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SF Health Network
Environmental Health

Water Quality: Swimming Pools & Spas

Permit to Operate for a Change of Ownership for an Existing Swimming Pool or Spa Pool

When you take ownership of an existing swimming pool or spa pool, the Permit to Operate is not transferable. You must obtain a Permit to Operate in the name of the new ownership and pay for a license certificate from the San Francisco Tax Collector’s office.

To obtain a Permit to Operate, submit:

  1. An application for a Permit to Operate a Public Swimming Pool or Spa pool.
  2. Include a one time only application fee. See the Helpful Links for fee information. Make check payable to the Department of Public Health and send to:

Department of Public Health
Environmental Health Section
Attention: Water Quality Health Inspector
1390 Market Street, Ste. 210
San Francisco, CA 94102

At such time the pool/spa complies with all health and safety standards and requirements, the Permit to Operate will be approved. The San Francisco Tax Collector’s office will be notified and will bill the applicant for a pro-rated amount of the annual license fee. 

All license fees are collected by the San Francisco Tax Collector.  For the issuance of a license certificate, checks are to be sent and made payable to the San Francisco Tax Collector.  The annual license certificate is the annual validation of the permit to operate.  The annual license period for Swimming Pools and Spa Polls is from October 1 through September 31.  When the license certificate has been paid the Permit to Operate will be issued.

Please note that if you plan to make any changes to an existing pool prior to obtaining a Permit to Operate you must obtain all necessary Health Department review and approvals prior to beginning such work. Work that requires review and approval includes plastering of the pool shell, remodeling or making any changes to the recirculation/filtration equipment, replacing any materials such as the pool deck, pool enclosure or remodeling of an existing locker room, showers, or lavatories.

To obtain a Plan Review from the Health Department:

  1. Submit Deposit for review of plans for major remodeling.
  2. Submit Deposit for review of plans for minor remodeling or equipment change.
  3. Submit detailed construction plans.
  4. Obtain all necessary building, plumbing and electrical permits from the Department of Building Inspection.