A valid Pool Permit from NET Health is required prior to opening and operating a public swimming pool, spa and/or public interactive water feature (PIWF).
Any type of pool or spa facility that is located at a hotel, motel, apartment complex, home owner association, municipal park, country club, athletic club, child care facility, school, university or a therapeutic institution is defined as a public swimming pool, spa or PIWF.
The documents below will answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding permit requirements.
Additional detailed requirements are covered in the 25 TAC, Chapter 265, Section 265.181 - 265.207, Section 265.301 - 265.308, implementing Texas Health and Safety Code, 341.064 along with NET Health District Order 2024-1.
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A public swimming pool, spa or public interactive water feature is a pool or spa facility located at a hotel, motel, apartment complex, home owner association, municipal park, country club, athletic club, child care facility, school, university or a therapeutic institution. The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) provides inspection and code enforcement activities for these facilities in NET Health jurisdiction. In the best interest of public health and to meet service demands, a permitting process is needed.
The purpose of the permitting process is to protect the public from waterborne diseases, and to prevent/protect against injuries, near drowning and drowning deaths associated with the design and operation of public swimming pools and spas. Entrapment hazards must be eliminated to prevent the swimmer's body or hair from being sucked into or onto the drain of a pool or spa.
In accordance with the rules found in 25 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 265, Sections 265.181 through 265.207 implementing Texas Health and Safety Code, 341.064 regarding the regulation of public pools and spas in NET Health jurisdiction. The NET Health Board of Health adopted District Order 2024-1 to provide for the inspection and permitting of public swimming pools, spas, and public interactive water features (PIWF) in NET Health jurisdiction. The permitting authority was effective April 1, 2009.
Public Swimming Pools, Spas, And PIWF in Smith County existing prior to April 1, 2009
The owner of a public swimming pool, spa, or PIWF must make application for a NET Health Swimming Pool or Spa Permit. A Public Swimming Pool, Spa, or PIWF in service prior to April 1, 2009 will be inspected and permitted based on compliance with the sited rules and regulations. The cost of the permit is based on the number of pools, spas, or PIWF at each location. The permit fee for the first swimming pool, spa, or PIWF is $250.00, each additional pool, spa, or PIWF at the same location is $150.00. The permit is issued for a one year period and must be renewed each year.
Applications will be mailed by NET Health in March of each year.
Public Swimming Pools, Spas, or PIWF in Smith County Constructed After April 1, 2009
Step 1: Plan Review and Preliminary Inspection
The owner of a public swimming pool, spa, or PIWF built in Smith County after April 1, 2009 & after January 1, 2022 in the City of Palestine must make an application for a plan review prior to construction. The plans and specifications for each public swimming pool, public spa, or PIWF must have a licensed professional engineer certification by letter and seal that to the best of his/her knowledge, information and belief the swimming pool or spa was designed and described to comply with present statutes 25 Texas Administrative Code 265. Plans and specifications must be reviewed and approved by the Northeast Texas Public Health District. This review does not replace the required plan review and application required by another agency, city or county. Upon plan approval the owner may begin the construction of the proposed public swimming pool, spa, or PIWF. A preliminary inspection will be conducted by the Northeast Texas Public Health District.
Step 2: Public Swimming Pool, Spa, and PIWF Permit Application
The owner of a public swimming pool, spa, or PIWF must make application for a Public Swimming Pool, Spa, or PIWF Permit and pay the appropriate fees. Once construction is complete an opening inspection will be conducted by the NET Health and if in compliance a Public Swimming Pool, Spa, or PIWF Permit will be issued. Prior to operation the public swimming pool or spa must have all other approvals required by other agencies, city or county regulations.
Training for Public Swimming Pool, Spa, and PIWF Operators and Owners
The owner of a public swimming pool, spa, or PIWF must have at least one person responsible for the daily operation of the pool, spa, or PIWF onsite during operational hours that has attended a training provided by or approved by the NET Health. Training courses will be provided by the NET Health at a cost of $65.00 and a registry will be maintained. The training is required on an annual basis. It is imperative owners and operators understand the operation and maintenance of a public swimming pool, spa, or PIWF to prevent injuries, drowning and deaths.
Health and Safety Code, Section 341.064, Swimming Pools and Bathhouses - these standards effect all non-residential pools/spas constructed prior to October 1999
Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Standards for Public Pools and Spas - Section 265.181 - 265.200 : PDF Form
To find laws pertaining to interactive water features and fountains, refer to: