours. Call us at 360-778-6000 or email environmental health

You can email injury or illness report forms to us.

Dealing with contamination? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have fecal incident response guidelines that explain how to properly treat your pool after contamination (PDF).

View All