Pool Licensing & Operator Resources

person testing pool

We license and inspect over 400 public indoor and outdoor swimming pools and water attractions to keep you safe and healthy.

Want to know how your favorite pool handles safety? Look up our health inspection reports below. These reports give you information on the conditions we saw at the time of inspection. Our reports may not reflect actions the establishment made to correct issues, or the current condition of the pool.

Look up health inspection reports

Licensing for New Pools and Changes of Ownership

To apply for a license for a new pool or when there is a change of ownership:

  1. Complete and submit an application and pay fees to the Madison City Clerk's Office. Fees and application must be mailed, or paid in person at the Madison City Clerk's Office.
  2. Contact a public health sanitarian at (608) 242-6515 or LEadmin@publichealthmdc.com for a pre-inspection before opening to the public.

Licenses are valid each year from July 1 to June 30. Each license we issue expires on June 30. Licenses issued after April 1 will be valid until June 30 of the following year. For example: A license issued on April 1, 2022 will expire on June 30, 2023.

Renewing Licenses

You need to renew your license each year. We will mail a renewal to you. You need to return it with your payment before June 30 of each year.

We want to better serve you! Fill out our 2-minute anonymous feedback survey about your health inspection.

Prerequisites for New Pool Construction

Safety, Maintenance, and Operation of Public Pools and Water Attractions

Pool Disinfection

What is disinfection?

Disinfection means removing bacteria, parasites and viruses from the water by sanitizing the pool water.  Chlorine is the most common disinfectant used in swimming pools and spas.

Fecal, Vomit, or Blood Incidents

Pool Water Disinfection

You must disinfect when there is a fecal, vomit, or blood accident in the pool water.

Fecal, vomit, or blood accidents contaminate pool water which can lead to illnesses.  These illnesses are spread when swimmers swallow the contaminated water.  Close the pool and follow CDC Fecal Incident Guidelines. For blood or vomit, follow the same steps as for formed stool incidents.

Document the incident on the DATCP Fecal, Vomit or Blood Incident response form. Incident forms must be kept for at least 2 years.

Pool Deck or Surface Disinfection

When blood, vomit, or feces ends up on a pool surface or deck, the area must be cleaned and disinfected immediately to prevent the spread of illness. Block off the area and follow the CDC Body Fluid Spills on Pool Surfaces steps.

Pool Water Testing

Periodically we may collect a water sample from a public pool for routine testing. Bacteria can grow in pool water when disinfectant levels are below the minimum requirements and/or the pool filtration system is not working properly. Unsatisfactory water test results are indicators that the pool is not being properly maintained.

A water test is unsatisfactory if:

  • Coliform bacteria are present
  • E. coli bacteria are present
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria are present

Unsatisfactory Water Test Disinfection Steps

If your facility’s pool or spa has had a pool water test come back positive for the presence of E. Coli or coliform bacteria, follow the steps listed in the CDC Diarrheal Incident Response Guidelines.          

If your facility’s pool or spa has had a pool water test come back positive for the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, follow the steps listed in Disinfection of Pools and Spas for Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The pool/spa may reopen once you have followed the disinfection steps and chemical levels are back in approved ranges.  For coliform present test results, no further notification is required to us. For E. Coli or Pseudomonas aeruginosa present test results, contact your assigned sanitarian or email LEAdmin@publichealthmdc.com to let them know the pool water has been disinfected and the pool is reopened.  The sanitarian will coordinate a resample of the pool water.  

Resources for Operating Pools

Stay Up to Date on Pool Safety

Get updates and resources about pool safety by signing up for our Pool Facts newsletter.

Incident Reporting Forms

Courses for Certified Water Attraction Operators

Healthy Swimming Information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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