Please review this page carefully to help prepare for a successful pool season.

COVID-19 Guidance for Swimming Pools

Swimming Pools May Begin Opening on May 14, 2020. Seasonal Pools Must Have Health Department Approval Prior to Opening.

As a result of Governor Kemp’s Executive Order from May 12, 2020, seasonal pools are allowed to open if they have received a passing inspection from the health department and have implemented the Georgia Department of Public Health’s required measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Pools operating year-round may open once required COVID-19 prevention measures have been implemented.  An inspection from the health department is not required for year-round pools to reopen.

Note:  Executive Order continues to allow for up to 50 people to gather in a single location without adequate social distancing, though it is strongly encouraged that people who do not live together maintain adequate social distancing.  Swimming pools with bathing loads below 50 must adhere to their posted bathing load limit.

Though swimming pools are not specifically referenced in the Executive Order, they would fall under the requirements listed for operations designated as “not Critical Infrastructure”.

Amusement Park Attractions May Begin Opening on June 12, 2020.

Amusement park attractions may begin opening on June 12, though attractions that are not conducive to social distancing must remain closed.  Specific COVID-19 prevention requirements for amusement parks are detailed in Executive Order  The Georgia Department of Public Health’s guidance for water park operators can be viewed below:

DPH – COVID-19 Guidance for Water Parks and Water Amusement Rides

Spas Located in Fitness Centers and Gyms May Reopen on June 16, 2020.

In accordance with Executive Order, spas located in gyms and fitness centers may reopen.

Georgia Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Swimming Pool Guidance:

DPH – COVID-19 Guidance for Public Swimming Pools (Updated on 7.8.2020)

COVID-19’s Impact on Swimming Pools

There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through properly disinfected swimming pool water; however, the virus can be spread in this environment through person-to-person contact and contact with contaminated surfaces.

The following resources are available that address swimming pool operation and maintenance during the COVID-19 pandemic:

CDC – Considerations for Public Pools, Hot Tubs, and Water Playgrounds During COVID-19

CDC – Water Transmission and COVID-19

CMAHC – COVID-19 Pandemic Resources for the Aquatics Industry

Pool & Hot Tub Alliance – Coronavirus Update

Pool & Spa News – COVID-19 and Pool Construction

General COVID-19 information and resources can be found here:

Cobb & Douglas Public Health – COVID-19 Resource Webpage

Access to Pools for Compliance Monitoring 

Part 25 Compliance Procedures 4(a) of the Rules and Regulations for Public Swimming Pools states that permitted seasonal pools shall be inspected for compliance not only prior to opening for the season but at least once during the period of operation. During the past few seasons, Environmental Health staff have had difficulty entering pools for their second inspection, which has ultimately led to a reduction in consumer protection and a loss to our operational efficiency. To better assist us in achieving our mandated inspections please be prepared to provide a gate code, key, or other means of access to your inspector if your pool is not one that is staffed during normal operational hours. ln addition, please be sure to maintain a valid phone number on file with our department for the pool’s designated on-site representative in case there is a need to make contact.

Signage Requirements

Compliant signage will be required as part of the approval criteria for opening your pool this season. Please review the following signage requirements for the respective pools and areas listed below to help ensure that your pool is ready for its opening inspection.

For All Pools:

Pool rules (in minimum 1-inch letters) posted at or near the pool’s entrance shall state the following under the heading of “Pool Risks”:

  • Shower before entering the water.
  • Children shall not use pool without an adult in attendance.
  • Adults shall not swim alone.
  • All children three years old and younger and any child not potty‐trained must wear snug fitting plastic pants or a water resistant swim diaper.
  • Do not swim if the suction outlets are missing, broken, or not clearly visible from the deck.
  • No glass articles allowed in or around pool.
  • Do not swallow the pool water.
  • Do not dive unless diving area is clear of other bathers. (Note: If the swimming pool is 5 feet or less in depth, we recommend changing this rule to “No diving allowed.”)
  • Do not swim if you had diarrhea within the past two weeks.
  • No animals are allowed in the pool or pool enclosure, except service animals are allowed on the deck.

A sign stating “EMERGENCY 911” shall be posted at the telephone.

A sign stating the pool’s hours of operation shall be posted at or near the pool’s entrance.

A sign stating the pool’s bathing load in at least 4-inch letters shall be posted at or near the pool’s entrance.

For Pools Where These Conditions Are Applicable:

Where lifeguards are not provided or at lifeguarded pools with “swim at your own risk” periods:

Signs shall be posted in a conspicuous location at or near the pool entrance that state in at least four inch (4”) high letters, “WARNING – NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” and “RISK OF DROWNING – SUPERVISE CHILDREN CLOSELY”. These two statements may be combined onto a single sign.

Where a pool slide is provided:

Rules with the heading “Risk of Illness and Injury” shall be posted at the entrance of the slide that state that the following are prohibited:

  • Running, standing, kneeling, rotating, tumbling, or stopping in any flume or tunnel.
  • Rough playing on the slide or feature.
  • Diving or flipping while exiting from a flume or feature.
  • Use of the slide while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Use of the flume or feature by more than one person at a time.
  • Failure to obey the instructions of the pool attendant or lifeguard.
  • Failure to keep hands inside the flume while using the slide.
  • Failure to leave the falling‐entry pool promptly after exiting from the slide.
  • The possession of any glass, bottle or food in or near any pool.
  • Entry into an area of grass or other vegetation and returning to slide, feature or pool.
  • The possession of any loose objects.
  • The use of any clothing other than the swimwear on the slide or feature.
  • Wearing any bracelet, watch, or other jewelry.

If the pool is a spa/whirlpool:

Rules shall be posted at or near the spa that state the following:

  • Risk of Fetus Damage. Hot water exposure limitations vary from person to person. Pregnant women and small children should not use spa without medical approval.
  • Risk of Drowning. Other persons suffering from heart disease, diabetes, high or low blood pressure, and other health problems should not enter the spa without medical approval.
  • Risk of Drowning. Do not use the spa while under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or drugs that cause sleepiness and drowsiness or raise/lower blood pressure.
  • Risk of Drowning. Use caution when bathing alone. Overexposure to hot water may cause nausea, dizziness, and fainting. Lower water temperatures are recommended for young children and for extended use (more than 10‐15 minutes).
  • Risk of Drowning. Do not use or operate spa if the suction fitting is missing, broken, or loose.
  • Risk of Child Drowning. Unsupervised use by children is prohibited. Children under five shall not use the spa.
  • Risk of Injury. Check spa temperature before entering. The spa temperature should not exceed 104°F.
  • Risk of Injury. Enter and exit slowly.
  • Risk of Injury. Keep all glass and breakable objects out of the spa area.
  • Risk of Shock. Never place electrical appliances (telephone, radio, or televisions) within five feet of the spa.

If you have any questions about these changes, please feel free to call our offices (Cobb: 770-435-7815 ; Douglas: 770-920-7311) or use our online contact form.

Change of Ownership:

If your pool has changed ownership, the previous owner’s permit is no longer valid and you will need to apply for a new permit.


In addition to the annual inspection fee, a review fee of $55 per pool will apply for any ownership change.

Failure to obtain a new operational permit as a result of a change in ownership may result in the doubling of all applicable fees, as well as additional administrative and/or legal action.

Change of Pool Name:

A change in a pool’s name requires an updated swimming pool operational permit application and a $55 processing fee.  An updated permit will be provided for posting at the facility.

For Pools that Will Open during the 2020 season:

Seasonal pools are required to have their facility (pool and bathhouse) inspected and approved for operation prior to opening each season. [Rules and Regulations for Swimming Pools Part 25 (4)(a)].


A guide to preparing your pool for an opening inspection may be found here.

For Pools that Will Not Open during the 2020 season:

Please contact us in writing, using your business or HOA letterhead, to let us know that you do not plan to open in 2019.

  • For Cobb County Pools:
    These letters may be

    • Mailed to Cobb Public Health, Center for Environmental Health, 1738 County Services Parkway SW, 2nd Floor, Marietta, GA 30008-4012,
    • Faxed to 770-431-7410, or
    • Emailed to
  • For Douglas County Pools:
    These letters may be

    • Mailed to Douglas Public Health, Center for Environmental Health, 8700 Hospital Dr., 1st Floor, Douglasville, GA 30134),
    • Faxed to 770-920-7311, or
    • Emailed to

Pool Modifications:

Any changes or alterations to your pool or bathhouse beyond what was originally approved by our department will require a modification permit from the Center for Environmental Health before the work may commence. The application for a modification permit can be found here.

Thank you for adhering to this guidance and making the necessary efforts to assure a healthy and safe swimming pool season in 2020.