FSPA Scores $20 Million Industry Win With Florida Department of Health

This past week, work on behalf of the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA)’s Government Affairs department was recognized in a major motion by the Florida Department of Health (DOH), resulting in an approximate $20 million savings for the state’s pool and spa industry. 

On January 8, 2024, the DOH announced that it is suspending the implementation of new rules that would have required all public pools and spas to keep full spectrum NSF 50 Level 1 Certified pool and spa test kits on site. The initial Level 1 test kit rule was originally made by the DOH during an update of operational requirements for public pools and spas within Florida Administrative Code 64E-9. 

FSPA’s Government Affairs department, led by Dallas Thiesen, senior director of  Government Affairs, engaged with top staff in both the DOH and the Governor's Office to raise the Florida pool and spa industries' issues with this rule change. As a result of FSPA’s efforts, the DOH has not only suspended implementation of the Level 1 test kit requirement, but they will also be re-opening rule-making to address FSPA’s concerns with the rule and other parts of 64E-9. 

“Halting implementation of this rule and revisiting rulemaking is a big win for the pool and spa industry in Florida,” says Thiesen. “The way the rule was written made compliance impossible and attempts to comply were financially burdensome. FSPA is looking forward to working with the DOH to address this right away." 

The original Level 1 test kit rule, which had been in effect since July 11, 2023, and scheduled for full implantation in 2024, would have required all chemicals and measurements taken when testing the water quality of pools and spas be done to NSF 50 Level 1 accuracy. 

This requirement presented several problems for the pool and spa industry, including: 

  • Lack of currently available test kits capable of reading all pool chemicals and measurements to an NSF 50 Level 1 accuracy.
  • Any test kits that would come close to being complaint with the proposed rule have an exorbitant cost of between $850 to $1300 per test kit. 

Full implementation of this rule would have resulted in erroneous pool and spa closures and would have cost Florida public pool operators over $20 million to attempt to comply with this rule.  

For more information, contact Alyssa Holcomb at [email protected]

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