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Pool Rule Revisions

A revision of the Rules Governing the Construction, Equipment, and Operation of Public Pools and Spas, Chapter 499-05-01, became effective October 7, 2009. Items that were given a two year lead-in time are now in effect as of October 24, 2009. The items that are now required are cross-braced ladders, no diving tiles, and specific pool rule signage.

Rules Governing the Construction, Equipment, and Operation of Public Pools and Spas

Previously, cross-braced ladders and no diving tiles were not required. Now all ladders are required to be cross-braced and no diving tiles are required on the deck of the pool every 25 feet around the perimeter at depths of five feet or less. The no diving tile must provide the international symbol and the wording.

Pool rules have always been required to be posted, but specifics were at the pool operatorís discretion. As of October 24, 2009, certain verbiage must be included on the pool signage.

In the October 7 rule revision, some new requirements were added addressing a new federal law and barriers for interactive water features. The new federal law is the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. This federal law was enacted to prevent the tragic and hidden hazard of drain entrapments and eviscerations. All pools and spas must comply with this federal law. Because interactive water features are becoming more popular and are being added as extra attractions to facilities with swimming pools, a barrier is now required between it and a swimming pool. However, only if the interactive water feature is within forty or fifty feet of the swimming pool, depending on the swimming pool, is the barrier required. Existing interactive water features will have until October 24, 2012 to comply with this requirement.

A change in a requirement in this revision is regarding wading pools barriers. Previously, existing wading pools were required to provide a barrier between it and the swimming pool by October 24, 2009. This revision has extended the requirement another three years to October 24, 2012, and made provision of no barrier for wading pools greater than forty or fifty feet away from a swimming pool, depending on the swimming pool.

For more information, visit Public Swimming Pools, Spas, and Interactive Water Features.

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