Business Answers About Licensed Facilities

Public Swimming Pools and Spas

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Do I need a license to operate a swimming pool, hot tub, or spa?

Yes. Any pool or spa which is offered for use to the general public, including but not limited to stand-alone facilities or in association with lodging places, campgrounds, etc., must be licensed and registered with the Department of Health and Human Services. Some examples are:

  • Municipal swimming or wading pools,
  • Recreational or fitness swimming pools,
  • Hot tubs, and
  • Private Pools associated with licensed child care facilities.

Pools associated with private dwellings, apartments, condominiums, and property owners associations are exempt. Pools associated with licensed child care facilities can be exempted if the pool is made inaccessible to the children.

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How do I apply for a license and registration to operate a public pool or spa?

You may download an application or call the Health Inspection Program's main line at 207-287-5671 for a hard copy. The application requires you to provide information about the business owner and the proposal. You must provide a copy of a water test if you use a well as a water supply;  Appendix C in the application for the Onsite Wastewater Disposal System; the appropriate design checklist for your public pool or spa that is signed by a professional engineer showing compliance with the American National Standards Institute's Minimum Standards for Public Swimming Pools, showing depths, area, piping, and safety features; and plans and/or manufacturer's specifications for pumps and filtering equipment.

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How soon can I open or how soon do I get my license after an application is submitted?

Once the Health Inspector has given approval for you to operate your establishment, within 30 days of receipt of a complete application, if there are no outstanding issues, the Health Inspector will inform the Licensing Clerk to issue your license. This generally is within a week once the Health Inspector informs the Licensing Clerk.

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Are registrations transferable?

No. Health Inspection Program registrations are not transferable.

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Do I have to have a lifeguard at my public swimming pool?

No, however, every public swimming pool and spa without a lifeguard must post a conspicuous sign, stating that there is no lifeguard on duty and that all children must be supervised.

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What is the Virginia Graeme Baker Act?

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was enacted to prevent the hazard of drain entrapments and eviscerations in pools and spas. This federal law became effective on 12/19/08. Under the law, all public pools and spas must have ASME/ANSI A112.19.8compliant drain covers installed and a second anti-entrapment system installed, when there is a single main drain or multiple drains set less than 3 feet apart. Learn more at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Maine law, specifically Title 22,  2666, also requires compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

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Who is my district health inspector?

You may visit the website or call the Health Inspection Program main line at 207-287-5671 to find out who the inspector is for your town.

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How do I request an inspection?

Once your application has been submitted, your district health inspector will be in contact with you to set up a pre-operational inspection.

If you need a routine inspection, you may contact the district health inspector directly.

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Who do I speak with if I have technical questions about the requirements to operate a public pool or spa?

Your district health inspector can assist you with these questions. You may call the Health Inspection Program main line at 207-287-5671 to find out who the inspector is for your town.

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What other regulations do I need to be aware of to operate a public swimming pool or spa?

Other regulations which may affect operation of a a public swimming pool or spa include, but are not limited to, the Subsurface Wastewater Disposal Rules; the Drinking Water Rules; the Internal Plumbing Rules (PDF)  and those of the Fire Marshall's Office.

You should also check with your local municipal officials to see if there are local zoning issues or permits that you must obtain before operating your establishment.

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How can I become a Certified Pool Operator?

You may visit our website to view the Certified Pool Operator courses available.

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Where can I find the public pool or spa rules?

The Rules Relating to Public Pools and Spas can be downloaded or we can mail you a hard copy. Download a copy of the Rules.

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