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​Permitting a Public Bathing Place

Obtaining a Permit

The PA Department of Health requires an operating permit for all public swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and beaches. Chapter 18, the Public Bathing Code, states, "a permit shall be obtained from the Department prior to construction or operation of a public bathing place". The Chapter 18 construction requirement was amended by the passage of the Uniform Construction Code (UCC). The UCC adopts by reference in 34 Pennsylvania PA Code Section 403.26, as amended, includes the International Building Code of 2015 standard which adopts, by reference, the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code of 2015. Therefore, the Department of Health publication, the Public Bathing Place Manual, Parts I and III are no longer used in approving construction permits for public swimming pools and spas. In many municipalities in Pennsylvania, the local code enforcement officer enforces the UCC. In the event that the local municipality has opted not to enforce the UCC, the Department of Labor and Industry enforces the UCC for all new construction in those jurisdictions.

To obtain an operational permit from the Department of Health submit the Application to Operate a Public Bathing Place by following the directions included in the Application Packet.

If you plan to modify/renovate your existing facility, you will need to contact an Environmental Health Specialist at your District Office of the PA Department of Health to determine what steps are required before any changes may begin.