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.
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.
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.
Annual operating permit fees are available on our current permit application (PDF).
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).
Contact your health care provider first and tell them that you developed a rash after swimming in a pool. They can evaluate the need for treatment to make you well. Contact our office and let us know the name of the pool. We will investigate the incident and attempt to determine the cause of the rash.
Contact your health care provider for treatment. Contact our department to report when and where you went swimming.
Swimmers itch usually refers to a rash caused by a little parasite that burrows under your skin and dies. To avoid the rash, you should shower immediately after leaving the water and towel dry and put on some dry clothes. Try to remove little water droplets before they dry on your skin. The little parasite lives in the water and can survive in a water droplet long enough to burrow under your skin.
Unintentional drowning remains a leading cause of death for small children. The fence and gate keep the unattended small children away from the pool.
Yes, not being able to detect distressed or drowning bathers is always a cause for alarm. Additionally, poor water clarity is often a result of poor filtration, poor disinfection, poor water balance, slow turnover rates, and over-saturation of chemical stabilizer. Report this immediately to the pool facility's person in charge, and then call our office. Washington state law requires pool closure in such situations until correction of this issue.
Only adults (18+) can swim alone in a limited use pool facility. If a child 12 years of age or less is using the pool, a responsible adult 18 years or older must accompany the child, and be at the pool deck at all times the child uses the facility. If an individual between 13 years-old and 17 years-old is using the pool, at least one other person (13-17 year old) must be at the pool facility.