About the inspection process and enforcement:
Water Recreation Program conducts routine inspections of public water recreational facilities in Walla Walla County. These facilities include swimming pools, wading pools, spray pools, and spas at, hotels, athletic clubs, apartment complexes, schools and bed & breakfast. Additionally, the Water Recreation Program investigates injuries and complaints of illness or unsanitary conditions at all public facilities.
There are a couple different types of pools & spa and inspection frequency is based on the type of pool or spa.
Seasonal: These facilities are only open for a limited time during the year. There is one routine inspection conducted per season.
Year round: These facilities are open year round. There are two routine inspections conducted per year.
General Use: Are pools and spas that are open to the general public for use. This includes swim meets, exercise classes and formal swimming and diving classes.
Limited Use: Are pools and spas that are operated by an organization for their residents and invited guests. Examples of limited use pools & spa’s are apartment complexes, hotels, condominiums and home owners associations.
Types of Inspections
- Critical Violations: Violations of the Water Recreational Facilities Regulation are those that if left uncorrected are more likely than other violations to cause illness or injury. Some examples of critical violations are maintaining proper chemical balance for disinfection, appropriate gates and fences surrounding the water facility, and appropriate safety and emergency equipment.
- Non-Critical Violations: These violations are not directly related to causing illness or injury, but if left uncorrected could impede the operation of the pool or spa. Some examples of non critical violations are the condition of the pool and spa surface, proper record keeping and equipment maintence.
- Routine: This is a scheduled inspection, unannounced to the facility. An inspector will conduct a complete inspection covering all items in the regulations for compliance.
- Follow-up Inspection: This is an inspection for the specific purpose of re-inspecting items that were not in compliance at the time of the routine inspection.
- Training: The inspector visits the facility to present a formal training event for the pool and spa staff.
- Complaint: This is an inspection conducted as a result of a complaint received by the health department. The specifics of the complaint will be evaluated and discussed with the person in charge.
Suspension of permit to operate for imminent health hazard: The permit is suspended and a directive is given to cease and desist using unsafe portions of the facility or the entire facility to ensure public health. A hearing is not required to suspend a permit, but the opportunity must be given for a hearing after the suspension is in effect. Grounds for closure due to imminent public health risks may include but are not limited to:
The Department of Health imposes the following types of enforcement actions:
- Disinfection levels to low or to high
- pH levels to low or to high
- Water clarity
- Gate to enter the pool is not self closing
- Pumps and /or filter not operating
Revocation of permit to operate: Water Recreational Facility is closed due to accumulation of repeat, continuing and flagrant violations of the regulations that could lead to injury or illness. Before the revocation, an opportunity for a hearing must be given to the facility operator.
Summons: An order to appear in court for alleged violations of failure to comply with applicable laws.
To view inspections of water recreational establishments, click on the locality where the establishment is located in the left column of this page.