Public Pools

The Madison County Health Department permits and inspects all public swimming pools, wading pools, and spas in the county. Public swimming pool permitting and inspections fall under the North Carolina Rules Governing Public Swimming Pools 15A NCAC 18A .2500. By ensuring the proper construction and maintenance of public swimming pools, environmental health works to provide the public with safe and enjoyable aquatic facilities.
For more information on swimming pools, please contact environmental health at (828) 649-9598.
For Rules Governing the Sanitation of Public Swimming Pools

Operators of public swimming pools are required to obtain a permit each year based on their dates of operation. In order to obtain a permit, the operator must submit an application, the required fee, and make an appointment with the health department before a permitting inspection can occur. In addition, the pool or spa must meet all requirements for a permit including the following:

  • Acceptable disinfectant and pH levels
  • Acceptable water clarity and temperature
  • Availability of required safety equipment
  • Required signage, depth markings, and notices
  • Approved emergency phone with signage
  • Drain covers that are secure and in good repair
  • Pool wall, floor, and deck that are in good repair and free of trip hazards
  • Clean and safe bathing and changing facilities
  • Approved fencing and self-closing doors or gates

For more information, contact environmental health at (828) 649-9598
Swimming Pool Plan Review $200.00


  1. Do public swimming pools have to have a lifeguard?
    No, North Carolina does not require that public pools provide a certified lifeguard. Although pools are required to provide rescue equipment and warning signs, it is the responsibility of individuals to follow all pool rules and parents to properly supervise their children.
  2. I smell a strong chlorine odor coming from the pool and my eyes burn. Is there too much chlorine?
    No, as the free chlorine being introduced into the pool to disinfect the water combine with ammonia and other nitrogen containing organic compounds (such as perspiration, urine saliva and body oils) it forms what is called a chloramine. Chloramines produce the foul, irritating odor and can cause burning of the eyes. This is a sign that the pool needs a massive “shock” of free chlorine to burn off the accumulating chloramines
  3. What is a “suction hazard”?
    Circulation pumps are used to pull water through the filtration and disinfection system. These pumps are designed to draw the entire volume of a pool every 6 hours, wading pool every 4 hours and a spa every 30 minutes. If multiple outlets or Suction Vacuum Release Systems (SVRS) are provided, it is possible for a bather to become entrapped on a drain cover and get their hair entangled.
  4. How do I protect myself and my children from suction hazards?
    Before entering any pool, visually inspect to see that all drain covers are intact, not broken and properly secured. Pool operators are required to visually and physically inspect all drain covers daily to ensure they are properly secured and in good condition. In addition, after April 1, 2006, no public swimming pool that has a single main drain or single outlet to any pump will be allowed to operate unless they install an approved SVRS in conjunction with an anti-entrapment drain covers. If you find a broken or missing drain cover get everyone out of the pool and notify the facility immediately.
  5. Do public swimming pools have to have a certified operator?
    Yes, all public swimming pool owners are required to provide for the operation of the pool by a person or persons who has obtained either a pool and spa operator certificate issued by the National Swimming Pool Foundation or other organization that provides training on those subjects specified in Rule .2537(c).


Plan Review                                                                       $200.00

Yearly Annual Pool Fee                                                      $200.00

Yearly Seasonal Pool Fee                                                   $150.00

(+$50 yearly/each additional wading pool, spa, etc.) as of June 2010