2007 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) Nunnelee
AN ACT TO CREATE THE "MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC SWIMMING AND BATHING FACILITIES ACT OF 2007"; TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS; TO PROVIDE THAT A PERMIT IS NECESSARY TO OPERATE PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS OR BATHING FACILITIES; TO EMPOWER THE STATE BOARD OF HEALTH TO ADOPT REGULATIONS NECESSARY FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE FOR PERMIT APPLICATIONS AND FEES; TO AUTHORIZE ADMINISTRATIVE FINES FOR VIOLATIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Title. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi Public Swimming and Bathing Facilities Act of 2007."
SECTION 2. Definitions. As used in this act:
(a) "Department" means the Department of Health.
(b) "Public swimming pool" or "public pool" means a watertight structure of concrete, masonry or other approved materials which is located either indoors or outdoors, which is operated with or without charge for the use of the general public for bathing or swimming by humans, and filled with a filtered and disinfected water supply, together with buildings, appurtenances and equipment used in connection therewith. A public swimming pool or public pool shall mean a conventional pool, spa-type pool, wading pool, special purpose pool or water recreation attraction, to which admission may be gained with or without payment of a fee and includes, but is not limited to, pools operated by or serving camps, churches, cities, counties, day care centers, group home facilities for eight (8) or more clients, health spas, institutions, parks, state agencies, schools, subdivisions, or the cooperative living-type projects of five (5) or more living units such as apartments, boardinghouses, hotels, mobile home parks, motels, recreational vehicle parks and townhouses.
(c) "Private pool" means a facility used only by an individual, family or living unit members and their guests which does not serve any type of cooperative housing or joint tenancy of five (5) or more living units.
(d) "Portable pool" means a nonpermanent pool or spa intended for recreational bathing and related equipment systems of any kind which is designed or intended to be removable from location to location.
SECTION 3. Department authorization. The State Board of Health may adopt and enforce rules, which may include definitions of terms, to protect the health, safety or welfare of persons using public swimming pools and bathing places. The department shall review and revise such rules as necessary, but not less than biennially. Sanitation and safety standards shall include, but not be limited to, matters relating to structure; appurtenances; operation; source of water supply; bacteriological, chemical and physical quality of water in the pool or bathing area; method of water purification, treatment and disinfection; lifesaving apparatus; measures to ensure safety of bathers; and measures to ensure the personal cleanliness of bathers.
SECTION 4. Permit necessary to operate public swimming pool or bathing place. (1) It is unlawful for any person or public body to operate or continue to operate any public swimming pool or bathing place without a valid permit from the department, such permit to be obtained in the following manner:
(a) Any person or public body desiring to operate any public swimming pool or bathing place shall file an application for a permit with the department, on application forms provided by the department, and shall accompany such application with:
(i) Descriptions of the structure, its appurtenances, and its operation.
(ii) Description of the source or sources of water supply, and the amount and quality of water available and intended to be used.
(iii) Method and manner of water purification, treatment, disinfection and heating.
(iv) Safety equipment and standards to be used.
(v) Measures to ensure personal cleanliness of bathers.
(vi) Any other pertinent information deemed necessary by the department to fulfill the requirements of this act.
(b) If the department determines that the public swimming pool or bathing place is or may be reasonably expected to be operated in compliance with this act and the rules adopted hereunder, the department shall grant the application for permit.
(c) If the department determines that the public swimming pool or bathing place does not meet the provisions outlined in this act or the rules adopted hereunder, the department shall deny the application for a permit. Such denial shall be in writing and shall list the circumstances for the denial. Upon correction of such circumstances, an applicant previously denied permission to operate a public swimming pool or bathing place may reapply for a permit.
(2) Operating permits shall not be required for coastal beaches.
(3) Operating permits shall not be transferable from one name or owner to another. When the ownership or name of an existing public swimming pool or bathing place is changed and such establishment is operating at the time of the change with a valid permit from the department, the new owner of the establishment shall apply to the department, upon forms provided by the department, for a reissuance of the existing permit.
(4) Each such operating permit shall be renewed annually and the permit must be posted in a conspicuous place.
(5) An owner or operator of a public swimming pool, including, but not limited to, a spa, wading or special purpose pool, to which admittance is obtained by membership fee shall post in a prominent location within the facility the most recent pool inspection report issued by the department pertaining to the health and safety conditions of such facility. The report shall be legible and readily accessible to members or potential members.
SECTION 5. Creation of fee schedules authorized. (1) The department is authorized to establish a schedule of fees to be charged by the department for the review of applications for permits to operate public swimming pools and bathing places and for the review of variance applications for public swimming pools and bathing places. The department shall assess the minimum fees provided in this subsection until a fee schedule is promulgated by rule of the department. Fees collected by the department in accordance with this act other than those fees authorized in this section, however, the department shall prorate the initial fee for a permit on a half-year basis.
(2) The fee schedule shall be not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) and not more than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) for an initial operating permit and not less than One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00) and not more than Three Hundred Fifty Dollars ($350.00) for review of a variance application.
SECTION 6. Exemptions and variances. (1) Private pools and water therapy facilities connected with facilities connected with hospitals, medical doctors' offices and licensed therapy establishments shall be exempt from this section.
(2) A private pool used for instructional purposes in swimming shall not be regulated as a public pool.
(3) The department may grant variances from any rule adopted under this act pursuant to procedures adopted by department rule.
SECTION 7. Right of entry. For the purpose of this section, department personnel at any reasonable time may enter upon any and all parts of the premises of such public swimming pools and bathing places to make an examination and investigation to determine the sanitary and safety conditions of such places.
SECTION 8. Denial, suspension or revocation of permit; administrative fines. (1) The department may deny an application for a permit, suspend or revoke a permit issued to any person or public body, or impose an administrative fine upon the failure of such person or public body to comply with the provisions of this section or the rules adopted hereunder.
(2) The department may impose an administrative fine, which shall not exceed Three Hundred Fifty Dollars ($350.00) for each violation, for the violation of this section or the rules adopted hereunder. Notice of intent to impose such fine shall be given by the department to the alleged violator. Each day that a violation continues may constitute a separate violation.
(3) In determining the amount of the fine to be imposed, if any, for a violation, the following factors shall be considered:
(a) The gravity of the violation and the extent to which the provisions of the applicable statute or rule were violated.
(b) Actions taken by the operator to correct violations.
(c) Any previous violations.
(4) All amounts collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited and used for payment of costs of administration of this section.
(5) Under conditions specified by rule, the department may close a public pool that is not in compliance with this section or the rules adopted hereunder.
SECTION 9. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after October 1, 2007.