On July 26, 2010, the US Department of Justice released updated ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Among the updates for a number of facility types were new requirements specifically for public swimming pools.
The level of accessibility depends on the size and type of the pool. For pools under 300 linear feet in size, the ADA Standard for Accessible Design calls for one means of access, which must be either an ADA-compliant lift, or a sloped entry.
Pools with greater than 300 linear feet of pool wall must also have a second means of access. This second means can either be another lift or ramp, or it can also be a transfer wall, a transfer system or pool stairs.
Many different options are available to meet compliance requirements and there are even tax credits which may be applicable from the purchase of equipment to meet compliance if your facility qualifies.
This page is only a basic overview. Visit the ADA website for complete details.
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WHAT FACILITIES ARE NOT EXEMPT?
The relevant sections of this new law for our industry purposes are for facilities operating as either Title II or Title III.
Title II: These facilities include such pools and spas within school districts, municipalities, military bases, cities and counties.
Title III: Public facilities such as hotels, motel, health clubs, private schools, community centers, HOA’s*, apartments* & condominiums*.
*HOA’s, apartments and condominiums must comply only if they are offered as rentals units similar to a hotel, or allow public access to their pool/spa area (regardless if access is free or a fee is charged. Used for public swimming lessons is but one example.
WHAT FACILITIES ARE EXEMPT?
- Private Clubs (must meet ADA criteria to be exempt)
- Private Residences
- Apartments (as a primary dwelling)
- Condominiums (as a primary dwelling)
WHAT WATER BODIES ARE NOT EXEMPT?
- Swimming Pools
- Wader Pools
- Aquatic Recreation Facilities
WHAT WATER BODIES ARE EXEMPT?
- Catch Pools
- Pools where users enter on slide/flume drop
WHAT ARE THE APPROVED MEANS OF ACCESS?
- Personal Lifts (PRIMARY)
- Slopped Entry (PRIMARY)
- Transfer Wall (SECONDARY)
- Transfer System (SECONDARY)
- Accessible Pool Stairs (SECONDARY)
Water features that requirements ADA approved access must implement at least one Primary means and if water body is greater than 300 linear feet, it must also have a second means of access which can be either an additional Primary or one Secondary entry method. Each means of access carries its own ADA specification requirements.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A TAX CREDIT ON COMPLIANCE EQUIPMENT?
Facilities are eligible to take a tax credit for 50 percent of eligible expenditures over $250 up to $10,500 a year. So your tax bill can be reduced by up to $5,000, however the tax credit is available for businesses with gross receipts of $1 million or less -OR- fewer than 30 employees.
Visit the American Disabilities Act web-site for more complete information at: http://www.ada.gov