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Every year thousands of Idahoans use swimming pools, splash parks, water parks, rivers and lakes to recreate and cool off. Although this is a great way to spend leisure time, recreational water can sometimes cause illness if not properly maintained or is contaminated.

The role of the district health department is to inspect regulated swimming facilities and provide technical support and public outreach to the community concerning water illness issues.

In Idaho, public swimming pools are required to be licensed and inspected each year. The definition of a public pool in Idaho is:
  • A pool and its appurtenances that contains water more than two (2) feet deep, is used or intended to be used for swimming, diving, or recreational bathing, and is for the use of any segment of the public pursuant to a general invitation but not an invitation to a specific occasion or occasions.
  • Hotel, motel, and private club pools where general membership allows use of the pool to members and not the general public, are not considered public swimming pools and are not subject to regulation by Idaho health departments.

Plan review $100
Annual Permit $50


No person shall construct or remodel a public swimming pool unless plans and specifications have been submitted and approved.

A plan review fee of $100.00 must be submitted.


The rules governing construction and operation of Public Swimming Pools in Idaho require each licensed pool to have a certified operator that works for the facility. Southwest District Health offers a heath district operator class. You may download the Certified Operator Swimming Pool Course to review and study for the test at your convenience. The test is not open book and there is no fee to take the test. Upon passing the test, a certificate is awarded and will be good for three years. For more information or to arrange a time to take the test, please call (208) 455.5400.

Helpful Links:

Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week 2010
Southwest District Health Application for a Public Swimming Pool
Fecal Accident Response Recommendations for Swimming Pools
Swimming Pool Plan Review Document
Center for Disease Control, Healthy Swimming
Rules Governing Construction and Operation of Public Swimming Pools in Idaho
National Swimming Pool Foundation
Infant Swimming Research
Southwest District Health Crypto Information
Certified Operator Swimming Pool Course
Harmful Algal Bloom Brochure