Step by step

Apply to operate a swimming pool or spa

Submit an application to operate an existing or new public swimming pool or spa.

All public pool and spa operators must have a valid Permit to Operate. We make sure that all public swimming pools and spas are safe and clean. You need a Permit to Operate a pool or spa if you are:

  • Taking over ownership of a pool or spa
  • Building a new pool or spa
  • Making any changes to your pool or spa (unless you are replacing equipment with the exact same parts)

Submit an application and pay the fee

Download and fill out an application

Send your completed application and the application fee (by check or money order to the SF Department of Public Health) to: 

Environmental Health Section
ATTN: Water Quality Health Inspector
49 South Van Ness Ave., Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94103


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Build a new swimming pool

Optional step

If you are constructing a new pool or spa, you need to provide more information:

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Make sure you understand the operations requirements

Learn about the health and safety requirements for operating a pool or spa. You’ll need to provide this information before we approve your permit.

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Pay the license fee

If your pool or spa meets all the health and safety requirements, we will approve your Permit to Operate. The San Francisco Tax Collector's office will send you a bill for the annual license fee. They will prorate this year’s license fee.

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Last updated April 16, 2024