The Illinois Swimming Facility Code and accompanying regulations contain requirements on virtually every aspect of swimming pool operation and maintenance. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) enforces these requirements and is authorized to assess penalties ranging from $25 to $100 per day for each separate regulatory violation. This has resulted in fines in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars for Illinois hotels.
One area of confusion leading to big fines is the requirement that hotels obtain an IDPH permit for any swimming pool construction or renovation. Even minor improvements like changes in the filtration system or the chlorinator require permits, as do more significant improvements like installation of the recently-mandated ADA chair lift. It is important to note that county or municipal permits are distinct from IDPH permits, and those local government permits will not suffice to meet the IDPH requirements.
In order to minimize your potential exposure to fines, it is recommended that you:
- Promptly correct any violations noted in your last pool inspection.
- Check permit requirements for any improvements made in the past three years.
- Ensure pool operation reports are up-to-date.
- Conduct an internal audit of compliance with other IDPH requirements.