Three children swimming in a pool with goggles on.

PA DOH Pool Compliance

The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires public swimming pools and aquatic facilities to undergo a bacteriological test by a certified laboratory once a week. ABE Laboratories’ route drivers will come to your pool and collect your pool water sample, deliver it to our Laboratory, complete the testing, and report the information to you and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Bacteria and other microorganisms prefer a warm, moist environment with an adequate food source. Water is an excellent environment for the transmission and growth of microorganisms. A poorly maintained swimming pool or hot tub can be an ideal place for them to inhabit.

Waterborne diseases can be spread by exposure to water contaminated with fecal wastes from humans or animals. Examples of these diseases include conjunctivitis, salmonellosis, dysentery, and hepatitis. It may take only a few disease organisms to make someone sick. The symptoms of these diseases often include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes fever.

It is not practical to test aquatic facility water for every possible disease-causing organism. Instead, water is usually tested for one particular group of bacteria, known as the total coliform group. These organisms serve as indicator bacteria — they indicate how sanitary your water system is. Coliform bacteria are also found in the intestinal tract (and fecal wastes) of all warm-blooded animals. Most coliform bacteria do not usually cause disease, but if they show up in a water test, they indicate potential contamination has somehow entered the water, and disease-causing organisms may also be present.

Coliform bacteria are also good indicators of the sanitary quality of your water because they are killed in the same way that most disease-causing organisms are killed. With few exceptions, a properly maintained pool with the proper level of chlorine will eliminate the coliform bacteria and other disease-causing organisms.

We complete testing for:

  • School districts
  • Municipalities
  • Hotels
  • Country clubs
  • Water parks
  • Private swim clubs
  • Colleges and universities
  • Condominium and housing associations
  • Apartment complexes
  • Lakes