Public Swimming Facilities and Water Attractions

A public pool or water attraction serves 3 or more individual residences or is used on a regular basis by persons other than the residents. Examples include pools installed at a hotel, tourist rooming house, bed and breakfast establishment, campground, club, housing development, apartment complex, school, or rehabilitative facility. Licensed pools are inspected on an annual basis to ensure health and safety practices are being followed and to offer education to facility owners and employees.

The Department of Safety and Professional Services must approve a pool design and construction prior to being licensed for operation. Visit the DSPS website for more information. 

The operator shall report incidents resulting in death, or serious injury or illness that requires assistance from emergency medical personnel, by the end of the next working day following the incident by phone or fax to the Bureau of Food and Recreational Businesses by calling (608) 224-4682 or faxing to (608) 224-4710.

Pool Death Injury Illness Report

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Act (VGBA) requires all commercial pools and spas to be equipped with anti-entrapment drain covers and devices. Chemicals, UV light, and normal wear will break down the cover, fastening system, and other components, which can cause a potential entrapment hazard. It is important for operators to replace drain covers before the life span expires. The life span of VGBA drain covers varies depending on the manufacturer. The following list provides the lifespan by manufacturer.

 ManufacturerLifespanManufacturerLifespan
 Aquastar5 yearsNeptune Benson10-15 years
 Eureka20 yearsParamount5 years
 Grate Ideas10 yearsPentair7 years
 Hayward7 yearsStrongwell20 years
 Lawson10 yearsWaterway7 years


The pool owner is responsible to replace expired drain/equalizer covers and keep a log and any supporting documents on site for your health inspector to review. Expired drain covers must be replaced with the same manufacturer and model. Make sure to inspect the entire device: frames, sump, screws, plaster rings, and spacers. Do not reuse old screws.

Fecal incident Response
Water Contamination Response Log
Pool Operation Code (ATCP 76)
Pool Construction Code (SPS 390)