Public Pools and Spas

Dedicated to the protection of public health and safety at public recreational facilities.

Pool regulations and codes are developed to make sure that treated recreational water facilities (pools, hot tubs and water parks, for example) provide a clean, healthy and safe environment for the public. These regulations set minimum standards for design and construction of these public bathing facilities (PBFs), as well as continuous operation and maintenance.

To ensure that these regulations are followed, the NHDES Public Pool and Spa Program regularly inspects treated recreational water venues. Private residential pools are exempt from this program. The state currently monitors conditions at more than 1,300 bathing facilities. If any of these standards are violated, a pool, spa or water slide may be closed by NHDES or the local health officer until corrective measures have been completed.

Mandatory requirements for all public bathing facilities (PBFs)

a row of red life vestsA one-time registration form is required to be submitted for each public bathing facility (PBF). There is NO FEE associated with the registration. A follow-up registration is required if changes to registered information are made. NHDES uses the information provided in the mandatory registration to establish a database of PBFs, documenting contact information, basic physical specifications and circulation system details for each facility. To submit the form, you will need to create an account on See our FAQs for information on setting that up. The online form and more information is available on the form webpage linked below.

Complete a registration form  

lab beakersOwners and operators of PBFs are required to conduct an annual, fee-based self-certification of each existing facility. The annual self-certification fee is $250 per PBF (regardless of size) up to a maximum of $1,500 annually for any facility that has more than six PBFs. It includes an annual compliance declaration that focuses on the practical aspects of public pool and spa operation such as: circulation, filter and disinfection system performance, daily water quality testing and recordkeeping, presence of critical life-safety equipment, and facility maintenance. For seasonal facilities, the annual self-certification must be completed annually before reopening. To submit the form, you will need to create an account on See our FAQs for information on setting that up. The online form and payment instructions are available on the form webpage linked below.

Complete your Self-Certification Form  

book on dockAll PBFs must operate under the supervision of a certified pool operator (CPO). A CPO may be the owner or designee, an employee of the establishment where the PBF is located, or a contracted vendor. The CPO is responsible for training on-site personnel in the basics of daily operation, including but not limited to, water testing and record keeping, documenting operational issues, maintaining water quality/clarity, handling sanitizers and pool closure procedures. The CPO must personally visit the PBF at least once a week to ensure the pool is being operated in a safe and sanitary manner, and the CPO must be available by telephone to on-site personnel whenever not personally present. Certifications can be obtained from an approved training program dedicated to the operation of PBFs. To find an in-person or virtual training course offering in New Hampshire, visit the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance webpage linked below. 

Pool and Hot Tub Alliance Training  

New Construction Permits

A permit is required before the construction of a new public bathing facility in order to ensure water quality, protect public health and protect the environment.

Resources for PBFs

Owners and operators of PBFs should retain records of the operation and maintenance of their facilities, along with documentation of water quality testing.

Resources for the Public

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Did you know?

Did you know?

Each year in the U.S., nearly 300 children under the age of 5 drown in residential and public pools and spas; 100% of all drownings are preventable.   

Water Illnesses

Recreational water illnesses are caused by germs spread by swallowing, inhaling, or having contact with contaminated water in public bathing facilities.

Swimmer Safety

In order to protect yourself and your loved ones, it is important to understand how to avoid the risks and injuries associated with swimming.

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Report an illness/complaint from a Public Bathing Facility.

Report an illness/complaint from a Public Bathing Facility.

Please fill out this form if you, your child, or a family member became sick from swimming at a public pool or spa.

Fill out the form