What you need to know about your Commercial Property Pool, Spa, & ADA Compliance.
Federal Swim Pool Laws
If you are a commercial pool property manager or owner, you might want to consider reviewing your local pool and spa laws to avoid any potential lawsuit. In this article we will discuss a popular pool law and ADA compliance related to your property and water features. This federal law specifically is called Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act or the P&SS Act still remains the most well-known Pool and Spa Safety Act amongst those liable for being sued while owning an aquatic water feature. A 7-year-old girl who sadly drown in a hot tub due to the suction of the drain left an impression on all pool and spa owners across the nation. Her name was Virginia, she was the granddaughter of the former Secretary of the State, James Baker III. In spite of the fact that Virginia could swim, the drain had so much suction power that she couldn’t swim to safety and escape the hot tub. Her poor mother attempted to pull her free, to no avail. Legislation now requires that drains have an anti-entrapment cover and other safety measures in all pools and all hot tubs. President Bush signed this law into effect in 2007.
Here is a summary from the Pool Safety website created to help ensure this act is followed carefully.
Effective December 19, 2008, all pool drain covers must be compliant with the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 drain covers.
Pools and all spas that operate off of single main drains must add one or more of the following to them to remain compliant at all times of operation:
Safety vacuum release systems or SVRS (this is a suction limiting vent device).
Gravity drainage systems.
Auto pumps shut-off systems
All systems must be equal to or more effective than those listed above regardless of where they are located within the city, state or the county of origin.
Need to purchase a pool pump with “Safety Vacuum Release” for your commercial property? Have a look at this Pentair Pump article to better serve you.
Full details are available regarding the laws and requirements and should be kept on hand at all times. US Consumer Product Safety Commission has also been warning consumers regarding the dangers of all pool and hot tub drains.
The further Federal legislation includes Accessible Pools Means of Entry and of Exit requirements. These were included with the ADA accessibility standards for all public use pools in the year of 2010. per the regulation, all newly constructed and all altered pools must be compliant with the ADA laws regarding the 2010 legislation. Full details are available here: Accessible Pools Means of Entry and of Exit: Per ADA requirements.
Such federal acts all work together to comply with state, city and county laws that will ensure all public swim pools are safe and accessible for all swimmers. All residential pools should also be subject to such laws within the State, city and the county regulations. Laws can be found in all municipal as well as construction codes and all zoning ordinances. Such laws are in place for compliance and accessibility measures.
ADA Compliance for your Pool or Spa
Your ADA accessibility standards should remain a high priority. Unfortunately we often witness commercial properties spending thousands in lawsuit fees due to the inaccessibility for the handicap, and the one suing is typically far from being handicap – they are the ambulance-chaser type looking to make a quick buck. If your pool or spa is not accessible for everyone, it’s only a matter of time until your property will be fined. We have also included requirements for the entry and exit of accessible public pools since 2010. The newly-added regulations apply to any public or commercial pool built or modified after 2010.
While these federal rules form the core of the safety and accessibility standards that govern publically-accessible pools, they are not the only applicable laws. There are additional regulations at the federal, state, county, and city levels. Taken together, this body of rules ensures that pools are both accessible to all swimmers and as safe as possible for them. Residential pools are primarily governed by the laws of the city, county, and state in which they’re built.