Pool Permits

Swimming Pools

Special Notice:  NEW POOL RULES (Effective January 1, 2021)

The Houston Health Department wants to ensure the health and safety of citizens, and we will continue this message by providing guidance for steps to reopening swimming pools.

All swimming pools and spas can reopen with guidelines mentioned in the Governor’s Executive Order.

Operators will be responsible for ensuring the pool or spa are in compliance before opening to the public. Swimming pools and spas that were closed due to critical violations must remain closed until a reinspection is performed. You may contact your inspector for your reports and other inspection details.

As per the Governor's Exective Order, indoor swimming pools may operate at up to 50 percent of the total listed occupancy of the pool facility, and outdoor swimming pools may operate at up to 50 percent of normal operating limits as determined by the pool operator. In addition to operating at up to 50 percent, we also encourage you to continue social distancing at the pools and spas.

We have included multiple links below that provide guidance for your facilities and a chart that will assist with measuring the area of your pool for maximum number of users.

TAC Code: 25 TAC, §265.184(0)(2)
Maximum Number of Users in Pool at Any Time
Operator would measure the area of the shallow area which can go up to 5 ft. and divide it by 15. If there is a deep area (deeper than 5 ft.), the area would be divided by 25. 

Maximum Numbers of Users in Class A Pools Not Being Used for Competitive Events and Class B and Class C Pools and Spas.

  • Pools with minimum deck area

    • Shallow or wading areas: 15 sq. f.t per user
    • Deep area (not including diving area: 20 sq. ft. per user
    • Diving area (per each diving board): 300 sq. ft.
  • Pools with deck areas equal to water surface area
    • Shallow or wading areas: 12 sq. ft. per user
    • Deep area (not including diving area): 15 sq. ft. per user
    • Diving area (per each diving board): 300 sq. ft.
  • Pools with deck area at least twice water surface area
    • Shallow or wading areas: 8 sq. ft. per user
    • Deep area (not including diving area): 10 sq. ft. per user
    • Diving area (per each diving board): 300 sq. ft.
  • Maximum number of users in spas, wade pools, and wade pools with paws
    • Shallow or wading areas: 8 sq. ft. per user
    • Deep area (not including diving area: NA
    • Diving area (per each diving board): NA

The Houston Health Department's pool safety program works to eliminate dangerous situations that occur when pools and other aquatic facilities are not kept up to standard safety protocols.

Pool safety investigators inspect commercial pools such as those at hotels, motels, and apartment buildings. They will also inspect residential pools when asked by owners. The program’s goal is not only to make sure the pool is up to standard, but to also educate the managers of the facilities in high standards of pool safety.

  • Houston Health Department
  • Consumer Health Services
  • 8000 North Stadium Drive, Houston, Texas 77054
  • 832-393-5100
  • 832-393-5208

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Content last reviewed September 3, 2021