North carolina register volume 24 ● issue 23 ● Pages 2011 2154 June 1, 2010




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15A NCAC 18A .2521 LADDERS, RECESSED STEPS,

AND STAIRS

(a) If the vertical distance from the bottom of the swimming pool to the deck is over two feet (0.61 m), recessed steps, stairs, or ladders shall be provided in the shallow area of all swimming pools. Recessed steps or ladders shall be provided at the deep portion of all pools; and, if the swimming pool is over 30 feet (9.14 m) wide, such recessed steps or ladders shall be installed on each side near the deep end. A stairway, ladder or set of recessed steps shall be provided every 75 feet along the shallow area perimeter. Where stairs are provided in the shallow area of the pool, one ladder may be deleted in the shallow area for each stairway provided.

(b) Pool Stairs - The design and construction of pool ladders and stairs shall conform to the following:

(1) Stair treads shall have a minimum unobstructed horizontal depth of 10 inches, a maximum horizontal depth of 36 inches, and a minimum unobstructed surface area of 240 square inches.

(2) Risers at the centerline of the treads shall have a maximum height of 12 inches and shall be within one inch of a uniform height with the bottom riser height allowed to vary plus or minus two inches from the uniform riser height.

(3) Each set of stairs shall be provided with at least one handrail to serve all treads and risers. For stairs wider than 20 feet, additional handrails shall be provided and spaced no more than 10 feet from adjacent handrails or stair ends.

(A) Handrails, if removable, shall be installed in such a way than they cannot be removed without the use of tools.

(B) The leading edge of handrails facilitating stairs and pool entry/exit shall be no more than 18 inches horizontally from the vertical plane of the bottom riser.

(C) The outside diameter of handrails shall be between one inch and one and nine-tenths inches.

(4) The leading edge of stair treads shall be marked with a contrasting color band or line at least two inches (5 cm) wide visible from above the stairs. Use of contrasting color tiles installed in the stair tread is acceptable provided the tiles are spaced no more than one inch (2.5 cm) from the edge of the tread or from adjacent tiles.

(5) Swimming pool ladders shall be corrosion-resistant and shall be equipped with slip-resistant treads. All ladders shall be designed to provide a handhold and shall be installed rigidly. There shall be a clearance of not more than six inches (15.3 cm), nor less than three inches (7.6 cm), between any ladder and the swimming pool wall. If the steps are inserted in the walls or if step holes are provided, they shall be of such design that they may be cleaned easily and shall be arranged to drain into the swimming pool to prevent the accumulation of dirt thereon. Step holes shall have a minimum tread of five inches (12.7 cm) and a minimum width of 14 inches (35.6 cm).

(6) When step holes or ladders are provided within the swimming pool, there shall be a handrail at each side.


History Note: Authority G.S. 130A-282;

Eff. May 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2010; January 1, 1996.
15A NCAC 18A .2523 DEPTH MARKINGS AND

SAFETY ROPES

(a) On swimming pools the depth of the water shall be marked at or above the water surface on the vertical wall of the swimming pool where possible and on the edge of the deck next to the swimming pool. Where depth markers cannot be placed on the vertical walls at or above the water level, other means shall be used; provided the markings shall be visible to persons in the swimming pool. Depth markers shall be placed at the following locations:

(1) at the points of maximum and minimum depths;

(2) at the transition point where the slope of the bottom changes from the uniform slope of the shallow area;

(3) if the pool is designed for diving, at points to denote the water depths in the diving area; and

(4) at both ends of the pool.

(b) Depth markers shall be so spaced that the distance between adjacent markers is not greater than 25 feet (7.5 m) when measured along the perimeter of the pool.

(c) Depth markers shall be in Arabic numerals at least four inches (10 cm) high and of a color contrasting with the background. Depth markings shall indicate the depth of the pool in feet of water and shall include the word "feet" or symbol "ft" to indicate the unit of measurement. Depth markings installed in pool decks shall provide a slip resistant walking surface.

(d) "No Diving" markers shall be provided on the pool deck adjacent to all areas of the pool less than five feet deep. "No Diving" markers shall consist of the words "No Diving" in letters at least four inches high and of a color contrasting with the background or at least a six-by-six inch international symbol for no diving in red and black on a white background. The distance between adjacent markers shall not be more than 25 feet. Posting of "No Diving" markers shall not preclude shallow diving for racing starts and competitive swimming practice.

(e) A minimum of ¾ inch diameter safety rope shall be provided at the breakpoint where the slope of the bottom changes to exceed a 1 to 10 vertical rise to horizontal distance at a water depth of five feet (1.5 m) or less. The position of the rope shall be marked with colored floats at not greater than a five-foot spacing and a minimum two inch wide contrasting color band across the pool bottom. Float ropes shall be positioned within two feet on the shallow side of the breakpoint marker.


History Note: Authority G.S. 130A-282;

Eff. May 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2010; February 1, 2004; January 1, 1996; July 1, 1992.
15A NCAC 18A .2524 LIGHTING AND VENTILATION

(a) Artificial lighting shall be provided at all pools that are to be used at night, or when natural lighting is insufficient to provide visibility in the pool area.

(b) Lighting fixtures shall be of such number and design as to illuminate all parts of the pool, the water, the depth markers, signs, entrances, restrooms, safety equipment and the required deck area and walkways.

(c) Fixtures shall be installed so as not to create hazards such as burning, electrical shock, mechanical injury, or temporary blinding by glare to the bathers, and so that lifeguards, when provided, can see every part of the pool area without being blinded by glare. The illumination shall be sufficient so that the floor of the pool can be seen at all times the pool is in use.

(d) If underwater lighting is used, it shall provide at least 0.5 watts or 8.35 lumens per square foot of water surface and deck lighting shall provide not less than 10 foot candles of light measured at 6 inches above the deck surface.

(e) Where underwater lighting is not used, and night swimming is permitted, area and pool lighting combined shall provide not less than 10 foot candles of light to all parts of the pool and required deck area.

(f) Mechanical ventilation is required for all indoor pools.
History Note: Authority G.S. 130A-282;

Eff. May 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2010; February 1, 2004; January 1, 1996; July 1, 1992.
15A NCAC 18A .2528 FENCES

(a) Public Swimming pools shall be completely enclosed by a fence, wall, building, or other enclosure, or any combination thereof, which encloses the swimming pool area such that all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The top of the barrier shall be at least 48 inches above grade measured on the side of the barrier that faces away from the swimming pool. The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier shall be two inches measured on the side of the barrier that faces away from the swimming pool;

(2) Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a four-inch-diameter sphere and shall provide no external handholds or footholds. Solid barriers that do not have openings shall not contain indentations or protrusions except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints;

(3) Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is 45 inches or more, spacing between the vertical members shall not exceed four inches. Where there are decorative cutouts within the vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75 inches in width;

(4) Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches, the horizontal members shall be located on the swimming pool side of the fence. Spacing between the vertical members shall not exceed 1.75 inches in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within the vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1.75 inches in width;

(5) Maximum mesh size for chain link fences shall be a 2.25 inch square unless the fence is provided with slats fastened at the top or the bottom that reduce the openings to no more than 1.75 inches;

(6) Where the barrier is composed of diagonal members, the maximum opening formed by the diagonal members shall be no more than 1.75 inches;

(7) Access gates shall comply with the dimensional requirements for fences and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device. Effective April 1, 2011, pedestrian access gates shall open outward away from the pool and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching device except where a gate attendant and lifeguard are on duty. Gates other than pedestrian access gates shall have a self-latching device. Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism shall require the use of a key, combination or card reader to open or shall be located on the pool side of the gate at least three inches below the top of the gate, and the gate and barrier shall have no openings greater than 0.5 inch within 18 inches of the release mechanism; and

(8) Ground level doors and windows opening from occupied buildings to inside the pool enclosure shall be self-closing or child protected by means of a barrier or audible alarm.

(b) Public swimming pool fences constructed prior to May 1, 2010 may vary from the provisions of Paragraph (a) of this Rule as follows:

(1) the maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier may exceed two inches, but shall not exceed four inches;

(2) where the barrier is composed of vertical and horizontal members and the space between vertical members exceeds 1.75 inches, the distance between the tops of the bottom horizontal member and the next higher horizontal member may be less than 45 inches, but shall not be less than 30 inches;

(3) gates other than pedestrian access gates are not required to have self-latching devices if the gates are kept locked; and

(4) gates may swing towards a pool where natural topography, landscape position or emergency egress requirements prevent gates from swinging away from the pool.
History Note: Authority G.S. 130A-282;

Eff. May 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2010; February 1, 2004; April 1, 1999; January 1, 1996; July 1, 1992.
15A NCAC 18A .2531 WADING POOLS

(a) Wading pools shall meet all design specifications for swimming pools and wading pools included in Rules .2512 through .2530 of this Section with the following exceptions:

(1) Wading pools shall be physically separate from other public swimming pools except that a fill pipe and valve from a swimming pool recirculation system may be used to introduce water to a wading pool.

(2) Every wading pool shall be equipped with a circulation system that is separate from, and independent of, the circulation system of the swimming pool. Such circulation system shall at least consist of a circulating pump, piping, a filter, a rate-of-flow meter, a disinfectant feeder, two inlets, and one automatic surface skimmer. Individual components of a wading pool system must meet the criteria of Rule .2518 of this Section.

(3) The capacity of the circulation system shall be capable of filtering and disinfecting the entire volume of water in the wading pool 12 times in every 24 hours.

(4) Wading pools shall be equipped with a surface overflow system capable of removing floating material.

(5) Wading pools shall be no deeper than 24 inches (61 cm) at the deepest point.

(6) Wading pools' floor slope shall not exceed one foot in 12 feet.

(7) Wading pools shall be located in the vicinity of the shallow end of the swimming pool, and shall be separated from the swimming pool by a fence or structure similar to that described in Rule .2528 of this Section, that shall be equipped with self-closing and positive self-latching closure mechanisms, and shall be equipped with permanent locking devices. Wading pool entrance gates located inside another public swimming pool enclosure shall open away from the deeper pool. Wading pool fences constructed after April 1, 2000 shall be at least four feet high.

(8) Wading pools shall be designed to provide at least 10 square feet per child.

(9) Depth markers are not required at wading pools.

(10) The free chlorine residual in wading pools shall be maintained at no less than two parts per million.

(11) Wading pools are not required to provide the lifesaving equipment described in Rule .2530(a) of this Section.

(b) Children's activity pools shall be constructed and operated in accordance with the rules of this Section including the requirements for wading pools with the following exceptions:

(1) The filter circulation system shall be separate from any feature pump circulation system.

(2) The filter circulation system for stand-alone children's activity pools shall filter and return the entire water capacity in no more than one hour and shall operate 24 hours a day.

(3) The disinfectant residual in children's activity pools shall be maintained at a level of at least two parts per million of free chlorine measured in the pool water and at least one part per million in all water features.

(4) Valves shall be provided to control water flow to the features in accordance with the manufacturers' specifications.

(5) Children's activity pools built prior to February 1, 2004 that do not comply with this Paragraph may operate as built if no water quality or safety violations occur.
History Note: Authority G.S. 130A-282;

Eff. May 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2010; February 1, 2004; April 1, 1999; January 1, 1996.
15A NCAC 18A .2532 SPAS AND HOT TUBS

Spas and hot tubs shall meet all design specifications for swimming pools and wading pools included in Rules .2512 through .2530 of this Section with the following exceptions:

(1) The circulation system equipment shall provide a turnover rate for the entire water capacity at least once every 30 minutes.

(2) The arrangement of water inlets and outlets shall produce a uniform circulation of water so as to maintain a uniform disinfectant residual throughout the spa.

(3) A minimum of two inlets shall be provided with inlets added as necessary to maintain required flowrate.

(4) Water outlets shall be designed so that each pumping system in the spa (filter systems or booster systems if so equipped) provides the following:

(a) Where drains are provided, drains shall be unblockable or shall consist of two or more drains connected by a "T" pipe. Connecting piping shall be of the same diameter as the main drain outlet. Filter system drains shall be capable of emptying the spa completely. In spas constructed after April 1, 2000 drains shall be installed at least three feet apart or located on two different planes of the pool structure.

(b) Filtration systems shall provide at least one surface skimmer per 100 square feet, or fraction thereof of surface area.

(5) The water velocity in spa or hot tub discharge piping shall not exceed 10 feet per second (3.05 meters per second); except for copper pipe where water velocity shall not exceed eight feet per second (2.44 meters per second). Suction water velocity in any piping shall not exceed six feet per second (1.83 meters per second).

(6) Spa recirculation systems shall be separate from companion swimming pools.

(a) Where a two-pump system is used, one pump shall provide the required turnover rate, filtration and disinfection for the spa water. The other pump shall provide water or air for hydrotherapy turbulence without interfering with the operation of the recirculation system. The timer switch shall activate only the hydrotherapy pump.

(b) Where a single two-speed pump is used, the pump shall be designed and installed to provide the required turnover rate for filtration and disinfection of the spa water at all times without exceeding the maximum filtration rates specified in Rule .2519 of this Section. The timer switch shall activate only the hydrotherapy portion of the pump.

(c) Where a single one-speed pump is used, a timer switch shall not be provided.

(7) A timer switch shall be provided for the hydrotherapy turbulence system with a maximum of 15 minutes on the timer. The switch shall be placed such that a bather must leave the spa to reach the switch.

(8) The maximum operational water depth shall be four feet (1.22 m) measured from the water line.

(9) The maximum depth of any seat or sitting bench shall be two feet (61 centimeters) measured from the waterline.

(10) A minimum height between the top of the spa/hot tub rim and the ceiling shall be seven and a half feet.

(11) Depth markers are not required at spas.

(12) Steps, step-seats, ladders or recessed treads shall be provided where spa and hot tub depths are greater than 24 inches (61 centimeters).

(13) Contrasting color bands or lines shall be used to indicate the leading edge of step treads, seats, and benches.

(14) A spa or hot tub shall be equipped with at least one handrail (or ladder equivalent) for each 50 feet (15.2 meters) of perimeter, or portion thereof, to designate points of entry and exit.

(15) Where water temperature exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), a caution sign shall be mounted adjacent to the entrance to the spa or hot tub. It shall contain the following warnings in letters at least ½ inch in height:

CAUTION:

-Pregnant women; elderly persons, and persons suffering from heart disease, diabetes, or high or low blood pressure should not enter the spa/hot tub without prior medical consultation and permission from their doctor;

-Do not use the spa/hot tub while under the influence of alcohol, tranquilizers, or other drugs that cause drowsiness or that raise or lower blood pressure;

-Do not use alone;

-Unsupervised use by children is prohibited;

-Enter and exit slowly;

-Observe reasonable time limits (that is, 10-15 minutes), then leave the water and cool down before returning for another brief stay;

-Long exposure may result in nausea, dizziness, or fainting;

-Keep all breakable objects out of the area.

(16) Spas shall meet the emergency telephone and signage requirements for swimming pools in Rule .2530(f).

(17) A sign shall be posted requiring a shower for each user prior to entering the spa or hot tub and prohibiting oils, body lotion, and minerals in the water.

(18) Spas are not required to provide the lifesaving equipment described in Rule .2530(a) of this Section.

(19) In spas less than four feet deep, the slope of the pool wall may exceed 11 degrees from plumb, but shall not exceed 15 degrees from plumb.
History Note: Authority G.S. 130A-282;

Eff. May 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2010; January 1, 2006; July 1, 2004; February 1, 2004; April 1, 1999; January 1, 1996; July 1, 1992.
15A NCAC 18A .2535 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS

Whenever a public swimming pool is open for use, water quality shall be maintained in accordance with the following:

(1) The chemical quality of the water shall be maintained in an alkaline condition at all times with the pH between 7.2 and 7.8.

(2) The clarity of the water shall be maintained such that the main drain grate is visible from the pool deck at all times.

(3) Disinfection shall be provided in accordance with manufacturers' instructions for all pools by a chemical or other process that meets the criteria listed as follows:

(a) registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for pool water or potable water;

(b) provides a residual effect in the pool water that can be measured by portable field test equipment;

(c) will not impart any immediate or cumulative adverse physiological effects to pool bathers when used as directed;

(d) will not produce any safety hazard when stored or used as directed;

(e) will not damage pool components or equipment; and

(f) will demonstrate reduction of total coliform and fecal coliform to a level at least equivalent to free chlorine at a level of one part per million in the same body of water.

(4) When chlorine is used as the disinfectant, a free chlorine residual of at least one part per million (ppm) shall be maintained throughout the pool whenever it is open or in use. Pools that use chlorine as the disinfectant must be stabilized with cyanuric acid except at indoor pools or where it can be shown that cyanuric acid is not necessary to maintain a stable free chlorine residual. The cyanuric acid level shall not exceed 100 parts per million.

(5) When bromine or compounds of bromine are used as the disinfectant, a free bromine residual of at least two parts per million, shall be maintained throughout the pool whenever it is open or in use.

(6) When chlorine or bromine are used as the disinfectant, automatic chemical feeders shall be used. Automatic chlorine or bromine feeders shall be manufactured and installed in accordance with NSF/ANSI Standard number 50. Automatic chlorine and bromine feeder pumps shall be automatically prevented from operating when the circulation pump is not in operation.

(7) When biguanide is used as the disinfectant, a residual of 30 to 50 parts per million shall be maintained throughout the pool whenever it is open or in use.

(8) When silver/copper ion systems are used, the copper concentration in the pool water shall not exceed one part per million and a chlorine residual must be maintained in accordance with Item (4) of this Rule.

(9) The use of chlorine in its elemental (gaseous) form for disinfection of public swimming pools is prohibited.

(10) Test kits or equipment capable of measuring disinfectant level, pH, and total alkalinity must be maintained at all public swimming pools. Pools using cyanuric acid or chlorinated isocyanurates must have a test kit capable of measuring cyanuric acid levels.

(11) The pool operator shall inspect the pool at least daily and maintain written records of the operating conditions of each pool. Records shall be maintained at the pool site for a period of not less than six months. Records shall include the following:

(a) daily recording of the disinfectant residual in the pool;

(b) daily recording of pool water pH;

(c) daily recording of water temperature in heated pools; recording of activities pertaining to pool water maintenance including chemical additions and filter backwash cycles;

(d) weekly recording of total alkalinity and cyanuric acid levels; and

(e) daily recording of pool drain cover/grate inspection.

(12) Water temperature in heated swimming pools shall not exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) and in heated spas shall not exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).

(13) The pool operator shall take the following steps to manage fecal and vomitus accidents:

(a) Direct everyone to leave all pools into which water containing the feces or vomit is circulated and do not allow anyone to enter the pool(s) until decontamination is completed;

(b) Remove as much of the feces or vomit as possible using a net or scoop and dispose of it in a sewage treatment and disposal system;

(c) Raise the free available chlorine concentration to two ppm at a pH of 7.2 to 7.5 and test to assure the chlorine concentration is mixed throughout the pool; and

(d) For accidents involving formed stools or vomit, maintain the free available chlorine concentration at two ppm for at least 25 minutes or at three ppm for at least 19 minutes before reopening the pool. For accidents involving liquid stools increase the free chlorine residual and closure time to reach a CT inactivation value of 15,300 then backwash the pool filter before reopening the pool. CT refers to concentration (C) of free available chlorine in parts per million multiplied by time (T) in minutes.


History Note: Authority G.S. 130A-282;

Eff. May 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2010; February 1, 2004; April 1, 1999; January 1, 1996; July 1, 1992.
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