Recreational Water (Pools & Spas)

The Environmental Health Department is responsible for overseeing that public and semi-public pools and spas are operated in a healthy way that prevents the spread of diseases, in accordance with the Colorado Pool & Spa Regulations. Although staffing levels do not permit the regular inspection of such facilities, staff will investigate complaints received by the public. Such investigations focus on determining:

  • Whether the pool or spa was the cause of the illness
  • The operational gap that caused the illness (i.e. lack of disinfectant)
  • Capacity of the operator for maintaining the facility and 
  • Proper record keeping. 
Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Swimmer’s Ear. Are these Star Trek-like characters from other planets?

No, these are all illnesses that can be acquired from use of swimming pools, spas, lakes or other recreational waters.

Spas can be the biggest problem for recreational water acquired illnesses due to the increased temperature of the water and high usage. These create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and other pathogens. Proper maintenance of chemicals as well as frequent flushing and filtration of the water can significantly reduce or eliminate the occurrence of these diseases. Controlling the occurrence of these illnesses in Summit County can be more of a challenge due to the high usage of spas and higher seasonal usage demands.

Plan Reviews are now required for all new or majorly remodeled commercial/public pools & spas.

Please complete and submit the Plan Review Packet for review.  See the fee schedule for current Plan Review Application fee and inspection fees

All Commercial/Public Pools & Spa are required to have a Certified Pool Operator on Staff while operating.   Find a class near you.

Operators may use these forms to keep accurate records:

Pool Logs               Spa Logs

Items that will cause immediate closure of a facility

  • Automatic Chlorinator or equivalent not functioning.
  • Inadequate residual disinfectant or unapproved disinfectant. 
  • Two consecutive water samples taken from the pool and/or spa exceed the bacterial standards of the Swimming Pool and Mineral Bath Regulations, Section 4.5.1 and/or Section 4.5.2. 
  • pH is not in the range of 7.2 to 8.0.
  • Turbidity: the grate openings on the main drain(s) are not clearly visible from the deck.
  • Feces are found in the pool or spa at any time.
  • A disease outbreak is associated with the swimming, bathing, or recreational water area.
  • Other circumstance that poses an eminent health hazard to the public, in the judgment of the Health Officer.

Short term rental/HOA requirements 

An HOA owned/operated pool that is rented commercially to the public is not considered to be a Private Pool and is therefore subject to the Regulations. If the HOA supplies the Department with official documents prohibiting the short term rental of units within the complex, then the Department considers the pool to be a Private Pool and it would not be subject to the Regulations.

See the Interpretive Memorandum for complete information.