News & Information

ADA Swimming Pool Accessibility

The new federal law concerning handicap access to public pools will be effective March 2011. This gives everyone one year to become compliant.

Below is an article explaining this law, how it impacts you and what to do to get your pool up to code under the new protocol.

ADA Accessibility Summary for Swimming Pools

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. On September 15, 2010, the ADA Guidelines finalized on July 23, 2004 (ADAAG 2004) were signed into law and now require compliance by all Title II (Public Entities) and Title III (Public Accommodations and Commercial Entities) by March 15, 2012. This includes recreation facilities, swimming pools, wading pools and spas.

ADA regulations cover both public and private facilities including pools operated by public park and recreation districts, hotels and motels, fitness and recreational sports clubs, country clubs, high schools and universities, waterparks, hospitals and health care facilities. Regulations may also apply to private residential facilities, such as homeowners, apartment and condo associations, if these facilities are open to the general public.

ADA guidelines provide specification of certain elements in the design of new and renovated facilities to ensure that individuals with disabilities are generally able to access swimming pools and spas and use a variety of features of the facility. The guidelines are the minimum level of accessibility required and are encouraged to be exceeded where possible to increase opportunities.

Click here to get a copy of U.S. Access Board's Accessible Swimming Pools & Spas summary.


Does Your Pool Meet Federal Requirements?

In June 2002, Virginia Graeme Baker, the granddaughter of former US Secretary of State Jim Baker, drowned in a tragic incident caused when she became trapped on a spa main drain. Congress, in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, wrote VGBA which was then signed into law by the President of the United States on December 19, 2007.

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Act (VGBA) is now becoming a reality for swimming pools in North Carolina, and a new State Code will be enacted before the 2010 swim season. In essence, the primary intent of the law is to reduce the likelihood of entrapment on the suction fittings of swimming pools and spas. Before opening in 2010, all new and existing pools and spas must be brought into compliance.

For a complete copy of the VGBA Law, visit:






"Call us today to comply with Federal Law!"



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