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Pool Establishments

The City of Albuquerque Swimming Pool Ordinance (Chapter 10, Article 3) regulates the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of public swimming pools.

Public Pool Pre-opening Requirements and Maintenance

Pool Safety

Pool Operator Certification

New Federal Swimming Pool and Spa Requirements

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act went into effect December 19, 2008.  This federal law is intended to stop entrapment or evisceration of children, adults or the elderly, by pool drains in public or private pools.  This is a federal law that will be enforced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  If found in violation it could result in criminal penalties including fines.  For further information you can contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission or toll free at 1(800)638-2772.

The Consumer Health Protection Division under the Environmental Health Department will not be enforcing this law.  The City's position on enforcement, is outlined in the attached memorandum mailed in January to all pool operators that service public and semi-public pools within the City's jurisdiction.

VGB Pool Owners Official Notification Letter

Plan Review

Plans and specifications for any new construction, reconstruction, or design alteration of public pools and spas must be submitted to the Construction Services Section, before the project is started. The Plan Review office is located at 600 Second NW, and may be reached at (505) 764-1693.


Final approval and processing of a permit application is necessary for new construction and changes in ownership. A pre-opening inspection and permission to operate is required on all seasonally operated facilities before the expected opening date. An appointment should be requested several days in advance, to allow scheduling. Year-round pools under regular inspection do not require a special appointment.


The following checklist will assist you in preparing for your pre-opening inspection or checking your year-round facility for compliance.

Pool Inspection Checklist (174kb)

Safety Equipment

___Two or more U.S. Coast Guard-approved ring buoys a minimum of 457mm (18 inches) outer diameter and attached throw line 6 mm (1/4 inch thick) approximately 0.50 (1/2) pool width plus 3.1 m (10 feet)

___Life line with floats (for depths greater than 1.5 mm (5 feet)

___One pole with life hook - 3.7 m (12 feet) or longer

___Safety signs conspicuously posted included: ___WARNING--No lifeguard service is provided. All children under the age of twelve must be accompanied by an adult within the barrier area. In case of emergency, contact ___________; ___Emergency phone numbers;

___Pool capacity/bather load--2.3 ms (25 sq. ft.)/person, Class A, B, C; ___Resuscitation chart.

___First Aid Kit--American Red Cross 24 unit or equivalent

___Pool chemicals stored properly

___If gas chlorine is used, contact the Environmental Health Department for additional requirements

___Telephone on premises


___National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) approve disinfectant dispenser--must be working
___Appropriate Test Kits--chlorine (DPD type), pH, and stabilizer (cyanuric acid) test kit
___Pump, hair and lint strainer, pressure gauges, flow meters, skimmer strainer baskets, and weirs present, in good condition and working properly


___No animals allowed within the barrier, except service animals
___Grounds, buildings, dressing rooms, walkways, etc. clean and sanitary
___ A responsible person must be on the premises at all times that the pool is in operation or accessible by phone or pager.
___Daily operating records are to be maintained. All accidents are to be recorded.

Water Quality

___Stabilizer (cynauric acid) concentration less than 100 ppm
___pH between i7.2 and 8.0
___Clarity - main drain clearly visible from the runway around the deep area
___Free chlorine; ___Non-stabilized chlorine between .4 and 1.5 ppm; ___Stabilized chlorine residual between 1.0 and 4.0 ppm; ___ Combined chlorine:P 0.4 PPM maximum; ___Bromine between 2.0 and 6.0 PPM
___Wading and Whirl Pools shall be disinfected to maintain a minimum disinfectant residual (free chlorine) higher, i.e., Stabilized: 1.5 - 4.0 PPM, Unstabilized: 0.6 - 1.5 PPM
___Total dissolved solids shall be lower than 3000 PPM or 2000 PPM over naturally occurring TDS levels


___Hot Water Precaution sign
___Temperature 40 °C (104 °F) max; ___Shatterproof thermometer; ___Jets on 15 minute timer or clock visible to swimmers
___Spas with built-in seating shall indicate depth of seating level, as well as the maximum depth
___Pool capacity - 0.9 m (10 sq. ft.)/person
PRECAUTION: A child should never be left in a spa. The temperature of a spa is usually 104 °F. After only 10 minutes in a spa, a child's temperature may be the same as the temperature of the water. Pregnant women should be reminded that the same is true of a fetus.


___A certified operator must oversee pool operation and maintenance. For certification, operators must successfully complete an approved training course/test. Call (505) 768-2638 for details.