COVID-19 & Shutting Down of Hot Tubs/Spas
The CDC has heard from many partners in the aquatic industry about the need for guidance on shutting down of hot tubs/spas related to aquatic facility closures for COVID-19 pandemic.
The closure of hot tubs/spas could possibly create conditions favorable for Legionella and other bacterial growth in these aquatic facilities. The recommendations below are adapted from the Model Aquatic Health Code(MAHC) from the CDC:
Steps for Shutdown:
- Clean accessible surfaces, scrubbing away slime and biofilm
- Apply a biocidal shock treatment
- Drain and remove as much water from the system as possible
- Remove filters
- Leave filters to dry*
- Keep the hot tub/spa as dry as possible, protecting it from external water sources (for example, hoses)
*Clean filters before reuse and replace filters or filter media as recommended by the manufacturer
For more recommendations on preventing illness and injuries at public aquatic facilities, visit
Legionella is a bacteria that can grow in improperly maintained hot tubs/spas. The bacteria can thrive in the hot water when the disinfectant is not properly maintained per state code requirements. It causes pneumonia in those that are immuno-compromised, especially our senior populations.
Testing is frequent and since testing is cheaper and easier to do in a lab now, results of this bacteria for active pneumonia patients is becoming more common. This is the main reason why during shutdown that the CDC want pool operators to follow these guidelines to prevent an Recreational Water Illness(RWI) outbreak.
The last thing we need is to get our communities ill with Legionella during this pandemic. Please follow these guidelines very closely.