With temperatures set to feel like summer this weekend, hundreds of public pools in Wake County are gearing up for swimming season. But before they can open, the Wake County Environmental Services team has to issue permits to each and every one – that’s more than 1,300 inspections set to begin April 1.
“This is a massive undertaking for our staff, but we know how critically important it is to make sure every public pool is meeting safety standards to protect our families,” said Donald Mial, Wake County Commissioner. “From identifying any necessary repairs to advising pool owners on the best options to address issues, it’s a priority for us to provide a safe and enjoyable pool experience for all.”
Wake County inspectors make sure emergency and safety equipment is accessible and working properly and test chlorine and pH levels, which measure the level of chemicals or acidity in the water. They also ensure there are no trip hazards on the pool deck, verify proper signage is posted and check the pool pumps and suction covers. If any critical violations are found, pools are closed immediately until the owners can bring the pool back into compliance and schedule a re-inspection.
Pool owners hoping to open by May 29, Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, are asked to schedule a pool inspection immediately. Inspections are scheduled first come, first served.
To schedule an inspection:
- Use the 2023 Swimming Pool List to find contact information of your assigned inspector and check both your payment status and the expiration date for your Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB) documentation.
- Use the Opening Inspection Checklist to be ready for the inspection.
- The cost for the annual operation permit is $300 and can be paid online.
“We strongly encourage public pool operators to submit a request for an inspection as soon as possible and start this season with peace of mind,” said Jessica Sanders, Recreational Sanitation Program Manager. “If you follow our checklist in advance and are prepared for the inspection, it can take as little as an hour and you’ll be set to open or give yourself time to correct any issues.”
Wake County Environmental Services inspects pools at health clubs, neighborhoods, apartment complexes, municipal pools and other facilities. Private pools at homes are exempt from the rules. Staff inspects seasonal pools at least once during the season, while year-round pools are inspected throughout the year.