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TITLE 25HEALTH SERVICES
PART 1DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES
CHAPTER 265GENERAL SANITATION
SUBCHAPTER LSTANDARDS FOR PUBLIC POOLS AND SPAS
RULE §265.186Decks, Entry/Exit, Diving Facilities, and Other Deck Equipment at Post-10/01/99 and Pre-10/01/99 Pools and Spas

(a) Decks for post-10/01/99 pools and spas.

  (1) Deck(s) for post-10/01/99 pools and spas shall be designed and installed in accordance with the engineering methods required by the department or the applicable local regulatory authority. This includes the design and quality of subbase, concrete mix, reinforcing, joints, etc.

  (2) If a concrete deck is installed, in the absence of specific local engineering practices, the work shall be performed in accordance with ACI Standard 302.1R-1998, "Guide for Concrete Floor and Slab Construction."

  (3) Decks, ramps, coping, steps, markings, brand insignias and similar surfaces shall be slip-resistant and easily cleanable.

  (4) Soils supporting decks shall have adequate load-bearing capacities.

  (5) The minimum continuous, unobstructed, usable deck width (which can include flush coping) shall conform with subparagraphs (A) - (G) of this paragraph, except that at a Class B, C, or D pool, as much as 35% of the deck in subparagraphs (A) - (E) of this paragraph may be replaced with other structures; however, in no case shall other structures restrict emergency access or create above deck structures that may be used as diving platforms or create other safety or sanitary hazards.

    (A) Class A pool deck widths shall meet standards of the appropriate sanctioning body that regulates the type of competitions to be held.

    (B) Class B pool deck widths shall be a minimum of 4 feet if the post-10/01/99 pool was built before September 1, 2004.

    (C) Class B pool deck widths shall be a minimum of 6 feet if the post-10/01/99 pool is built on or after September 1, 2004.

    (D) Class C pool deck widths shall be a minimum of 4 feet.

    (E) Class D pool deck widths shall be a minimum of 4 feet.

    (F) Decks shall be provided surrounding at least 50% or more of the spa. Spa deck widths shall be a minimum of 4 feet, and the decks shall be continuous and unobstructed. Coping that is flush where it meets the deck may be included in determining minimum deck width compliance.

    (G) A minimum of 4 feet of deck width shall be provided on the sides and rear of any diving equipment. A deck clearance of 3 feet shall be provided around all other deck equipment.

  (6) The minimum slope of the deck(s) shall be 1/8 inch per foot for textured, hand-finished concrete decks and 1/4 inch per foot for exposed aggregate concrete decks including decks covered with an epoxy finish and other specialty surfaces installed according to the manufacturer's instructions and good sanitation practices. Wood decks or indoor/outdoor carpeting shall not be located within the distance specified in paragraph (5) of this subsection unless approved by local regulatory authority.

  (7) The maximum slope of all decks, other than wood decks, shall be one-half inch per foot, except for ramps. The maximum slope for wood decks shall be 1/8 inch per foot. Gaps shall be required between deck boards consistent with good engineering and safety practices with respect to the type of wood used.

  (8) The maximum gaps between pool or spa decks and/or walkways including joint material, shall be 3/16 inch of horizontal clearance with a maximum difference in vertical elevation of 1/4 inch.

  (9) Joints where pool or spa coping meets concrete deck(s) shall be watertight.

  (10) Joints where pool or spa coping meets concrete deck shall be installed to protect the coping and its mortar bed from damage as a result of movement of adjoining deck(s).

  (11) Joints in deck(s) shall be provided to minimize the potential for cracks due to shrinkage or slight movement of the slab.

  (12) The areas where concrete deck(s) join other concrete work shall be protected by expansion joints to protect the pool and spa adequately from the pressures of relative movements.

  (13) The edge of deck(s) shall be rounded, tapered or otherwise shaped to eliminate sharp corners.

  (14) Deck(s) shall be sloped to effectively drain to perimeter areas or to deck drains. Drainage shall remove pool and spa splash water, deck cleaning water, and rainwater without leaving standing water deeper than 1/8 inch. Water from deck drainage shall not be mixed with pool or spa water.

  (15) Site drainage shall direct all perimeter deck drainage, general site and roof drainage away from the pool area. Yard drains shall be installed, as needed, to prevent the accumulation or puddling of site water in the general area of the deck(s) and related improvements.

  (16) Valves installed in or under any deck(s) shall be accessible through an access cover at least 10 inches in diameter and installed in a valve pit at least 10 inches in diameter to facilitate operation, service, and maintenance. Access covers shall be provided for valve pits for post-10/01/99 pools and spas.

  (17) An adequate number of hose bibs and adequate hose shall be provided for washing down all areas of the deck. Cross-connection control device(s) as approved by the TCEQ or local regulatory authority shall be provided. When not in use, hoses shall be stored in such a manner to prevent a hazard from tripping.

(b) Decks for pre-10/01/99 pools and spas.

  (1) Decks for pre-10/01/99 pools and spas shall comply with the construction and design requirements in existence at the time the pool was originally built.

  (2) In decks of pre-10/01/99 pools and spas, access covers shall be provided for any valve pits in the decks.

  (3) In pre-10/01/99 pools and spas, the usable pool deck (which can include flush coping) must be continuous and unobstructed and shall conform to the applicable minimum width in subparagraphs (A) - (E) of this paragraph. However, at a Class B, C, or D pool, as much as 35% of the deck in subparagraphs (A) - (E) of this paragraph may be replaced with other structures. Other structures must not restrict emergency access or create above-deck structures that may be used as diving platforms or create other safety or sanitary hazards.

    (A) Class A pool deck widths shall meet standards of the appropriate sanctioning body that regulates the type of competitions to be held.

    (B) Class B pool deck widths shall be a minimum of 4 feet.

    (C) Class C pool deck widths shall be a minimum of 4 feet.

    (D) Class D pool deck widths shall be a minimum of 4 feet.

    (E) A minimum of 4 feet of deck width shall be provided on the sides and rear of any diving equipment. A deck clearance of 3 feet shall be provided around all other deck equipment.

(c) Entries and exits for post-10/01/99 pools. Post-10/01/99 pools shall have a minimum of two entry/exits, e.g., one serving the shallow end and one serving the deep end. Entry/exits may consist of ladders, steps, recessed treads, zero depth entries or combinations thereof. Ladders, steps, and recessed treads shall conform to the following:

  (1) in post-10/01/99 pools, areas where the vertical distance from the bottom of the pool to the deck or walk is 18 inches or less at the pool wall may be considered as an entry/exit;

  (2) in post-10/01/99 pools, if the deep portion of the pool is more than 30 feet wide, opposite sides of the deep portion must each have an entry/exit;

  (3) a means of entry/exit for the shallow end of a post-10/01/99 pool shall be located between the shallow end wall and the cross section at Point C, while a means of entry/exit for the deep end shall be between the deep end wall and the cross section at Point B, refer to pool dimensions at subsection (e)(6) of this section, or if not a diving pool, they shall be so located as to reasonably serve the respective areas;

  (4) a means of entry/exit shall be provided at a minimum of every 75 linear feet of wall or fraction thereof, in a post-10/01/99 pool;

  (5) steps, ladders, and recessed treads in a post-10/01/99 pool shall be located so as not to interfere with racing lanes if applicable;

  (6) steps, ladders, and recessed treads in a post-10/01/99 pool shall have slip-resistant surfaces;

  (7) steps in a post-10/01/99 pool shall comply with the following:

    (A) steps shall have a minimum unobstructed horizontal depth (i.e., horizontal run) of 12 inches and a minimum width of 20 inches;

    (B) risers for steps shall have a maximum uniform height of 10 inches, with the bottom riser height allowed to taper to zero;

    (C) underwater steps shall be provided with a horizontal solid or broken stripe at least 1 inch wide on the top surface along the front leading edge of each step. This stripe shall be plainly visible to persons on the pool deck. The stripe shall be a contrasting color to the background on which it is applied, and the color shall be permanent in nature and shall be a slip-resistant surface; and

    (D) the pool shall comply with applicable requirements for disability access for pools under federal, state, and local fair housing and handicap access laws. A handrail shall be provided in pools for which a lifeguard is required under these rules. When provided, handrails shall comply with the following requirements:

      (i) handrails, if removable, shall be installed in such a way that they cannot be removed without the use of tools;

      (ii) the leading edge of handrails for steps shall be no more than plus or minus 8 inches horizontally from the vertical plane of the bottom riser or extend into the pool to a water depth of 36 inches as measured from the horizontal step surface to the design water level; and

      (iii) the outside diameter of handrails shall range from 1.25 inches to 2 inches;

  (8) Pool ladder(s) with ladder treads in post-10/01/99 pools shall comply with the following:

    (A) the handrails and treads of the ladders shall be made entirely of corrosion-resistant materials;

    (B) two handrails shall be provided for each ladder, one on each side of the ladder;

    (C) the clear horizontal distance between ladder handrails shall be a minimum of 17 inches and a maximum of 24 inches;

    (D) there shall be a uniform vertical distance between ladder treads of not less than 7-inches or more than 12 inches;

    (E) the vertical distance between the pool coping edge, deck, or step surface and the uppermost ladder tread shall be a maximum of 12 inches;

    (F) the ladder treads shall have a minimum horizontal depth of 1.5 inches; and

    (G) below the water level of the pool, the inside edge of the ladder hand rails shall not be further than 5 inches and the ladder treads shall not be further than 3.5 inches from the pool wall. See §265.184(l) of this title (relating to General Construction and Design for Post-10/01/99 Pools and Spas);

  (9) pool ladder(s) with recessed treads in walls of post-10/01/99 pools shall comply with the following:

    (A) the handrails of the ladders shall be made entirely of corrosion-resistant materials;

    (B) two handrails shall be provided for each ladder, one on each side of the ladder;

    (C) the clear horizontal distance between ladder handrails shall be a minimum of 17 inches and a maximum of 24 inches;

    (D) there shall be a uniform vertical distance between recessed treads of not less than 7-inches or more than 12 inches;

    (E) the vertical distance between the pool coping edge, deck, or step surface and the uppermost recessed tread shall be a maximum of 12 inches;

    (F) the recessed treads shall have a minimum depth of 4.5 inches and a minimum width of 12 inches; and

    (G) the recessed treads shall drain into the pool but not be sloped more than 1/2 inch per foot, to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris.

  (10) swimouts in the pool walls of post-10/01/99 pools shall comply with the following:

    (A) swimouts shall be completely outside the perimeter shape of the pool;

    (B) when used as an entry/exit access, swimouts shall be provided with step(s) to meet the pool step requirements as stated in paragraph (7) of this subsection;

    (C) when steps are used in swimouts, they shall be visually set apart with a horizontal solid or broken stripe at least 1 inch wide on the top surface along the leading edge of horizontal surfaces of each step. The stripe shall be plainly visible to persons on the pool deck. The stripe shall be a contrasting color to the background on which it is applied, and the color shall be permanent;

    (D) swimouts are allowed in the deep or shallow areas of the pool;

    (E) the horizontal surface shall be a maximum of 20 inches below the design water level unless steps are provided in the swimout; and

    (F) pools that do not utilize a perimeter overflow system shall provide a wall return inlet or outlet in the swimout to maintain sufficient circulation.

(d) Entries and exits for pre-10/01/99 pools.

  (1) Entries and exits in pre-10/01/99 pools shall comply with good public health engineering practices for construction of newly-built pools and spas prevailing at the time of original construction as required by Health and Safety Code, §341.064(g), and shall comply with these rules except as expressly provided otherwise.

Cont'd...

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