by Rob Cox, January 24, 2013
Through tireless efforts of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the deadline for commercial pools to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had been delayed by one year.
One Year is up in One Week! All commercial pools (and spas) in operation during this time of year - must provide at least one means of entry for individuals with disabilities. This can be either a pool lift or a sloped entry, for use with an aquatic wheelchair.
Other Important Points:
Other Information for Pools and Spas:
Each wave action, leisure river, sand bottom, or other type of pool where entry is limited to one area must have one accessible means of entry.
Spas must provide at least one accessible means of entry which can be a pool lift, transfer wall, or transfer system. If spas are provided in a cluster, 5% of the total─with a minimum of one spa─per cluster must be accessible.
Footrests are not required on pool lifts provided at spas. However, footrests or retractable leg supports are encouraged, especially on lifts used in larger spas where the water depth is 34” or more and there is sufficient space. Each wading pool must provide at least one sloped entry into the deepest part of the pool. Other forms of entry may be provided as long as the sloped entry is provided. The sloped entries for wading pools are not required to have handrails. The detailed technical requirements for the various types of accessible means of entry for swimming pools, spas, and wading pools can be found in the 2010 Standards at Section 1009.
Pool Lifts must meet the following criteria
On January 31, 2012, the DOJ issued a document addressing when and how pool lifts must be installed at existing and newly constructed swimming pools. Key points in the DOJ’s document include:
Sloped Entries must meet the following criteria:
A transfer wall is a wall along an accessible route that allows an individual with a disability to leave his/her wheelchair or other mobility device and transfer onto the wall and then into a pool or spa.
A transfer system consists of a transfer platform and a series of transfer steps that descend into the water. Users transfer from their wheelchair or other mobility device to the transfer platform and continue transferring into the water, step by step.
Accessible pool stairs begin at the pool deck level and descend into the water. In addition, to be used as a means of entry for an individual with a disability, pool stairs must have
For more information, on the 2010 ADA regulations, as they apply to Pools and Spas, See the ADA Standards for Accessible Design.
Indoor pools - you have only one week left to comply. For outdoor pools opening later in the season, you must have the proper means of access in place before opening your doors.
If you would like to Guest Post on our Pool Blog ~ or for permission to repost our Pool Blog on
your website, or if you have a question please contact the author by the email link at the top of the page. Thank you