Swimming Pools

Recreational Swimming Pools

The Reading Health Department licenses and inspects all public and semi-public swimming pools for compliance with the minimum standards for swimming pools, according to the 105 CMR 435.000 (PDF). For additional guidance documents and program updates please visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Division of Community Sanitation website.

Please be aware of the 2010 ADA Accessibility Requirements for Existing Swimming Pools at Hotels and Other Public Accommodations

Pool Operators: If you plan to operate a Swimming Pool, you may use the Pool Inspection sheet to prepare for your upcoming inspection.

Please be advised that you are required to schedule an appointment with our office to inspect your facility prior to opening. Please schedule your pre-operational inspection by May 12. Pre-operational pool inspections are scheduled for the weeks of Monday May 15 – Thursday May 25, if you intend on opening for the Memorial Day Weekend.

It is important that you have your pool ready for this inspection. If your pool is not in full compliance, with all pool code requirements at the time of your inspection, your permit will not be issued. All re-inspections required will be charged a fee prior to scheduling. 


Summary of Swimming Pools: Chapter V of the State Sanitary Code, 105 CMR 435.000: Minimum Standards for Swimming Pools (State Sanitary Code, Chapter V), sets forth the minimum standards for health and safety of swimming, wading, and special purpose pools operated in the Commonwealth. It does not apply to private residential pools. Boards of health are required to inspect and issue annual permits to operate a swimming, wading or special purpose pool.

• Boards may grant variances to 105 CMR 435.000 subject to Department approval. Except in cases of emergencies, no variance approved by a board may go into effect until the Department has approved it, or after 30 days if the Department fails to comment on the variance.

• The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act is a federal law designed to prevent serious injuries and fatalities associated with suction entrapment in pools and spas.  While it is enforced by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Department of Public Health has adopted these requirements as part of 105 CMR 435.000. The specific requirements are available from the Department’s website: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/environmental/sanitation/pool-federal-requirements.rtf


Board of Health Inspection responsibilities at a glance:

What do you need to open / operate a swimming pool in the Town of Reading:

  1. Provide engineered drawings, plans and specifications. No person shall construct or install a swimming, wading or special purpose pool, or expand, remodel or otherwise make any change which may affect the compliance of an existing swimming, wading or special purpose pool with the requirements of 105 CMR 435.00 until the plans and specifications for the construction or change, under the stamp and signature of a Massachusetts Registered Professional Engineer or Registered Architect, have been approved in writing by the Board of Health.
  2. Complete and submit a signed application, as well as all supporting documents required. Your application must include pool volume and surface area
  3. Satisfy all lifeguard requirements

Closure Policy for Swimming Pools in accordance with 105 CMR 435: 

The operator shall be familiar with the provisions of 105 CMR 435.000 and every other applicable law and regulation pertaining to swimming, wading and special purpose pools including testing equipment and safe handling of chemicals.

If at any time the swimming, wading or special purpose pool water does not conform with the requirements set forth in 105 CMR 435.28 through 435.31, the operator shall immediately close the pool until the pool water conforms with those standards. 

Chemical Standards for swimming pools in accordance with 105 CMR 435. 29

Type of Disinfection pH  Alkalinity (ppm)(mg/l) Residual Chlorine (ppm)(mg/l)
Chlorine 7.2-7.8 50-150 1.0-3.0 Free 
Chlorine 7.2-7.8 50-150 0.0-0.2 Combined
Bromine 7.2-7.8 50-150 2.0-6.0