Here you will find articles relating to commercial pools, municipal pools and institutional pools.
Opening your Pool for the Season
A pool properly maintained during the winter months can prevent many headaches and make preparation for a new season of swimming involve a minimal effort.
Pump, hose, or sweep away water, dirt, or debris from the cover and deck. Remove the cover and plugs from all openings. If the water was in good shape at the end of last season, proper cover removal will ensure that your pool should open relatively clear. If they were removed at the pool closing, raise the underwater lights from the bottom of the pool and install them in their niches.
Winterizing Your Pool
There are many ways to winterize a pool, varying both by how far North/South you are and by personal preference. This is what I do for my in ground vinyl liner pool in Maryland.
Prep - Double check that the winter cover is still in good shape and that I still have enough water bags that don't leak to go all the way around the edge of the pool plus a few for spares. In the fall I let the water level drift down a little so it is closer to the bottom of the skimmer, instead of near the top where I keep it during the summer, this will save a little time latter.
Algae doesn't need to be the bane of your existence. The simplest way to get rid of algae is never to get it in the first place. If you maintain the appropriate free chlorine (FC) level at all times, algae will never be able to get started.
The earlier you catch algae, the easier it is to get rid of. When algae is just starting, the water will have a dull appearance and the FC level will start falling more quickly than usual. If you catch algae at this point, it usually only takes a single application of chlorine to wipe it out.
Beginners Guide for Seasonal/Temporary Pools Beginners Guide for Seasonal/Temporary Pools
This guide covers smaller pools that have a pump and filter and which get completely drained and put away each winter. Water chemistry for small pools follows the same basic premise as it does for large pools: maintaining a minimum level of chlorine for sanitation and algae prevention, and protecting chlorine from rapid degradation from sunlight buy using a chlorine stabilizer. There are numerous components to pool water chemistry; this document provides only the most basic outline to maintain clear, sanitized water.
ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
There are five chemical levels that every pool owner needs to keep track of:
FC - Free Chlorine - A sanitizer which keeps your pool water safe and free of germs. Chlorine must be constantly replenished. (# depends on CYA)
pH - Acidity/Alkalinity - Needs to be kept in balance to prevent irritation and protect the pool equipment. (7.2 to 7.8)
TA - Total Alkalinity - Appropriate levels help keep the pH in balance. High levels can cause pH to rise. (60 to 120, sometimes higher)
CH - Calcium Hardness - Appropriate levels help prevent plaster damage. High levels can cause calcium scaling. (220 to 350, vinyl can be lower)
CYA - Cyanuric Acid - Protects chlorine from sunlight and determines the required FC level. (outdoors 30 to 80, indoors 0 to 20)
DOJ Takes Hard Line on ADA Pool Lift Guidance
After months of pressure from AH&LA, the Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday issued a burdensome interpretation of when and how ADA Pool Lifts need to be installed at swimming pools under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Although the DOJ did not specifically address spas, the principles set forth in the DOJ guidance could apply to spas as well.
DOJ has determined that pool lifts need to be available at each pool at all times when a pool is open to the public. In addition, only a “fixed” ADA Pool lift is acceptable unless a hotel can demonstrate that installing such a lift is not readily achievable. In that case, a portable lift would be allowed as long as the lift is securely in place during all operating hours. In the context of discussing pools owned by state and local governments, DOJ stated that sharing lifts between two pools is not allowed unless the entity can show an “undue burden.”
Deadline for hotel pools to be outfitted with ADA Pool Lifts extended
UPDATE, March 15, 6:13 pm: The U.S. Justice Department will grant the hotel industry at least a 60-day extension for complying with a new rule aimed at making existing hotel pools compliant with the 22-year-old Americans With Disabilities Act. It's a decision that the hotel industry lobbied hard for at the 11th hour, as a number of hotel owners and managers suggested they might close their pools or fill in their whirlpools due to the uncertainty the new rules created.
The about-face from the federal government means that the rules for making existing hotel pools accessible to people with disabilities via ADA Pool Lifts and Aquatic Pool Ramps will not take effect on March 15, as originally planned when the hotel-pool-related rules were first announced in 2010.
The ADA again? Why now? Effective dates and new requirements for ADA Pool Lifts
Increased media coverage, complaints and lawsuits will predictably accompany the effective date of new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards in March 2012. Accordingly, the coming months would be a prudent time for owners and operators of hotels, resorts, retail stores and office buildings to turn their attention to accessibility issues at existing facilities and those properties scheduled for renovation and new construction in the next year to include ADA Pool Lifts or Aquatic Pool Ramps. Many lawsuits will include demands that exceed legal requirements, and time spent now in reviewing accessibility compliance will help in avoiding entirely or limiting lawsuits that may include overreaching by plaintiffs and advocacy groups.
In 2010, the Department of Justice issued new final regulations (the “2010 Standards”) that update the 1991 ADA Regulations and Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibilities Guidelines (“ADAAG”). These Standards apply under Title III of the ADA to “public accommodations,” including hotels, commercial office buildings, resorts, retail space in office and apartment buildings, shopping centers, museums, sports facilities and a host of other buildings and facilities that are open to the public.
Pool Operators Still Confused by Latest ADA Pool Lift Standards
When the Department of Justice enacted the ADA 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, one of the major differences from the previous version was the inclusion of regulations for swimming pools and spas requiring the use of ADA Pool Lifts and Aquatic Pool Ramps. For many facilities, the change meant little. The 2010 Standards made mandatory a set of guidelines released by the U.S. Access Board in 2004, which many state and local governments had already incorporated into their building codes.
"The regulations, at least in California, haven't changed," says Justin Caron, an associate with Aquatic Design Group in Carlsbad, Calif. "But because they're a federal law now, it's shining a light on them in a different manner, which is forcing people to look at their situation."
Revised ADA Requirements: Clarification on Portable ADA Pool Lifts
- 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.
- ADA Pool Lifts must be available whenever the facility is open to the public.
Government Grants ADA Pool Lift Compliance Extension
Responding to concerns from pool industry experts and a hotel/ lodging industry coalition, the White House issued a 60-day extension for ADA Pool Lift compliance with requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The extension was granted March 15 (the date set as the original deadline), two days after Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced a bill which would prevent enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act relative to commercial pools and spas. Pool operators now have until May 15, 2012 to comply, but the time could be extended further.
New ADA Pool Lift Bill Introduced
Pool accessibility has become a hot topic in Washington, D.C. A second congressional bill addressing the Americans with Disabilities Act has been introduced. On March 26, Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) introduced H.R. 4256, calling for a one-year extension of the ADA deadline for the requirement of ADA Pool Lifts at public pools. If passed, the bill also would allow portable ADA pool lifts and sharing of lifts between vessels. It would prohibit lawsuits against pool and spa facilities for ADA violations alleged to occur between March 15, 2012, and one year after enactment of the bill.
“Congressman Mulvaney believes portable lifts and shared lifts are the best solution...,” said Mulvaney spokesperson Danielle McAdaragh. “It allows for lift accessibility and safety, as well as being more economically achievable...”
Justice Department to Host Webinars on ADA Pool Lift Guidelines
The Department of Justice has announced two free webinars that will provide information and technical assistance addressing the accessible pool entry requirements of the revised 2010 ADA Regulations and the 2010 ADA Standards as they relate to existing pools.
The first webinar will be May 2, 2012 from 2:30 – 3:45 EDT and it will address the pool access provisions as they apply to the existing pools of public accommodations subject to title III of the ADA.
Did Aquatics Really Get a Pass on ADA?
Operators now have more answers regarding ADA Pool Lifts and the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance requirements. However, questions remain, and Congress still could take action.
Revised standards for swimming pools and spas were issued May 24, days after the Department of Justice announced that it would extend the deadline for compliance with ADA to Jan. 31, 2013. Guidelines are presented in a technical assistance document and FAQ (available online), and the most significant changes make allowances for portable lifts.
New Waterpark Standards In Development
Behind every good waterpark is a good … waterpark code? That’s at least what a number of industry professionals might say who are working to develop new regulations. In all, three new ASTM standards currently are under consideration for inflatable slides and inflatable water play elements; stationary wave machines; and conveyor systems.
The need to create standards for each of these attractions became apparent for different reasons, said Andreas Tanzer, manager of product development at ProSlide Technology Inc. in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Generally “[it happens] when an item gains popularity and broadens its usage … sometimes it’s incident driven. Sometimes it’s just an obvious need because things are ballooning out of control,” he added.
States Face New Laws
Lawmakers in South Carolina and Florida have passed new pool regulations that will impact staffing and construction. Meanwhile, another law with similar ramifications is pending in Illinois.
In South Carolina, legislators have passed updated lifeguard requirements. Previously, the state mandated one guard per 2,000 square foot of pool. That made sense when pools were essentially just square boxes noted Jim Headley, executive director of the South Carolina Recreation & Parks Association.
Selecting a Pool Lift
Swimming pools can be a fountain of youth for people with disabilities. Water based activities provide a myriad of benefits for anyone, but are especially important for anyone living with mobility challenges.
Pool lifts are the most flexible and efficient method for enabling swimming pool access. When selecting a lift, there are many factors to consider in order to ensure that the lift you purchase fits your needs. These factors include; the type of pool, the type of programming, the design of the pool, and, of course, your available budget.
Who Must Comply with the New ADA Requirements for Pool Access?
This document is being presented to discuss the different types of facilities that would be required to comply with the revised ADA regulations published on September 15, 2010. Entities affected by the revised regulations generally fall under either Title II or Title III of the Act.
Title II outlines regulations for any public entity. A public entity is any activity, service, program or facility owned by any governmental agency. Title III regulates places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and private companies that offer courses and examinations related to educational and occupational certification.