What Duties Do California Public Pool Operators Have Towards Users?

What Duties Do California Public Pool Operators Have Towards Users?

July 27, 2022

Ellis Law Corporation


All public pools have a responsibility to the people using it to ensure a certain level of safety. Accidents happen at pools all the time, from slip and falls to drownings, and they can be devastating. In many cases, users of the public pool are assuming risk to some degree, but that doesn’t mean the pool owner and operator has no responsibility. It’s important to understand your responsibility and the duty of the pool operator so you can determine who is liable if an accident occurs.

Laws Regulating Public Pools and Safety in California

California has several laws and regulations regarding public pool safety to ensure that public pools are providing a safe environment for their community to relax in.

Sanitation and Maintenance

Public Pool operators are required to keep the pool clean to ensure the safety of its users. This includes keeping the pool free from debris, such as leaves, trash, or floating algae, and keeping the areas around the pool free from clutter or other safety hazards. Slip and falls are common, so the area surrounding the pool must be maintained properly. Public pool operators must also keep the water itself clean and safe. The water should be clear enough to see the bottom of the pool and must be treated with chlorine or another appropriate chemical disinfectant.

The pool operator must test the water at least once every day to confirm the levels of chemicals in the water are safe. The pool must be tested for chlorine and pH levels.

Inspection of the Pool

Operators of public pools are required to cooperate with their county’s department of public health or other agency responsible for ensuring the safety of public pools. An agent must inspect the pool before it opens to the public and conduct periodic inspections to certify the pool remains in compliance with California laws.

Providing Lifeguards and Safety Equipment

Almost every public pool in California is required to provide a lifeguard. For those that don’t, which are very few, they must have signs indicating that no lifeguard is on duty. When public pools provide lifeguards, they must be trained in first aid and CPR and keep their training up to date. A refresher must be completed every 3 years.

Furthermore, public pools must have adequate safety equipment. At a minimum, all pools must have a first aid kit, a telephone, and a backboard with a head and neck restraint. Large pools must also provide at least two rescue poles and ring-style life preservers. Pools must also be enclosed by a fence or another structure designed to control access to the pool.

Drain Public Pool frequently

Despite most pools having a filtration system, pools need to be drained and refilled at some point. Even with proper pool maintenance, years of chemicals and the impact of landscaping around your pool takes a toll. So does dead skin, sunscreen, oils, and hair. All of this creates pool water that can no longer be effectively treated.

If you or someone you love was injured at a public pool in California and you believe the pool operator didn’t follow the rules and regulations, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Contact our Los Angeles premises liability lawyers today to set up a free consultation.