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What Signs Are Required by Law at Pools & Hot Tubs?

    • Public swimming pools are required by law to post signs.swimming pool area image by leafy from

      No federal laws require signs to be posted in swimming areas; however, state laws do exist. Pool-related laws are most commonly found in a state's public health act or code overseen by a state's department of health or safety. Almost all public facilities, such as city, government, county, public housing or country clubs with pools and hot tubs, are required by state law to post signs that inform guests of the rules and risks of entering the swimming area. Common signs seen in swimming areas with hot tubs relate to intoxication, blood pressure and age. Common signs posted by pools relate to drowning, diving, alcoholic beverages and sanitary issues. Pools on private residential property used by homeowners, families and friends are not required by law to post any signs.

    No Diving

    • No diving signs are required by law.No Diving sign image by Jim Mills from

      One of the most common signs required at public swimming facilities are no diving signs. If a pool is not deep enough to allow diving, signs must be posted that state and warn patrons that diving is not allowed. The no diving sign warns swimmers the pool is shallow. Pool safety laws also state pool owners must mark pool depths every few feet on all sides of a pool to inform swimmers of depth or depth changes.

    Lifeguard Presence

    • If a lifeguard is not on duty, a sign is required by lifeguard image by Dave from

      Law also often requires public facilities to post signs that indicate if a lifeguard is or is not on duty. Lifeguard signs warn swimmers to swim and behave with caution around the pool area. Such a sign protects a pool owner from liability should someone drown. According to Washington state law, pools are to have a first aid station and sign. The station must include a phone nearby, a safety apparatus to save a drowning victim, and a first aid kit readily available for emergency use.

    Pool Rules

    • Pools must have a posted list of rules and warnings nearby.rules image by jimcox40 from

      Public pool owners are required by law to have a list of rules and posted warnings on acceptable behavior in the pool area. According to the Clinton County Health Department, mandatory swimming signs must state: hours of operation, the maximum number of bathers, sanitary rules and that pool use is prohibited after hours. Not required by law but often-seen rules include: no loud music, no alcohol or food, no running, swim at your own risk, no horseplay, no obscene gestures, no foul language, no fighting and adult supervision required.

    Hot Tub Warnings

    • A posted health warning sign must be posted near hot tubs.pool spa 1 image by Aaron Kohr from

      A list of health warnings for all users' viewing must be posted near hot tubs. According to the Clinton County Health Department, warnings on hot tub signs must include: recommended time limit on tub use; health warnings in relation to age, heart disease, diabetes and high or low blood pressure; no young children without adult supervision; no use of alcohol and drugs; and a number to call in case of an emergency. Not required but often seen are additional signs that state: risk of drowning, pregnancy warnings, burn warnings and sanitary warnings.


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