Water Recreation Facility Licenses



A health license is required for new water recreation facilities or whenever there is a change of ownership. The license must be renewed annually. Each Water Recreation Facility License Application (2022(PDF, 1MB)) must be accompanied by:

  • Electrical Inspection Form (2022(PDF, 1MB)) completed by a Master Electrician
  • Application-processing fee of $400 for year-round pools, $200 for seasonal pools, and $100 for each additional body of water. Payable via mail, phone, or in-person. Make checks payable to the Arlington County Treasurer.
  • Pre-opening:

New Construction/Remodeling

Plan Review

The construction and operation of public swimming pools, spas, and interactive water features in Arlington County must comply with Chapter 24.1, Water Recreation Facilities Ordinance of the Arlington County Code.

Prior to construction, submit your plans and pay the $160 plan review fee. You may submit these online using the ePlan Review portal. For more information, visit the Arlington County Permit Office’s website Commercial Building Permit Submission Requirements.

Public Pool Connections

New public or commercial pools are required to be connected to the sanitary sewer system. Contact Arlington County’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development, Inspection Services Division, at 703-228-3800 for information about swimming pool connections and requirements.

Pool Safety

All swimming pools must have a certified lifeguard and person in charge on site during all hours of pool operation. The person in charge must be able to demonstrate their skills in the areas of water chemistry, hydraulics, microbiology, and other relevant areas related to the safe operation of public swimming pools and public spas.

There are steps you can take to prevent illness and injury at water recreation facilities. Read more about Recreational Water Illness and Drowning and Drain Entrapment.

Report near drownings to the Public Health Division during business hours at 703-228-7400. During evenings and weekends, call 703-558-2222 and ask for the Public Health Duty Officer. Submit the Drowning and Injury Report Form(PDF, 346KB).

Follow CDC Guidelines to ensure that you have a healthy swimming experience each and every time. 

Guidance During COVID-19

Executive Order 79

Executive Order 79 took effect on May 28, 2021 at midnight and eased all distancing and capacity restrictions. The following still apply:

  • All individuals in the Commonwealth aged two and older are strongly encouraged to cover their mouth and nose with a mask, except while eating, drinking, or exercising, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
  • Any private entity may adopt a mask policy that is more stringent than the Executive Order, so long as the entity’s policy does not violate state or federal law. An entity, however, may not adopt a policy that is less stringent than Executive Order 79.

Arlington County and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) continue to encourage establishments to follow VDH and CDC recommendations and best practices for masking, distancing, handwashing, cleaning, symptom screening, ventilation, and other mitigation measures. Accordingly, VDH has released new General Recommendations for Businesses and other Establishments Maintaining a Healthy Facility and Preventing COVID-19.

Additional requirements for employees and employers can be found in the Department of Labor and Industry’s (DOLI) Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19. DOLI FAQ’s may be found here.

Pools that Remain Closed

In most cases, it is safer and more cost effective to keep the pool running and balanced to prevent damage to the pool/equipment, mosquito breeding, biofilm, mold, algae, and other outbreaks.

  • Due to a high-water table, do not drain pools to prevent them from popping out of the ground.
  • Get the water circulating. If pumps are equipped with Variable Speed Drives, the speed can be turned down significantly, but it is important to keep circulating and filtering the water.
  • Keep water balanced and chlorinated! Chlorine setpoints can be reduced to a minimal level (1-3 PPM). This is key to prevent mosquito breeding, biofilm, mold, and algae from forming.
  • Turn off or lower the setpoint for heaters.
  • Keep up on basic maintenance and repairs to prevent more expensive damage or issues.

Spas, Wading Pools, & Interactive Water Features that Remain Closed

  • Small, shallow bodies of water can typically be safely drained. All plumbing lines, pumps, and especially filters should be drained of water to prevent biofilm and mold growth.