City of Alexandria, VA
Aquatic Health Program
Our mission is to protect the health and safety of the patrons at Alexandria’s public and semi-public pools, spas and water parks. Public pools and spas include those located at hotels, parks, recreation centers, water parks and fitness centers. Semi-public pools include those located at apartment complexes and condominiums. More>>
The Environmental Health Division regulates and evaluates (inspects) approximately 140 aquatic facilities in the city. About 125 of these facilities are outdoor pools or spas that operate only during the summer season. Unannounced evaluations of these facilities are conducted approximately every two weeks. The remaining aquatic facilities operate year-round and are evaluated monthly.
These evaluations assure that pools and spas are properly maintained, are free from safety hazards, and have water that has been properly disinfected. Certified lifeguards and licensed pool operators are required at all public or semi-public pools. Construction plans for new and remodeled aquatic facilities are reviewed to ensure proper construction to meet health requirements.
Telephone: 703.746.4910 (main line); 703.746.4868 (technical or plan review questions)
For alerts and new updates for this program, create an eNews account at https://enews.alexandriava.gov and subscribe to our Pool & Spa Safety for Businesses group. You can get updates sent to your email, phone, pager, or all three.
During the summer, the Environmental Health Division hires additional staff to assess the seasonal aquatic health facilities. David Weber will be joined this year by Adam Dalke as our seasonal Environmental Health Specialists in 2012. Their background will be available in our June 2012 edition of The Lifeline below.
Below is a list of our frequently requested forms, applications, and guides for aquatic facilities.
*Permit Section has more information on how to obtain a permit.
Is this list missing anything? Let us know what else you want to see here.
If your facility has been issued a civil penalty for non-compliance of a City of Alexandria Code, the back of your Notices of Violation (click here to see a PDF example) will explain what your next steps should be. A Notices of Violation (NoV) has been referred to as a 'ticket' in previous years.
How to Pay: All NoV payments must be sent, with the white copy, to the Treasury at City Hall at 301 King Street, as per the instructions on the back of the form. Do not forget to fill out the back of the NoV before you send it. NEVER send your payment to the Health Department; the Health Department cannot process it.
Contesting the Violation: If you would like to contest the violation, you must make your objection in writing to the Health Director within ten (10) calendar days of the violation's issuance. For more information about this process, please review the back of the Notices of Violation and then contact our office.
During the pool’s hours of operation, at least one person on the premises of each aquatic facility shall hold a licensed pool operator card. This photo identification card is proof that the operator has passed the approved exam within the last three years. Operators must present this card to the Health Department during routine assessments, and the card can only be obtained by individuals sixteen (16) years of age or older.
The Health Department does not require pool operators to attend formal training prior to taking the exam; however, training is strongly recommended. The Health Department does not maintain a list of recommended instructors or organizations that provide pool operator training.
The Alexandria and Fairfax County Health Departments have contracted with the Swimming Pool and Spa Association™ (SPSA) at www.poolandspaassociation.com to proctor the pool operator exam. The exam is fifty (50) questions and costs $75 per attempt. The cost of the licensed pool operators card is included in the exam fee.
Testing Locations & Hours
Prospective pool operators can take an approved exam at several SPSA testing sites. The times, locations, and availability can vary by season, so pool operators should call 703.829.3391 or visit the SPSA’s website at http://poolandspaassociation.com/exam_info.htm for more information. In most cases, individuals do not need to make a reservation to take an exam. However, groups of three or more individuals should make reservations either by going on online at www.supersaas.com/schedule/SPSA or by calling in advanced.
The Environmental Health field staff conduct different types of evaluations, including: routine, complaint, follow-up, and pre-openings. With the exception of the pre-openings, all evaluations are unannounced. Routine evaluations for aquatic facilities occur every two to four weeks, and complaint and follow-up evaluations occur on an as-needed basis. Pre-opening evaluations occur by appointment only, and only when an aquatic facility prepares to open for the for the first time, after construction or renovation, or before a seasonal pool re-opens for the spring season. After an evaluation is conducted, the EHS will leave a report with the pool operator onsite.
Pool management companies that operate an aquatic facility on behalf of its owner must be licensed by the Environmental Health Division. Pool owners, including facilities that are owner-operated, are not required to be licensed. All others must complete an application and return it with the annual fee (.pdf).
Information commonly requested from our department is now available on this website. Other information, data, or reports can be obtained by filing a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA). Visit alexandriava.gov/FOIA for more information.
Permits and Licenses:
End of Season Letters: At the end of each August, seasonal facility owners are mailed an end of season letter notating all deficiencies observed at their facility. These deficiencies must be resolved before the facility attempts to open for the following pool season. A copy of this letter is also mailed to the pool management company who was responsible for the pool during that season.
Evaluations: recent evaluations are available from alexandriava.gov/foia.