<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
TITLE 25HEALTH SERVICES
PART 1DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES
CHAPTER 265GENERAL SANITATION
SUBCHAPTER LPUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS AND SPAS
RULE §265.184General Construction and Design for Pools and Spas

(a) Structural design and materials for pools and spas. Construction design and materials used in construction or renovation of pools and spas shall comply with the requirement of this section as well as other requirements expressly stated in this subchapter.

(b) Non-toxic, durable, and sound materials for pools and spas. Pools and spas shall be constructed of materials that:

  (1) are non-toxic to humans and the environment;

  (2) are impervious and enduring;

  (3) will withstand design stresses; and

  (4) will provide a watertight structure with a smooth and easily cleanable surface without cracks, or joints, excluding structural joints, or that will provide a watertight structure to which a smooth, easily cleaned surface or finish is applied or attached.

(c) User contact material surfaces. Material surfaces that come in contact with the user shall be finished, so that they do not constitute a cutting, pinching, puncturing or abrasion hazard under casual contact and intended use.

(d) Accepted practice for pools and spas.

  (1) The structural design and materials for pools and spas constructed before the effective date of this subchapter shall be in accordance with accepted industry engineering practices and methods prevailing at the time of original construction unless otherwise stated in this subchapter.

  (2) The materials and structural design of pools and spas constructed on or after the effective date this subchapter shall be in accordance with the International Building Code promulgated by the International Code Council and in effect at the time of construction, as applicable in accordance with the standards in Figure 25 TAC §265.184(d)(2).

Attached Graphic

(e) NSF Standard 50. Where equipment for a pool or spa such as pumps, filters, skimmers, chemical feeders, and any other equipment, falls within the scope of NSF Standard 50, such equipment shall meet the standard as confirmed by a testing laboratory, except as otherwise noted in §265.193 of this subchapter (related to Suction Outlet Systems (Suction Outlets) and Return Inlets for Pools and Spas). Conformity with standards noted above shall be evidenced by the listing or labeling of such equipment by such a laboratory or by separate documentation.

(f) Prohibition of earth material.

  (1) Earth shall not be permitted as an interior finish in a pool or spa. Clean sand or similar material if used in a beach environment:

    (A) shall only be used over an impervious surface;

    (B) shall be designed to perform in such an environment; and

    (C) shall be controlled so as not to adversely affect the proper circulation, filtration, treatment system, maintenance, safety, sanitation, and operation of the pool or spa.

  (2) When sand or similar material is used, positive upflow circulation through the sand shall be provided as necessary to ensure sanitary conditions are maintained at all times.

(g) Interior color of pools and spas.

  (1) The colors, patterns, or finishes of a pool or spa interior shall not obscure the existence or presence of objects or surfaces within the pool or spa.

  (2) For pools and spas constructed before the effective date of this subchapter interior surfaces shall be a light enough color so that an 8-inch black disk or Secchi disk on the pool or spa floor at the deepest point of the pool or spa can be clearly and immediately seen by an observer standing on the deck at a point closest to the disk.

  (3) For pools and spas constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter or for pools and spas that are replastered or have the pool/spa interior surface refinished on or after the effective date of this subchapter, interior surfaces and finishes shall be at least 6.5 on the Munsell color value scale.

  (4) Lane markings, floors of Class A pool diving wells, step and edge markings, water line tiles, and depth change indicator tiles shall be in darker colors or in colors in contrast to the pool and spa interior finish and surface.

(h) Areas subject to freezing. Where constructed in areas subject to freezing, pools and spas and appurtenances shall be designed to protect against damage due to freezing.

(i) Hydrostatic relief. A hydrostatic relief valve, plug, or a more extensive hydrostatic system shall be installed to prevent ground water pressure from displacing or otherwise damaging a pool or spa.

(j) Interior surface footing. The surfaces within a pool or spa intended to provide footing for users shall be slip-resistant. The roughness or irregularity of such surfaces shall not cause injury to feet during normal use.

(k) General shape. This subchapter is not intended to regulate the perimeter shape of pools or spas. It is the designer's responsibility to consider the effect a given shape will have on the health and safety of the users.

(l) Dimensional variations. Dimensions for pools and spas may vary in limited areas where access for persons with disabilities has been provided, as long as the general safety of all users is maintained. The design shall comply with the applicable requirements for persons with disabilities under federal, state, and local fair housing and disability access laws.

(m) Entanglement or entrapment avoidance. Pools and spas shall be constructed without protrusions, extensions, means of entanglement, or other obstructions in a pool or spa that may cause the entrapment or injury of the user or interfere with proper operation.

(n) Construction tolerances for pools and spas constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter.

  (1) Construction tolerances for Class A pools shall be determined by the sanctioning authority that provides the accreditation of the pool for competitive events.

  (2) For all other pools and spas designed by a licensed engineer, construction tolerances shall be in accordance with Figure 25 TAC §265.184(n)(2) or with the construction plan submitted by the licensed engineer.

Attached Graphic

(o) Maximum user load. The maximum user load in a pool or spa shall be based upon the following:

  (1) The maximum number of users in Class A pools being used for competitive events shall be determined by the sanctioning authority under which the events are being held.

  (2) Maximum number of users in Class A pools not being used for competitive events, and Class B and Class C pools and spas are set forth in Figure 25 TAC §265.184(o)(2).

Attached Graphic

  (3) The maximum number of users may be lowered but must not exceed the number that is determined in accordance with paragraphs (1) or (2) of this subsection, as applicable.

  (4) Pool and spa equipment sizing including the circulation system, deck area, and any other equipment or utility used to maintain the pool or spa shall be based upon the maximum number of users determined in accordance with paragraphs (1) or (2) of this subsection, as applicable.

  (5) Maximum number of users in waterslide landing pools at any given time shall be established by the slide manufacturer. Maximum number of users in surf pools at any given time shall be established by the surf pool manufacturer. For purposes of this paragraph, a waterslide landing pool can be either a separate pool located at the exit of one or more waterslide flumes or the area of a pool that is located at the exit of one or more waterslide flumes.

(p) Walls joining floors in pools and spas constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter. Walls shall intersect with the floor at an angle or a transition profile. Where a transitional profile is provided at water depths of 3 feet or less, a transitional radius shall not exceed 6 inches, shall be tangent to the wall, and may be tangent or intersect the floor. Wall to floor radiuses may encroach on tread unobstructed surface areas.

(q) Floor slopes in pools and spas constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter. All pool floor slopes shall drain and be uniform within the different activity areas of the pool. Floor slopes in Class A pools shall be determined by the authority that provides the accreditation of the pool for competitive events. All other pool floor slopes shall meet the following requirements:

  (1) The slope of the floor in water less than 5 feet shall not exceed 1 foot in 10 feet to the point of the first slope change.

  (2) The slope of the floor in water five feet deep or more shall not exceed one foot in three feet.

  (3) The slope of the floor may vary in limited areas where access for persons with disabilities has been provided.

  (4) The slope of the floor of a spa shall not exceed 1:12. Where multilevel floors are provided, the change in depth shall be indicated.

(r) Visual separation for pools and spas. Any area of a pool and spa, excluding steps and ramps, that is less than 3 feet in depth shall be visually set apart from deeper areas of the pool by a minimum 4-inch wide tile band, pointed line, or similar means of contrasting color across the floor of the pool.

(s) Vanishing edge in a pool or spa constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter. The vanishing edge overflow trough, basin, or capture drain is not a skimmer and does not replace the number of required skimmers in pools or spas constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter. A vanishing edge in a pool or spa shall:

  (1) not exceed more than 50% of the entire perimeter of the pool or of the spa unless the entire pool or spa is surrounded by a deck meeting the requirements of §265.185 of this subchapter (relating to Decks and Deck Equipment for Pools and Spas);

  (2) not be required to have skimmers when 100% of the entire pool or spa is a vanishing edge;

  (3) not have any part of the vanishing edge at a distance exceeding 15 feet from the deck; and

  (4) be designed to overflow into a trough, basin, or capture drain.

(t) Underwater seats and benches. Underwater seats and benches in pools and spas constructed or renovated on or after the effective date of this subchapter shall:

  (1) have the horizontal surface not greater than 20 inches below the design water level;

  (2) have an unobstructed seating surface a minimum of 10 inches in depth and not less than 24 inches in width;

  (3) be located fully outside of the diving water envelope in a pool with diving equipment;

  (4) be visually set apart with a permanent solid or broken stripe 1-inch wide on the top surface along the leading edge of the bench and in a contrasting color to the surface to which it is applied;

  (5) have a slip-resistant surface; and

  (6) shall not be used as the required entry and exit access.

(u) Water lounges in pools and spas. Water lounges shall be designed to be used as a lounge or sunning area and must not be designed to be used as wading pools. Water lounges shall:

  (1) be a minimum of 20 inches wide and provide a minimum of 10 square feet of horizontal surface over a distance of not less than 3 feet;

  (2) be at a depth of 2 to 12 inches below the design water level;

  (3) be visually set apart with a permanent solid or broken stripe 1-inch wide, on the top surface along the leading edge of the bench and in a contrasting color to the surface to which it is applied;

  (4) have a slip-resistant surface;

  (5) be located fully outside of the diving water envelope in a pool with diving equipment; and

  (6) be located in shallow areas of the pool or spa only.

(v) Underwater toe ledges. Underwater toe ledges in pools and spas constructed or renovated on or after the effective date of this subchapter shall:

  (1) be slip-resistant;

  (2) only be provided in water 5 feet deep or greater and at least 4 feet below the design water level;

  (3) be visually set apart with a permanent solid or broken stripe 1-inch wide, on the top surface along the leading edge of the bench and in a contrasting color to the surface to which it is applied; and

  (4) have a minimum horizontal tread depth of 4 inches and a maximum uniform horizontal tread depth of 6 inches.

(w) Wading pools.

  (1) Wading pools, including wading pools containing a PIWF or fountain constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter shall have a maximum water depth of 18 inches. Wading pools constructed on or after October 1, 1999, and before the effective date of this subchapter shall have a maximum water depth of 24 inches.

  (2) Wading pools and wading pools containing a PIWF that are constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter and all wading pools constructed on or after October 1, 1999, shall:

    (A) be separate and physically set apart from shallow water areas by at least 15 feet, measured by straight line distance or by a pool yard enclosure meeting the requirements in §265.203 of this subchapter (relating to Pool Yard and Spa Yard Enclosures) for Class C pools and spas;

Cont'd...

Next Page

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page