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Environmental Health


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County of Los Angeles
Department of Public Health
Environmental Health
5050 Commerce Drive
Baldwin Park, CA 91706
(888) 700-9995




Pool Technician Program            

Important Info:

Any person engaged in the business or occupation of treating or disinfecting swimming pool waters, or cleaning, servicing, and maintaining swimming pools or swimming pool equipment and facilities in Los Angeles County, must be certified as a Swimming Pool Service Technician or Swimming Pool Apprentice Technician. This applies to both public and private pools. A Technician Apprentice may only work under the direct and immediate supervision and employment of a Swimming Pool Service Technician.

To become certified, an individual must pass a one-time examination. To maintain the certification, the Technician or Apprentice Technician must pay a yearly renewal fee thereafter. It is recommended an applicant take a pool class prior to taking the examination. Information on the CERTIFIED POOL/SPA OPERATOR'S COURSE (CPO) and other courses are listed below. 

The certification procedure is as follows:

  • Send in the application along with the appropriate fee
  • Once an application is received and approved, a study guide will be sent to you.  When you feel you are ready to take the exam, call our office at (626) 430-5360 to set up an appointment to take the exam
  • The examination is normally administered once a month, always on a Thursday, at our Administrative Headquarters in Baldwin Park, California,  The exam lasts 2 hours, please check in at 8:45 AM to register. You should bring a No. 2 pencil and calculator. Please leave your cell phones in your car or truck. The examination consists of 100 multiple choice questions and 65% is a passing grade
  • Once you pass the examination you will be issued a certificate and wallet card.  Each year when you renew your certification you will be issued a new wallet card

Examination fees are non-refundable and must be taken within one year after payment of the fee. If you do not pass the exam you must wait at least 30 days before retaking the exam. There is a new examination fee each time the test is taken.

On the examination the applicant will be tested for knowledge on the following:

California Code of Regulations Titles 22 & 24 regarding requirements at public pools, including:

  • Disinfection, pH and stabilizer levels
  • Safety signs and equipment
  • Requirement of operational records
  • Lifeguard requirements
  • Clarity, bacteriological and chemical quality of pool water
  • General requirements for maintaining pools clean, sanitary and in good repair
  • Skimmers and their proper operation and maintenance
  • Required turnover rates
  • Replacement of equipment
  • Backflow protection
  • Lighting
  • Depth marker requirements
  • Pressure gauges
  • Flowmeters
  • Maximum water temperatures

Understanding of the terms and concepts of the following:

  • Breakpoint chlorination
  • Chlorine and bromine based products used to disinfect pool water
  • Methods of action of disinfectants in clarifying and sanitizing pool water
  • Advantages and disadvantages of various disinfectants, their properties and effects on pool water
  • Chlorine demand. Combined, total, and free available chlorine
  • Alternate methods of disinfection and treatment of pool water
  • Balance of pool water. Total alkalinity, calcium hardness and pH, and proper levels in pool water
  • Other chemicals used in pool maintenance including stabilizers, sequesterants, algicides, and flocculants
  • Effects of corrosive and alkaline water
  • Tests and proper use of test kits for measuring disinfectant residuals, pH and other chemical levels in pool water
  • Detrimental effects on health of improperly disinfected and balanced pool water
  • Pool chemical safety
  • Pool filter types, capabilities, sizing, cleaning and maintenance
  • Pool pumps, basic design, operation, characteristics, and maintenance. Pump curves
  • Chemical feeders, their proper sizing, use, and maintenance
  • Supplemental equipment associated with pool recirculation systems including, separation tanks, multiport valves, hydrostatic valves, sizing of pool heaters, and ORP meters

How to:

  • Calculate pool and spa volumes
  • Elevate or lower pH, alkalinity, calcium and stabilizer levels
  • Calculate levels of disinfectant in part per million given a pool volume and amount of disinfectant added
  • Calculate minimum flow rates, turnover rates, and filter sizes for public pools
  • Determine total dynamic head of a pool recirculation system
  • Determine the flow rate from total dynamic head and pump curve charts
  • Calculate volume of water loss through leakage and evaporation
  • Calculate saturation index
  • Calculate horsepower given, watts, voltage, and amperage

Additional Recommended Reading:

  • “Basic Training Manual, Part 1, Chemicals”
    Independent Pool and Spa Service Association, Inc. (ipssa)
    P.O. Box 15828
    Long Beach CA 90815-0828
  •  “Continuing Education Series, Pool Chlorination Facts”
    Independent Pool and Spa Service Association, Inc. (ipssa)
    P.O. Box 15828
    Long Beach CA 90815-0828
  • “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Pool Care”
    “Guide to Chlorine”
    “Guide to pH, Alkalinity, Water Testing and Water Balance”
    “Guide to Alternative Sanitizes”
    Service Industry News
    P.O. Box 5829
    San Clemente, CA 92674-5829
    (949) 366-9981
  • “Basic Pool and Spa Technology”
    various other publications
    National Spa & Pool Institute
    2111 Eisenhower Ave.
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    (703) 838-0083
  • “Pool/Spa Operator’s Handbook”
    National Swimming Pool Foundation
    224 East Cheyenne Mtn. Blvd.
    Colorado Springs, CO 80906
    (719) 540-9119
  • “Pool Operator’s Manual”
    Washington State Public Health Association
    Other publications available
    National Environmental Health Association
    720 S. Colorado Blvd.
    Denver, CO 80246
    (303) 756-9090

Recommended Pool Classes:

  • Antelope/Santa Clarita/San Fernando Valleys
    Blue Wave Certification Instruction
    Two Saturday classes
    Instructor: Tom Clark
    (661) 250-5316

  • Los Angeles
    Russ Tucker Pool School
    Instructor: Russ Tucker
    (310) 218-6693
    Two Saturday morning classes

  • Riverside / Anaheim / San Diego
    2 day CPO classes
    Instructor: Steve Donohoe
    (949) 235-5888

  • San Bernardino Area
    Two Saturday classes
    Instructor: Michael Clouse
    Work (213) 485-4814
    Home (714) 887-1106
  • San Fernando Valley
    Russ Tucker Pool School
    Instructor: Russ Tucker
    (818) 998-7511
    Two Friday evening classes
  • San Gabriel Valley
    National Pool Tech Training
    222 E. Foothill Blvd
    Monrovia, CA 91017
    Two day training course  
    (888) 609-0302 or (626) 303-3758
  • South Bay
    Russ Tucker Pool School
    Instructor: Russ Tucker
    (310) 218-6693
    Two Thursday evening classes
  • Certified Pool/Spa Operator's Course (CPO)
    Offered at various times and locations throughout southern California
    National Swimming Pool Foundation 
    4775 Granby Circle
    Colorado Springs, CO 80919
    For information, call (719) 540-9119

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