Public Swimming Pools


  • Suspension of Tourist Rooming Houses from ATCP 76: Based on a decision by the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) pools, whirlpools and hot tubs offered at Tourist Rooming Houses are no longer included in the​ definition of a public pool. Learn more about what this means​.
  • Pool usage at​ Bed and Breakfast est​ablishments: Under state law, the rental or other ​payment agreement for a licensed Bed and Breakfast (B&B) may only ​offer a pool to guests through that agreement if the pool is a licensed public pool. However, pools tha​​t are not licensed public pools may be offered to guests through arrangements outside of the ​B&B agreement.

​Wisconsin requires a public pool license for all public swimming p​ools and water attractions in Wisconsin. Licenses can be issued to individuals, partnerships, corporations or other legal entities. A pool or water attraction is not a public pool if it serves fewer than three individual residences, unless it is used on a regular basis by persons other than the residents.

License types for recreational water facilities include:

  • Pool - A structure, basin, chamber or tank, and appurtenant buildings and equipment, used for wading, swimming, diving, water recreation, or therapy. Types of pools include pools used for swimming, combination pools, diving pools, exercise pools, experiential pools, mobile pools, therapy pools, wading pools, whirlpools, and cold soak pools. The ​license category for pools is RRP.

  • Water Attraction - A public facility with design and operational features that provide patron recreational activity other than conventional swimming and involves partial or total immersion of the body. Types of water attractions include activity pools, interactive play attractions, leisure rivers, plunge pools, vortex pools, vanishing edge pools, waterslides, run-out slides, drop slides, pool slides, wave pools, zero-depth entry pools, and any public pool with play features except wading pools. The license category for water attractions is RWI.

  • Water attraction, with up to two pool slides or waterslides per basin - Any of the previously listed types of pools are converted to this category if a slide is present except for a children's slide. There is a charge for each additional slide over two. The licensing category for this type of attraction is RWT.

Note: If the swimming pool has not been constructed yet, the operator must contact a Wisconsin registered engineer to design and sub​mit plans to the Department of Safety and Professional Services for review. Once the plans are approved, construction can begin. When construction is complete, an inspector from the Department of Safety and Professional Services must perform an inspection and approve the installation before DATCP begins the licensing process.​​


  • Each license issued by DATCP expires June 30 of each year.
  • License dates extend from July 1 of one year through June 30 of the following year.
  • If a license is granted after April 1 of a license year, that license will extend to June 30 of the following year. 
    • Example: If a business is licensed by the department on April 1, 2019, then its license will expire June 30, 2020.
  • Renewal fees for existing establishments shall be submitted to DATCP before June 30 each year.​


Type of Facility  Annual License Fee  One Time Pre-Inspection Fee




​Water Attraction



​Water Attraction with up to 2 pool slides/waterslides per basin



​Waterslide or Pool Slide per basin​




Prior to construction of a new public swimming pool, plans must be approved by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services


  1. To obtain a license through DATCP, call (608) 224-4923 or email ​our licensing specialists.
  2. The licensing specialist will get you the information you need and will explain the process steps.​