Public Swimming Pools

people swimming laps in pool

There are more than 1,300 public swimming pools in Wake County. These include city municipal pools, apartments, condominiums, subdivisions, home owner associations, clubs, etc. The local Health Department is required to inspect and permit public swimming pools prior to opening each season. 

Subsequent inspections are conducted by summer employees. Year-round pools are inspected throughout the year.

Pools are closed immediately due to safety violations such as no disinfectant in the pool or the presence of algae, bacteria, fecal material or glass.

Private pools at homes are exempt from the rules.

New Information for 2022 season

VGB documentation will be verified in the field

This year, during the permitting inspection, inspectors will be checking the pool pump(s) and suction covers to verify the approved VGB documentation on file for that pool. VGB documentation and the equipment currently installed must match before the permit can be issued.

Data collection

Inspectors will be documenting the volume and the current flow rate of the pool. Please ensure the pool has a functional flow meter prior to scheduling a permitting inspection.


For pools that have VGB documentation that expires during the 2022 season, the suction covers must be replaced and new documentation must be submitted for review prior to scheduling a permitting inspection. See Main Drain Compliance (VGB) tab for more information.

Annual Swimming Pool Inspection

On April 1st, seasonal pools can request an opening inspection. Use the list below to verify payment has been received and to locate the inspector for your swimming pool to schedule an inspection.

View the 2022 Swimming Pool List. (List will be updated with inspector assignments April 1, 2022)

Pool Billing/Fees

Annual Fees – Be sure you pay your swimming pool fees each year. The cost for the annual operation permit is $300 and can be paid online.

Pay Online Now! (Credit card or e-check accepted) 

Re-inspection Fees – During the pool season, if your swimming pool fails the permitting inspection, a $75 re-inspection fee is required prior to a second permitting visit. To pay this fee, you will need to be invoiced. Please complete the following steps:

  1. Create an account in the Permit Portal
  2. Email or call 919-856-7400 and choose option 8 to speak with an agent to have an invoice uploaded to your account.
  3. Pay the fee online.

Plan Review (New or Remodeled Swimming Pools)

Plans for new or remodeled swimming pools can now be submitted online. Click the link below to the Permit Portal to begin the application process. There is a $250 plan review fee due at the time of submittal.

Submittal Guide - This can be used to assist with the online application.

Permit Portal 

Pool Operators

All public swimming pool operators must be certified by Wake County and one of the following certified pool operator’s courses:

  • Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
  • American Swimming Pool and Spa Association, or
  • Aquatic Training Institute


To become Wake County certified, the operator must pass a test administered by the Department. Call Environmental Services at 919-856-7400 for available test times and to get signed up. We are not set up to accommodate walk-in customers for the exam. The test is based on Wake County Swimming Pool Regulations.

List of current Wake County Certified Pool Operators

Main Drain Compliance (VGB)

Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB)

Swimming pools must be compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB) before permitted to operate. Wake County requires new documentation for each public swimming pool, wading pool and spa when the original drain covers/grates are replaced at the end of their useful life rating based on the manufacturer specifications. These documents must be signed and sealed by a NC registered Engineer or Architect upon submittal to Wake County.

Steps to submit new VGB documentation:

     1.     Use the  Pool Drain Safety Compliance Data Sheet (fillable version) to provide the required information.

     2.     Review the Instructions for Submitting VGB Documentation.

     3.     Email the documentation to

To view the VGB expiration dates for all pools, click the link below. This list is current as of February 10, 2022.

VGB Expiration List

To request the VGB documentation we have on file, you will need to submit a public record request to Wake County. Enter your information and a description of the request. As part of your request, include the name and address of the pool and select “VGB and Pools” for the Department. Please allow several days for processing.


Environmental Health staff investigates complaints received from the public alleging sanitation deficiencies and safety concerns associated with public swimming pools located in Wake County.

Please note that all information received by this office, except for reports containing medical information, are public records and can be reviewed by anyone making a request to view the record.​