Skip navigation

Public swimming pool licensing

All outdoor public swimming pools and spas must be licensed.

Private swimming pools and natural swimming areas don't need a license.

Building, installing or substantially altering a public pool requires formal review.

Open all

Public swimming pools, spas and water features

Executive Order 21-11 will begin Monday, March 15, 2021, at 12 p.m. (noon) and does not have an end date. 

Effective March 31, 2021, at 11:59 p.m., pools will be able to expand their occupancy per the Stay Safe Guidance. Please refer to the guidance document for public pools.

  • Occupancy of public pool and spa enclosures must not exceed 50% normal  occupant capacity as established by state or local authorities in accordance with applicable codes and requirements, not to exceed 250 people.
  • Six feet of social distancing for patrons from different households is required in the pool and on the deck at all times.
  • Group fitness class size in pools is limited to 25 indoors, and 50 outdoors.
  • If a pool is in a place of public accommodation with limited occupancy, like a fitness center, pool occupants count toward the total occupancy.
  • Two swimmers per lane are allowed for recreational lap swimming.
  • More than one swimmer per lane may be allowed for competitive swim practice if a facility's COVID-19 Preparedness Plan includes a diagram of proposed lane configurations and a description of how social distancing requirements will be met.
  • Saunas and steam rooms remain closed.

Additional requirements and information can be found in the following links:

Indoor pools and spas

Pool operators and lifeguards

Renewal timelines for trained pool operators and lifeguards have been modified. More information about these can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health website:
Pool Operator Training (CPO, AFO, and lifeguards)

Legionella concerns

Food, pools and lodging establishments may be closed or have low occupancy due to COVID-19. Stagnant or standing water in plumbing systems can cause conditions that increase the risk of water-borne diseases such as Legionnaires' disease. It is important to ensure water systems are safe to use and minimize the transmission of Legionella and other bacteria.

Information for owners and operators of establishments

Required yearly inspection before opening

All public swimming pools must pass an inspection before opening for the season. Outdoor opening inspections will begin on a limited basis starting April 1, 2021.

To prepare for and schedule an inspection:

  1. Pay your license fee.
  2. With your fee, submit the completed licensing paperwork and copy of your pool operator certificate (i.e., CPO, AFO, etc.)
  3. Review and complete the items on the outdoor pool checklist. Outdoor pool checklist (PDF)
  4. To schedule an inspection call 612-543-5200 – outdoor opening inspections will begin on a limited basis starting April 1, 2021.

Drain cover recall

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firms named below, announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer products. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of product

Pool and spa drain covers


About 1 million


  • A&A Manufacturing, of Phoenix, AZ
  • AquaStar Pool Products Inc., of San Diego, CA
  • Color Match Pool Fittings, of Surprise, AZ
  • Custom Molded Products, of Tyrone, GA
  • Hayward Pool Products, of Elizabeth, NJ
  • Pentair Water Pool and Spa, of Sanford, NC
  • Rising Dragon USA, of E. Sweetwater, TN
  • Waterway Plastics, of Oxnard, CA


The recalled drain covers were incorrectly rated to handle the flow of water through the cover, which could pose a possible entrapment hazard to swimmers and bathers.

Call the drain cover recall hotline, toll-free, at 866-478-3521, or visit the Drain Cover Recall website.

Open all