A proposal by a local delegate to give a state agency more power to regulate public swimming pools has moved forward in Richmond.
The measure by Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) to give the Virginia Department of Health oversight over the water quality in pools on Jan. 26 passed a subcommittee of the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions.
The bill was “very narrowly drawn” and would affect only public pools, not home pools, Hope said. Localities would retain enforcement powers, he said.
The Virginia Department of Health currently oversees water quality of pools at campgrounds, summer camps and hotels/motels, but does not have broader authority. Hope’s bill, if enacted, would expand the regulatory power to recreation centers, senior centers and the like.
A representative of the Alexandria-based Pool and Hot Tub Alliance turned up in Richmond to support the measure, calling it a good starting point.
In the end, the subcommittee voted 4-1 to advance the bill to the full committee.