; Adam Bello, County Executive

Public Swimming Pools and Bathing Facilities

Picture of people swimming in public pool. (585) 753-5057
(585) 753-5887 Durand and Ontario Beach Status Hotline (Updated Daily between 9 and 10 a.m.)


Program Goals

To minimize potential health hazards at public swimming pools, spas, and bathing beaches by enforcement of Part 6, Subpart 6-1 and 6-2 of the New York State Sanitary Code.

Program Highlights

  • Issue annual permits for operation.
  • Conduct annual inspections of public bathing facilities and issue reports.
  • Respond to complaints and conduct investigations.
  • Issue plan approvals and completed works under the provisions of Part 6 of the New York State Sanitary Code.
  • Perform enforcement actions.

COVID-19 Information for Swimming Pools

  • Lifeguard/CPR Certifications
  • Many certifying agencies are not holding recertification courses for CPR, first aid, lifeguarding and other aquatic courses because of the COVID-19 public health emergency. As a result, a statewide variance has been issued extending the acceptance of required certifications beyond the State Sanitary Code specified durations, for individuals working or volunteering at regulated swimming pools, bathing beaches, recreational aquatic spray grounds, and children’s camps. This variance applies to certifications that expire(d) between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.  The variance is issued with the condition that each individual attest in writing, using the Staff Certification Training Review Attestation Form, that they have reviewed the course training materials for the certification(s). This attestation must be completed regardless of any extension that may have been granted by the provider; however, a review of the training curriculum directed by the provider will satisfy the training review if it covers the course materials. Facility operators must maintain the attestation forms onsite for review by the health department

Online Information

Documents, Applications, Permits and Certifications

Swimming at Ontario Beach

(585) 753-5887 Beach Status Recording (Updated Daily between 9 and 10 a.m.)

Why is the Beach Sometimes Closed?

Poor water quality in the late 1960s closed the beach to swimmers. A conditional permit to operate the bathing beach was granted in 1976 after extensive monitoring and development of an Operating Model. The Operating Model currently depends upon five parameters to determine if the beach will be safe for swimming: water clarity, organic debris, local rainfall, fecal coliform bacteria levels, and Genesee River flow.

Genesee River Flow: The Genesee River is laden with particulate matter and stormwater runoff. The proximity of the River to the Beach and the volume of the River, relates closely to water quality at the Beach during certain conditions. Typically, the easterly lake current pushes the river water east, away from the beach.

Local rainfall: Local rainfall causes closures because it washes contaminants to the Beach or into local streams which impact the Beach.

Organic Debris: Organic debris in the form of decaying plant matter causes closures because it is a substrate for bacteria and sustains the bacteria by shielding ultraviolet light. Excessive algae also impair the physical water quality.

Water Clarity: Particulate matter results in poor water clarity and provides substrate for bacterial growth. It also reduces ultraviolet ray penetration that would kill bacteria.

Bacteria: Studies have shown a definite relationship between the amount of indicator bacteria in coastal and Great Lakes waters and the incidence of swimming-associated illnesses. Indicator bacteria include total and fecal coliform, enterococcus and E. coli. They are called indicator bacteria because although they may not be directly harmful to humans, they are relatively easy to test for and are typically found in the presence of harmful viruses and bacteria.

Related Documents

Regulations for Spray Grounds

As a result of a large outbreak of gastrointestinal illness associated with contaminated spray ground water during the summer of 2005, the New York State Department of Health released a Regulation for Recreational Aquatic Spray Grounds.

Download a copy of the NYS Sanitary Code SubPart 6-3 Recreational Aquatic Spray Grounds (127k PDF).

The Regulation only applies to facilities that recirculate the water supplying the spray ground.

Key provisions of the Regulation:

Picture of playground with standing water.

  1. Recreational aquatic spray grounds are defined and spray ground owners are required to obtain an annual permit to operate from the local health department (LHD) having jurisdiction in the county that the spray ground is located.
  2. Design standards for new and existing spray grounds are established. The standards include requirements for disinfection (chemical and ultraviolet) and filtration equipment, as well as requirements for spray pad, spray pad treatment tank, decking and spray pad enclosure construction and design.
  3. Existing spray ground operators must provide a report to the local health department (LHD) which evaluates compliance with the design criteria contained in the regulation and needed improvements. The report must be prepared by a New York State licensed professional engineer and submitted to the LHD at least 90 days prior to operation.
  4. Operation and maintenance standards are established including daily start-up procedures, minimum disinfection levels, filtration rates, water quality standards and general safety provisions. The spray ground operator must maintain daily operation records.
  5. On-site water supplies, toilet facilities, and sanitary wastewater treatment systems must comply with sanitary and operation standards.
  6. Spray grounds must be supervised when open for use and must be maintained by a qualified swimming pool water treatment operator.
  7. Spray ground operators must develop, update and implement a written safety plan consisting of procedures for patron supervision, injury prevention, reacting to emergencies, injuries and other incidents providing first aid and assistance.

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