Virginia’s House Bill 669, which directs the Commissioner of Health to consider whether pools and other recreational water facilities should receive oversight by the Department of Health, has passed the House and Senate, and will be sent to Governor Younkin for his signature or veto.
Specifically, HB 669 directs the Commissioner of Health to convene a work group to study whether swimming pools and other water recreational facilities should receive oversight by the Department of Health.
The bill text specifically names PHTA as a member of the workgroup, along with representatives of the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Swimming Program, municipal parks and recreation departments, injury and illness prevention experts, and other appropriate stakeholders as determined by the commissioner.
The purpose is to study whether swimming pools and other water recreational facilities for public use or in conjunction with a tourist facility or health spa should be regulated by the Department of Health.
Such a study would include consideration of current requirements for ( i) water treatment and disinfecting; (ii) the daily posting of water quality data; (iii) safety equipment and features; (iv) maintenance and safety of equipment and premises; (v) operational requirements; (vi) facility staffing; (vii) incident response; (viii) the design and construction of pool structures and equipment; and (ix) the maintenance of pool structures and equipment, and any other current requirements related to protection of the public health and safety.
The work group would report its findings and recommendations, including any recommendations for statutory, regulatory, policy, or budgetary changes that may be necessary to implement the findings, to the Governor and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions and the Senate Committee on Education and Health by November 1, 2023.