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CA - Changes To Existing Pools
Posted on August 21 LEGISLATION

Must be replaced, as per new code requirements, when the deck is resurfaced or replaced.

Must be installed or replaced, as per new code requirements, when the deck is resurfaced or replaced.  

1 Stop Pool Pros, Inc recommends installing No Diving Depth markers to ensure bather safety.

Installation required, as per new code requirements, effective 9/1/12:

  • Keep Closed sign (gate).
  • Diarrhea Notice Sign (posted at the entrance area of a public pool).

Required, as per new code requirements, is effective 9/1/12.  

  • All lettering on pool signage to reflect 4”, to include all lettering on the CPR and Artificial Respiration signage.

  • Artificial respiration signs shall now include CPR procedures.

  • Besides requiring "911" on an emergency sign, the sign must also include the number of the nearest emergency services and the name and street address of the pool facility.

Must comply with new handrail requirements when the existing pools are replastered or resurfaced.

Must be replaced with units complying new code guidelines upon the replacement of any chlorinator. 

New water velocity requirements in all suction line plumbing applies to existing pools when the entire suction or return plumbing is being replaced. 

Vacuum gauge on the pump is required anytime the pump is replaced.

Influent pressure gauge before each filter and a vacuum gauge before each pump now required.

New Requirements For Public Swimming Pools
Posted on August 21 LEGISLATION

For existing pools, depth markers on the deck and "no diving" markers on the deck are required to be installed as replaced as per CCR Title 24 when the deck is replaced or resurfaced.  The remaining depth marker requirements are required when the depth markers or water line tiles are replaced.   All requirements for CCR TItle 24 must be met on new constructs.

Depth Markers:
  • Permanent depth markers are required on the pool deck, corresponding to every depth marker on the wall.
  • Must be numerals and at least 4" in height.
  • All depth markers must be marked with the letters "Feet" or "Ft." and "Inches" or In."
  • Painted or stick-on numbers are not permitted.
  • Rim flow pools can have depth markers installed below the waterline.

No Diving Markers:
  • For pools with a maximum water depth of 6' or less, permanent "no diving" markers (tiles) are required next to each of  the deck depth markers.
  • For spa pools, two "no diving" permanent markers are required.
  • Slope of decks must be between 1% and 2%.

Posted on August 21 LEGISLATION

All new signs or changes required by revisions to CCR Title 24 are required to be updated for existing pools and implemented on all new constructs.

All signs shall have clearly legible letters or numbers not less than 4 inches high, unless otherwise noted, fixed to a wall, pole, gate or similar permanent structure in location visible to all pool users.


Required signage that has revised content requirements, will need replacement to comply with CCR Title 24 Revisions:

  • Artificial respiration signs shall now include CPR procedures.
  • Besides requiring "911" on an emergency sign, the sign must also include the number for the nearest emergency services and the name and street address of the pool facility.

Sign requirements that do not have revised content requirements, that currently have 4” lettering will not need replacement and are currently complaint with CCR Title 24.

  • No Lifeguard Sign
  • Occupant Capacity Sign
  • Spa Warning Sign
  • Emergency Shut-Off Switch for Spas

Sign requirements that do not have revised content requirements, however are not compliant with CCR TItle 24, as they do not currently have 4” lettering and will need to be replaced: (Included)

  • CPR


Keep Closed Sign
A sign shall be posted on the exterior side of all gates and doors leading into the pool enclosure area stating, "KEEP CLOSED". 

Diarrhea Notice Sign
A sign in letters at least 1" high and in a language or diagram that is clearly stated shall be posted at the entrance area of a public pool, stating that persons with active diarrhea or who have had active diarrhea within the previous 14 days shall now be allowed to enter the pool water.

Posted on August 21 LEGISLATION


When existing pools are replastered or resurfaced, handrails must comply with the new handrail requirements.  

Regardless of step heights, spas will be required to have two handrails when the spa is replastered or resurfaced.

Height of handrails must be between 28" and 36".

Spas are required to have two handrails regardless of riser heights.

Posted on August 21 LEGISLATION

STAIRS (New Constructs & Existing Pools Effected) 

When existing pools are replastered or resurfaced, stairs must comply with the new requirements.


All stairs must be at least 24 inches wide.

All risers must be no greater than 12 inches high.  The top riser is considered that distance from the deck or coping down to the first tread of the stair and deck.

The first tread below the deck must be at least 14 inches but not greater than 18" wide.  The remaining treads must be 12 inches, but not greater than 16 inches wide.

If the top tread is convexly or triangularly shaped, it must have a radius of a minimum of 21 inches but not greater than 24 inches.  All treads except the top tread must be uniform.

When existing pools are replastered or resurfaced, stairs must comply with the new requirements.  

Posted on August 21 LEGISLATION

For bather safety, 1 Stop Pool Pros, Inc. highly recommends that all bodies of water be equipped with chemical automation.

For Existing Pools:
When the chlorinator is replaced, it must be replaced with a unit that is capable of supplying not less than the equivalent of 3 pounds of chlorine per day per 10,000 gallons of water capacity.   Previously, the Department of Health allowed 2 pounds of chlorine per day per 10,000 gallons of water capacity.

For New Constructs:
An automatic chlorinator is required which is equivalent of supplying not less than the equivalent of 3 pounds of chlorine per day per 10,000 gallons of water capacity.

All chemical feeders, including disinfectant feeders, are required to be adjusted by an automatic chemical monitoring system.

Posted on August 21 LEGISLATION


All newly constructed pools with diatomaceous earth filters are required to have a separation tank.

Posted on August 21 LEGISLATION


The recirculation system for existing pools where noted and newly constructs:

Pools shall have the capacity to provide a complete turnover of pool water in:

  • - One-half hour or less for a spa pool;
  • - One-half hour or less for a spray ground;
  • - One-half hour or less for a wading pool;
  • - Two hours or less for a medical pool;
  • - Six hours or less for other types of public pools.

Spray pools and medical pools have been added.

The water velocity in all suction line plumbing shall not exceed 6 feet per second and in all return lines water velocity shall not exceed 8 feet per second.  Previously, it was 8 feet per second for suction lines and 10 feet per second for return lines. (These guidelines apply to existing pools only when the entire suction or return plumbing is being replaced.)

New Constructs: If the pool exceeds 40 ft in width, or greater than 3,000 square feet in surface area, bottom floor return lines are required.  Previously, only pools greater than 40 feet in width required bottom floor return lines.

For Existing Pools, a vacuum gauge on the pump is required any time the pump is being replaced. An influent pressure gauge before each filter and a vacuum gauge before each pump is required.  (The influent pressure gauge is usually located on the top of the filter). Previously, an influent and effluent pressure gauge was required.  Effluent pressure gauges are no longer required.

Posted on August 21 LEGISLATION

SPA POOLS  (New Constructs)

  • Spa benches must be a minimum of 12 inches but not more than 24 inches in width.

  • The clearance between the parallel benches in a spa must be at least 24 inches.

  • The floors of spas are required to have a minimum length and width, or diameter of 24 inches.

SPRAY POOLS  (New Constructs)
Spray pools or interactive fountains have been added to the new code, and closely follow the previous policy guidelines for spray pools.  New requirements include a UV disinfecting system.   

Beginning January 1, 2013, for all new pools, all equipment rooms/areas must have an enclosure that can be locked.  A concrete slap is required with a floor drain.

For new pools, all parts of the fence enclosure around a pool shall be constructed over a hard and permanent material equivalent to concrete. The distance between the bottom of the fence and the hard permanent material shall not exceed 4 inches.

MISCELLANEOUS  (New Constructs)
No planters or other structures that can be climbed shall be permitted within 5 feet of the outside of the pool enclosure or within a foot arc. The area 5 feet outside of the pool enclosure shall be a common area open to the public.

The entire swimming pool can be 12 feet wide provided the maximum water depth is 6 feet or less.  Previously, a swimming pool had to be 15 feet wide at least at the deep end.

  • For pools without diving boards, from the shallow end, to a depth of at least 4 1/2 feet, the slope shall be no greater than 1 ft vertically and 10 ft horizontally (1:10).

  • The break in slope will always be at 4 1/2 feet.

  • For a minimum distance of 3 ft, from the break in slope at 4 1/2 ft, the slope shall not exceed 1:3.

  • For a minimum distance of 3ft from the end of the 1:3 slope to the main drain, the slope shall not exceed 1:6.

  • The main drain shall be a minimum of 3 1/2 ft from the deep end wall.

  • For pools with diving boards see a complete copy of the new code.

  • For pools with platform diving, USA diving recommendations will be followed.  This will change next year to FINA standards.

NSPF Unveils Step Into Swim Initiative
Posted on June 14 LEGISLATION

The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) has introduced its Step Into Swim™ program, a 10-year campaign, which will see it team up with various organizations in an effort to improve public health and reduce drowning by teaching children, adults and minority populations to swim.

The campaign asks aquatic businesses, associations, and the public sector to sponsor organizations that are already teaching people to swim. To help the public and private sector understand the importance of learning to swim, the NSPF issued a white paper, which explains the benefits of creating more swimmers, and how more people swimming can relieve increasing healthcare costs propelled by physical inactivity, an aging society and troublingly drowning rates. Increasing the number of swimmers also builds demand for public and residential pools, spurring growth for the pool, spa and aquatic industry.

"Pool builders, retailers, service companies, renovators, distributors, manufacturers and industry associations all have a vested interest in the world having more swimmers," said NSPF's CEO, Thomas M. Lachocki, PhD. "More swimmers means more healthy people who are less likely to drown and more likely to buy a pool and all the associated products."

The campaign will officially begin at the Step Into Swim congress on Oct. 10, prior to the 2012 World Aquatic Health™ Conference in Norfolk, Va. For more information on the campaign and the organizations it will support, visit
DOJ OKs Portable Lifts, Relaxes Regs
Posted on May 25 LEGISLATION

DOJ OKs Portable Lifts, Relaxes Regs

By Kendra Kozen, Aquatics International | 5.25.2012

The Department of Justice on Thursday announced a dramatic about-face on disability regulations for public swimming pools and spas. The new rules are outlined in a technical assistance document and FAQ. Among other things, the new rules allow portable lifts and lower the bar for compliance.

For Title III facilities (hotels, swim clubs etc.), portable lifts purchased before March 15, 2012, are allowed, if kept in position for use at the pool and operational during all times that the pool is open to guests. The DOJ states that it will not be enforcing the fixed lift requirement for those operators; however, “generally, lifts purchased after March 15, 2012 [the original compliance deadline] must be fixed if it is readily achievable to do so.”

It further redefines what it means for ADA compliance to be readily achievable. “Readily achievable means that it is easily accomplishable without much difficulty or expense,” the department told the Washington Times. “This is a flexible, case-by-case analysis, with the goal of ensuring that ADA requirements are not unduly burdensome, including to small businesses.” That is a much different tone and language than the DOJ had used previously on that same question.

For Title II facilities (municipal pools) DOJ states that every pool in an organization does not have to be accessible. However, if there is only one pool facility, the entity must ensure that the aquatics program is accessible.

Concerns over accessibility requirements have been growing since early this year. The new requirements were issued May 24, days after the DOJ announced that it would extend the deadline for compliance to January 31, 2013.

“We’re pleased to see the clarity,” said Jennifer Hatfield, director of government affairs for the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals.
Calif. Operator Certification Bill Advances
Posted on May 1 LEGISLATION

Calif. Operator Certification Bill Advances

By Scott Webb

May 1, 2012 10:06 AM

AB 1726, a bill sponsored by National Pool Safety Foundation, was heard in the California Assembly Health Committee last week.

According to SPEC, which supports the measure, this bill seeks to establish the Public Pool Health and Safety Act of 2012, which requires an owner of a public swimming pool to contract with or employ a qualified pool operator for pool maintenance. More specifically, AB 1726 would require a pool operator training course to be registered with and approved by the local enforcing agency and sets forth requirements for the training course, including 14 hours of training relative to a specific list of pool maintenance subjects. 

As introduced, AB 1726 applied to all public pools. However, the bill was opposed by a number of apartment and condominium associations, bed and breakfast operators, hotels, resorts, and campground facilities. In order to minimize the opposition, proponents of the bill reduced the scope of the measure to pools operated by lodging facilities such as hotels, motels, campgrounds and resorts, as well as public pools such as those operated by the YMCA and other similarly situated organizations.

SPEC lobbyist John Norwood appeared before the Assembly Health Committee and encouraged the members to support this legislation as the most cost effective way to reduce illness and injuries as well as minimizing unscheduled closures and costly repairs of these public pools. Other supporters of this bill included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF), National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), Foundation for Pool and Spa Industry Education (FPSIE), Independent Pool and Spa Service Association (IPSSA), state and local health departments, industry, academia, and pool operators.

“We are pleased with this modest start,” commented John Norwood President of SPEC, “but more work is needed to ensure passage through the legislature. Despite being the state with the largest number of public pools, California has yet to adopt the provisions of the Model Aquatic Health Code that establishes a standardized public pool operator training program. This bill is a good start down that path.” AB 1726 will proceed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for its next hearing sometime in May.


Scott Webb has been with AQUA magazine in one capacity or another since April 2001; he now serves as executive editor. Scott has a degree from University of Cincinnati in Aerospace Engineering and lives in Madison, Wisc.

News: legislation
Portable Lift
Posted on March 18 ADA

The Department of Justice has published a Technical Assistance Document that clarifies the 2010 Revised ADA Requirements, which include swimming pools. Highlights of this document include:

Title II Program Accessibility
(i.e. state, local or municipal publicly funded pools)
· Confirmation that portable pool lifts are an acceptable means for achieving pool accessibility if the pool lift meets the 2010 Standards.
· Sharing lifts between pools is not permitted, unless it would result in an undue burden to provide equipment at each one.
· Pool lifts must be available whenever the facility is open to the public.

Title III Readily Achievable Barrier Removal
(Places of public accommodation, i.e. hotels, resorts, swim clubs and sites of events open to the public)
If fixed lifts are not readily achievable, portable lifts are acceptable provided they comply with the 2010 Standards.

Maintenance of Accessible Features
A portable pool lift may be stored when the pool is closed, but must be at the poolside and fully operational all hours the pool is open.

Tax Credits and Deductions

Businesses, regardless of their size, may be able to take advantage of federal tax credits for small businesses or deductions for compliance costs. 

See for more information.
Read the Technical Assistance Document 

Learn more about ADA Compliance at

Means Of Entry And Exit
Posted on March 15 ADA

Providing equal opportunity to people with disabilities is the fundamental principle of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This publication is designed to help title II and title III entities understand how new requirements for swimming pools, especially existing pools, apply to them.People with disabilities were, for too long, excluded from participating in many recreational activities, including swimming.The revised 2010 Standards change that. For the first time, the 2010 Standards set minimum requirements for making swimming pools, wading pools, and spas (pools) accessible. Newly constructed and altered pools must meet these requirements. Public entities and public accommodations also have obligations with respect to existing pools. State and local governments must make recreational programs and services, including swimming pool programs, accessible to people with disabilities. Public accommodations
must bring existing pools into compliance with the 2010 Standards to the extent that it is readily achievable to do so. The requirements for newly constructed and existing pools
will ensure that, going forward, people with disabilities can enjoy the same activities—a community swim meet; private swim lessons; a hotel pool—at the same locations and with
the same independence, ease, and convenience as everyone else.

MATE Traveler System
Posted on March 12 ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – what you, your business and your clients need to know in order to be compliant.

1. What is ADA? The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. Disability discrimination occurs when an employer or other entity covered by the ADA treats an individual with a disability unfavorably or less favorably because she has a disability or a history of a disability. The law requires an employer or other entity to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense ("undue hardship"). The Department of Justice (DOJ) is the federal agency charged with enforcing the ADA.

2. What sections of ADA apply to swimming pools, wading pools and spas?
a. Title II (Public Industry) – Title II prohibits disability discrimination by all public entities at the local and state levels. Examples of Title II entities include school districts, municipalities, cities, and counties.
b. Title III (Private Industry) – Title III prohibits disability discrimination by any place of public accommodation (commercial facilities). Examples of Title III entities include a place of recreation, a place of education, and a place of lodging.

3. What are the permitted means of access? Pool lifts, sloped entries (ramps), transfer walls, transfer systems, or stairs. The criteria that each of these means of access must meet can be found in chapter 10, section 1009, of the revised ADA guidelines, a link can be found on the APSP website. What type of means of access that must be used and how many means of access required, depend on the structure.

4. What are the swimming pool specific requirements? Both Title II and III entities are required to provide ?accessible means of entry for pools.? Larger pools (greater than 300 linear feet of pool wall) require at least two means of access and smaller pools (less than 300 linear feet of pool wall) require at least one means of access. When providing only one means of access, it must either be a pool lift or sloped entry (ramp). Wave action pools, leisure rivers, sand bottom pools, and other pools where user access is limited to one area are not required to have more than one means of access provided that means is either a pool lift, a sloped entry, or a transfer system. Catch pools that have a catch pool edge on an accessible route are not required to provide a means of access.

*Note: 1) The ADA recommends that when using more than one means of access, the means be different, i.e., a lift and a transfer wall, and be provided in different locations in the pool. 2) Pool walls at diving areas and areas along pool walls where there is no pool entry because of landscaping or adjacent structures are still to be counted when determining the linear feet of pool wall.

5. What are the wading pool specific requirements? Both Title II and III entities are required to provide ?accessible means of entry for wading pools.? Wading pools must have at least one means of access and that means must be a sloped entry (ramp). The sloped entry must extend to the deepest part of the wading pool, but it is not required to provide handrails.

6. What are the spa specific requirements and how does the ADA apply to portable spas/hot tubs? The ADA does not distinguish between in-ground and portable spas. Both
Title II and III entities that have any type of spa, in-ground or portable, are required to provide at least one ?accessible means of entry.? The means of access can either be a lift, transfer wall, or transfer system. When spas are provided in a cluster (adjacent to each other) only one spa must provide a means of access.

7. Do the new requirements apply to both existing and new swimming pools, wading pools and spas (in-ground and portable) that fall under the Title II or III categories? Yes, the permitted means of access must be provided on all installations no later than March 15, 2012. However, it is highly recommended these means of access be added to both new and existing construction as soon as possible.

8. Are there service requirements for ADA equipment? Yes, mandated features must be maintained in working order. The regulations provide a ?Maintenance of Accessible Features? provision which states that ?a public accommodation shall maintain in operable working condition those features of facilities and equipment that are required to be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.?

9. How will these requirements be enforced? Enforcement will vary from state to state, but does not change the fact this is the law. Direct action against noncompliant facilities may be taken by local building or health officials enforcing state or health building codes that reference the new guidelines. Individuals may also file civil lawsuits against noncompliant facilities. Indirect enforcement can occur when a local government becomes ineligible for a federal grant unless all facilities are in compliance.

10. How does the ADA affect existing state and local building codes? Existing codes remain in effect. The ADA allows the Attorney General to certify that a state law, local building code, or similar ordinance that establishes accessibility requirements meets or exceeds the minimum accessibility requirements for public accommodations and commercial facilities. Any state or local government may apply for certification of its code or ordinance.

11. What financial assistance is available to employers/owners to help them make reasonable accommodations and comply with the ADA? A special tax credit is available to help smaller employers make accommodations required by the ADA. Information discussing the tax credits and deductions is contained in the Department of Justice's ADA Tax Incentive Packet for Businesses available from the ADA Information Line. Information about the tax credit and tax deduction can also be obtained from a local IRS office, or by contacting the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service.

12. Where can I learn more about these requirements? APSP has developed a webinar, ?Obligations and Opportunities Under the 2010 ADA Regulations? presented by John Caden of SR Smith, LLC, that is now up and ready for purchase from the Education On The Go page of the APSP website. Information can also be found on the APSP website and at Manufacturers of products that provide accessible means of entry also have information that can be found on their websites.

Thanks to SR Smith for providing input and expertise on this topic.

Background and History of ADA
The original Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The law was divided into five sub parts but for the swimming pool and spa industry the relevant sections are Public Entities and Public transportation (Title II) and Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities (Title III).

The original enforcement guidelines did not provide accessibility standards for swimming pools and spas. However, in 2004, the Department of Justice issued enforcement guidelines that included pools and spas. At that point they were just that — guidelines — and not law.
In July 2010, the Department of Justice announced its final rule making. The revised regulations were then published in the Federal Register on September 16, 2010 and will take effect on March 15, 2011. Compliance with these regulations will be required no later than March 15, 2012.

Swimming Pool, Wading Pool, and Spa Accessibility

The swimming pool, wading pool, and spa guidelines that are now part of the ADA law are virtually the same for both Public Entities (Title II) and Public Accommodations (Title III) facilities. They stipulate that any swimming pool with under 300 linear feet of pool wall must provide one means of access, and that means must be either a pool lift or a sloped entry. In addition, any pool that has over 300 linear feet of pool wall must provide two means of access, which can be any of the five designated means of access: pool lifts, sloped entries, transfer walls, transfer systems, or accessible pool stairs. The criteria that each of these means of access must meet can be found in chapter 10, section 1009 of the revised ADA guidelines. Wading pools must have one means of entry and that must be a sloped entry. Spas, both in-ground and portable, also must have one means of entry, which can be either a lift, transfer wall, or transfer system. The specific requirements that swimming pools, wading pools and spas must meet can be found in chapter 2, section 242 of the revised ADA guidelines.

There are some exceptions from the accessibility guidelines. Title II facilities can be excluded if they can prove that modifications would significantly alter the historic nature of the building. They could also be excused if they could demonstrate that making such modifications would create undue financial hardship for the facility. Title III facilities can be excluded if they can demonstrate that reasonable accommodations are not readily achievable. However, the Department of Justice has made it very clear that, given the flexibility and cost of a pool lift, it would be very difficult for any entity to escape their responsibility to provide access to a swimming pool.

ADA regulations are enforced directly and indirectly. Most direct enforcement is a result of civil lawsuits initiated by a plaintiff who sues for non-compliance. If the plaintiff prevails, the court usually issues a court order that requires the defendant to remedy the violation, and attorney’s fees for the plaintiff. There are generally no monetary awards provided to the victorious plaintiff.
The ADA is also enforced indirectly by requiring compliance prior to receiving licenses, certifications, or grants from prevailing authorities. For example, prior to a local government receiving a federal grant, it must provide proof of compliance with a wide array of regulations ranging from environmental mandates to equal opportunity programs to ADA compliance. In addition, in most localities, any new construction or building modification will not receive a certificate of occupancy without meeting all relevant ADA requirements. Many states will adopt the latest guidelines into their state or local building codes.

Link to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Regarding The Virginia Graeme Baker Act:  Please click below to get the latest most up to date guidelines for this act.

ADA Compliancy for Commercial Pools.  Please click below for the Department of Justice link to give the latest and most accurate information regarding the Compliancy Act regarding Chair lifts or Entry for Required Pools and Spa's
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