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Environmental Division

Phone: 913-715-6900

11811 S. Sunset Drive STE 2700, Olathe, KS 66061

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Pool Inspection Process

The Environmental Health Specialist follows specific steps when inspecting the swimming pools in Johnson County:

  1. Pool InspectorOn arrival at the swimming pool property, the inspector looks around the general area to get an overview of the site and to observe any potential safety hazards.
  2. The pool water is tested for free chlorine and pH. Free chlorine is the chlorine available to disinfect the water. pH is a measure of the acidity of the water. Below are the levels at which the chemicals should be maintained.
    Type of Pool Range of Free Chlorine Range of pH
    Swimming or Wading Pool 1.0 to 3.0 part per million 7.2-7.8
    Spa (Hot Tub) 2.0 to 5.0 parts per million 7.2-7.8
  3. If there is a spa (hot tub) at the property, the maximum temperature allowed is 104º Fahrenheit. There is no minimum temperature for pools or spas.
  4. After recording the chemical readings on the inspection form, the pumps and filters in the mechanical room are observed. If a flowmeter is present on the filter, the flow rate in gallons per minute is recorded on the report. A flowmeter is required on new construction or modifications of existing equipment. There are specific flow rates needed to turn over the water of the pool within the required periods stipulated in the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code (Article 5, Section 1).
  5. A Pool Licensed Operator (PLO) is required for each pool. During the inspection a review of the daily chemical readings that the PLO has recorded is completed to see if there have been any long-term trends in the chemical readings of the pool. In addition, the inspector verifies that the pool chemicals are being stored in a safe matter.
  6. After inspecting the pump room, the inspector walks around all of the pools to look for problems or safety concerns. At the time of the walkabout he willPool Inspector check the stability of all ladders and handrails.
  7.  After completing the survey of the pool, the inspector will fill out the inspection form for the property. Anything that is found to be in violation of the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code is noted on the inspection report.
  8. If the pool was in operation before the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code was passed in the city in which the pool is located, the pool is "grandfathered" in and does not have to make structural changes to meet the county code. However, if any additions or modifications are made to the swimming pool or equipment, the pool has to meet all of the code.
  9. A copy of the inspection report is given to the pool office or left in the pump room. A copy is also kept in the JCDHE files. All inspection data is entered into a database making a pool property's inspection history easy to track.

Pool Operator Info

Certified/Licensed Pool Operators Informationpool marker

A licensed pool operator is any person who completes an application with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, passes an exam, and pays the fee. Licensure is valid for three years. A nationally recognized swimming pool operations course may be accepted at the discretion of JCDHE.

Information Sheets:

The Code:

Water Quality

Pool operators are required to check the water quality of the pool at least once every day. Keep in mind that hot sunny days and/or many swimmers can have an effect on the water quality. In those instances, it may be a good idea to check the quality more often.

Guidelines to Follow:

  • Chlorine residual should be maintained between 1 part per million (ppm) and 3 ppm as free available chlorine for swimming pools and between 2 ppm and 5 ppm as free available chlorine for spas.
  • Bromine residual should be maintained between 2 parts per million and 5 parts per million as free available bromine.
  • JCDHE may allow the maintenance of a higher disinfectant residual in special cases.
  • The pH of the pool water should be maintained in a range of 7.2 to 7.8. 
  • The pool water should be sufficiently clear so that the main drain is readily visible from the pool or a black disc 6 inches in diameter placed at the deepest point is clearly visible from the deck of the pool.
  • When there is reason to believe that the pool water poses a potential health hazard, water samples for bacteriological analysis should be taken to ascertain the sanitary quality of the pool water and to aid in proper control.

Required Safety Equipmentring buoy

Every pool covered by the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code is required to have safety equipment that is accessible to bathers. The lifesaving equipment must be mounted in a conspicuous place and distributed around the pool deck where readily accessible. The function should be plainly marked. The equipment must be kept in good repair and ready for use. Bathers must not be allowed to use or tamper with the equipment except for emergency use.

The following is required safety equipment for every 2,000 square feet of water surface:

  • A ring buoy, not more than 15 inches in interior diameter, to which is attached a 60 foot length of 3/16 inch rope.
  • A life pole or shepherd's crook on a non-extendable pole, blunted at both ends, with a minimum length of 12 feet.
  • 24 unit first aid kit kept filled and ready for use.
  • Where no lifeguard is on duty a sign shall be placed in plain view and state, "WARNING, NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY."  In addition, a sign stating, "CHILDREN SHOULD NOT USE POOL WITHOUT AN ADULT IN ATTENDANCE" shall be placed in plain view.
  • Both signs must be printed in 4 inch high upper case lettering.  Lettering may be as narrow as 1.5 inches wide to save space on the signs.
  • Where lifeguard service is required, the pool shall have a readily accessible area designated and equipped for emergency care.


Swimming Pools

swimmingThe purpose of the swimming pool inspection program is to protect, promote, and preserve the health, safety and general welfare of the public by providing for the establishment and enforcement of minimum standards for safety, cleanliness, and general sanitation for all swimming pools, spa pools, beaches, and public bathing places now in existence or hereafter constructed or developed, and to provide for inspection and licensing of all such facilities.

Inspection Jurisdiction

Johnson County Health and Environment inspects public and semi-public swimming pools, spas, and beaches in cities that have adopted the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code. These cities are Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Olathe, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Shawnee, Spring Hill, Stilwell, and Westwood. JCDHE has no authority to inspect swimming facilities located in cities not listed here. If you have concerns and your city is not listed, contact your city government.

A copy of the Johnson County Environmental Sanitary Code can be found on our Forms and Fees page

InspectionsPool Inspector

Swimming facilities are inspected year round. There are currently more than 300 public and semi-public swimming facilities that are permitted and inspected in Johnson County. JCDHE performs routine inspections.


Please use this online form to submit a complaint or concern that you would like JCDHE to investigate.  This form can also be found under Report Pollution on the Environment menu.

Annual Permitting

Permitting for public or semi-public swimming pools, spas, and bathing beaches covers operation from April 1 to March 31. Every year permit applications are mailed to every facility having a pool, spa and/or wading pool that requires licensure. Every licensed establishment requires supervision by at least one licensed operator.

All public or semi-public swimming pools, pool spas, beaches, or public bathing places must obtain an annual operating permit no later than April 1st of each year.  Permit applications are mailed to the facilities by March 1st of each year.  Permits are valid for one year and are not transferable to new owners.

If a public or semi-public swimming facility does not renew by April 1st or is found to be operating without a current license, then the facility will be required to pay an amount equal to twice the normal annual permit fee.

If multiple pools are located at different addresses but are considered part of one complex, each pool must submit an application, pay the annual permit fee, and obtain a separate license.

Steps to a Successful Permit or Renewal Process

  • Fill out the permit application completely.
  • Submit the permit application by mail, along with the correct fee, by April 1st of each year,  A separate application and fee is required for pools with different addresses.
  • Ensure a currently licensed pool operator is listed on the application.

Things to Remember

Once you've received your permit for the coming year, there are important things to remember to ensure the safety of swimmers.

  • If the pool operator changes at any time, notify the Environment Division immediately.
  • Prior to opening, make sure the pool, pumps, filters, all safety equipment, signage, and chemicals are ready for use and in operating condition.
  • Notify the Environment Division of any changes to the pool or pumps.
  • Close the pool if any imminent health, water quality or safety issues are present in the pool.

Upcoming Events

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October 26, 2016 | 10:00 am to 6:30 pm

Walk-in Clinic Hours

November 2, 2016 | 10:00 am to 6:30 pm

Walk-in Clinic Hours

November 9, 2016 | 10:00 am to 6:30 pm

Walk-in Clinic Hours

November 9, 2016 | 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Solid Waste Management Committee Meeting

November 11, 2016 | 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

JCDHE Closed on Veterans Day (Nov. 11, 2016)