Exempting swimming ponds from regulations


Public swimming pools and public swimming ponds are not the same thing. At least that is how the Department of Health has recognized them for the last three years.

Currently, the Exempting swimming ponds from regulations in the state are exempt from most of the department regulations that govern operation, maintenance, design, installation and construction of public pools. But that exemption is due to expire on June 30.

Rep. Bill Hilty (DFL-Finlayson) sponsors HF763, which would remove the exemption expiration. Passed 130-1 by the House, it goes to the Senate where Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick) is the sponsor.

The legislation was proposed after a December 2010 department report recommended the state continue to regulate public swimming pools and ponds differently.

The Legislature has defined a swimming pond as “an artificial body of water contained within a lined, sand-bottom basin, intended for public swimming, relaxation, or recreational use that includes a water circulation system for maintaining water quality and does not include any portion of a naturally occurring lake or stream.”

The area six public swimming ponds in the Twin Cities metropolitan area: Zimmerman, Osseo, Lake Elmo, Excelsior, Eden Prairie and Shakopee. Public swimming ponds in Greater Minnesota are located in Warroad, Glyndon, Cloquet, Mankato, Blooming Prairie and New Ulm.