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TITLE 25HEALTH SERVICES
PART 1DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES
CHAPTER 265GENERAL SANITATION
SUBCHAPTER LPUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS AND SPAS
RULE §265.187Pool and Spa Entry/Exits

(a) Two entry/exits required. With the exception of waterslide landing pools, waterslide runouts, surf pools, and wave pools; pools shall have a minimum of two entry/exits located to serve both ends of the pool. If the pool has a shallow area and a deep area, at least one entry/exit shall be in the shallow end and one in the deep end. Spas are required to have a minimum of one entry/exit.

(b) Entry/exit locations for specific pools. Entry/exit locations for specific pools constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter shall be in accordance with Figure 25 TAC §265.187(b).

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(c) Entry/exit structures and devices for persons with disabilities not counted. Pool or spa lifts, transfer walls, and transfer systems that provide for pool or spa entry and exit for persons with disabilities shall not be counted as a required means of entry or exit.

(d) Entry/exit in shallow water 24 inches or less in depth. Where pools, other than wading pools, have areas with water depths of 24 inches or less at the pool wall, such areas shall be considered to be providing their own natural mode for entry and exit .

(e) Distances between entry/exits in pools with water 24 inches or more in depth. A means of entry/exit in pools shall be provided and shall consist of stairs, a ladder, recessed treads, a swimout, ramp, or beach entry and shall be located no further than 75 feet of travel distance apart from any other entry/exit.

(f) Single entry/exit. Pools where the entry/exit extends at least 75% of the length of the longest wall in areas of the pool not more than 3-1/2 feet deep are not required to comply with subsection (e) in this section if:

  (1) the depth of the pool does not exceed 5 feet; and

  (2) the pool perimeter deck extends around the pool such that any area of the pool can be accessed by the non-telescoping reaching pole as required in §265.201(l)(1), of this chapter (relating to Safety Features for Pools and Spas).

(g) Entry/exit in pools. A means of entry/exit in the deep end of the pool shall be provided and shall consist of one of the following:

  (1) steps or stairs;

  (2) ladder;

  (3) grab rails with recessed treads;

  (4) ramps or beach entry; or

  (5) a swimout with a step meeting the requirements in subsection (n) of this section.

(h) Deep water entry/exit in pools greater than 30 feet wide. Pools constructed or renovated on or after the effective date of this subchapter that are greater than 30 feet in width shall be provided with an entry/exit on each side of the deep area of the pool. The entry/exits in the deep area of the pool shall be located not more than 82 linear feet apart as measured along the coping.

(i) Entry/exit in pools with diving areas. Where the pool is designed for use with diving equipment, any entry/exit, pool stairs, ladders, underwater benches, special features and other accessories shall be located outside of the diving envelope.

(j) Slip-resistant surface. Steps, ladders, and recessed treads shall have slip-resistant surfaces.

(k) Stairs in pools and spas. Stairs in pools and spas constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter and extending into the pool or spa in either shallow or deep water, including recessed pool stairs, shall comply with the following:

  (1) Step treads shall not be less than 24 inches at the leading edge. Each tread shall have an unobstructed surface area of not less than 240 square inches and an unobstructed horizontal depth of not less than 10 inches at the centerline.

  (2) Step risers, except for the bottom riser, shall have a uniform height of not greater than 12 inches measured at the centerline. The bottom riser height tapers to the floor and may vary due to potential cross slopes with the pool or spa floor but may not exceed the maximum allowable riser height.

  (3) The vertical distance from the pool coping, deck, or step surface to the uppermost tread shall not be greater than 12 inches.

  (4) In pools constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter where stairs in water depths greater than 48 inches, the lowest tread shall not be less than 48 inches below the deck and shall be recessed in the pool wall.

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

  (6) A handrail shall be provided in pools and spas for which a lifeguard is required or provided under this subchapter. When provided in pools and spas, handrails shall comply with the following:

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

    (B) Handrails shall be constructed of corrosion-resistant materials.

    (C) Handrails for use by persons with disabilities shall comply with applicable federal, state and local requirements for access by persons with disabilities.

  (7) In pools and spas constructed or renovated after the date of this subchapter, handrails shall meet the following requirements:

    (A) The top of the gripping surface of handrails shall be 34 inches to 38 inches above the ramp or step surface as measured at the nosing of the step or finished surface of the slope.

    (B) The leading edge of handrails for stairs, pool entries and exits shall be located not greater than 18 inches from the vertical face of the bottom riser.

    (C) The outside diameter or width of handrails shall be not less than 1-1/4 inches and not greater than 2 inches.

    (D) Handrails for use by persons with disabilities shall comply with applicable federal, state and local requirements for access by persons with disabilities.

  (8) For pools or spas with perimeter gutter systems, the gutter may serve as a step if the gutter has a grating or cover and conforms to all construction and dimensional requirements in this subchapter.

(l) Recessed treads in pools and spas constructed or renovated on or after the effective date of this subchapter. Recessed treads in pools and spas constructed or renovated on or after the effective date of this subchapter shall meet the following requirements:

  (1) Recessed treads shall have a minimum depth of not less than 5 inches and a width of not less than 12 inches.

  (2) The vertical distance between the pool coping edge, deck or step surface and the uppermost recessed tread shall not be greater than 12 inches.

  (3) Recessed treads at the centerline shall have a uniform vertical spacing of not less than 7 inches and not more than 12 inches.

  (4) Recessed tread shall be designed to be slip-resistant, easily cleaned, and to drain into the pool or spa.

(m) Ladders in pools and spas constructed or renovated on or after the effective date of this subchapter. Ladders constructed or renovated on or after the effective date of this subchapter shall be constructed of corrosion resistant materials and shall be anchored securely to the deck and bonded in accordance with the NEC. Ladders in pools and spas shall comply with the following:

  (1) Two handrails shall be provided for each ladder, one on each side of the ladder with a clear distance between ladder handrails of not less than 17 inches and not greater than 24 inches.

  (2) Ladder treads shall have a uniform horizontal depth of not less than 2 inches. There shall be a uniform distance between ladder treads not less than 7 inches and not greater than 12 inches, and ladder treads shall be slip-resistant.

  (3) The top tread of a ladder shall be located not greater than 12 inches below the top of the deck or coping.

  (4) Wall clearance between the pool or spa wall and the ladder shall be not less than 3 inches and not greater than 6 inches.

(n) Swimouts. Swimouts constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter shall be located completely outside of the water current or wave action of the pool or spa, may be in shallow or deep water, and shall comply with the following:

  (1) The horizontal surface shall be unobstructed and have a horizontal depth of not less than 11 inches.

  (2) Each tread shall have an unobstructed surface area of not less than 240 square inches.

  (3) Where a swimout is used as an entry/exit, it shall be provided with a step that meets stair requirements in subsection (k) of this section.

(o) Beach entry, zero-depth entry, and sloping entries in pools and spas. For purposes of this subchapter, beach entries, zero-depth entries, and sloping entries will be referred to as beach entries. Beach entries in pools that are not wave pools, surf pools, leisure rivers, vortex pools, activity pools, or PIWF constructed or renovated on or after the effective date this subchapter shall comply with the following:

  (1) The slope of beach entries used as a pool entry shall not exceed 1:12.

  (2) Where benches are used in conjunction with beach entries, the vertical riser height shall not exceed 12 inches.

  (3) Where steps are used in conjunction with beach entries, the steps must comply with subsection (k) of this section.

  (4) Trench drains shall be used along beach entries at the waterline to facilitate surface skimming and may be flat or follow the slope of the entry.

(p) Starting platforms in pools. In pools constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter, starting platforms shall be located at a water depth of not less than five feet or shall meet the requirements of the sanctioning authority that provides accreditation of the pool for competitive events. In pools renovated on or after the effective date of this subchapter, starting platforms intended for non-sanctioned competitive swimming events shall be in water not less than 4-1/2 feet. Starting platforms at all pools regardless of the date of construction shall comply with the following requirements:

  (1) Starting platforms in Class A pools shall be installed in accordance with the appropriate sanctioning body that regulates the type of competition to be held.

  (2) Starting platforms shall have slip-resistant tread surfaces.

  (3) Starting platforms shall be installed and secured per the manufacturer's instructions.

  (4) Starting platforms shall only be used during official competition or when there is direct supervision by the team coach or other qualified instructor.

  (5) Starting platforms shall be removed or secured to prevent inadvertent use when the use of the starting platforms is not directly supervised.

(q) Entry/exits in aquatic recreation facility pools such as wave pools, surf pools, catch pools, leisure rivers, vortex pools, activity pools, and public interactive water features and fountains.

  (1) Entry/exit locations shall be in accordance with Figure: 25 TAC §265.187(b).

  (2) Beach entry, zero-depth entry and sloping entries, and swimout entry/exit in specific pools shall be slip-resistant to water depths of 18 inches and:

    (A) the entry slope shall not exceed 1:12; and

    (B) the vertical riser height of a bench used in conjunction with sloping entries shall not exceed 12 inches.

  (3) Steps into the shallow end and recessed stairs shall be a uniform height of 9 inches, except that the bottom riser shall be permitted to vary and:

    (A) the vertical distance from the coping, deck, or step surface to the uppermost tread shall not exceed 9 inches; and

    (B) the steps shall have a horizontal solid or broken stripe at least 1-inch wide on the top surface along the leading edge of each step that is plainly visible to the person on the deck and is in a color contrasting the background on which it is applied. The color shall be permanent in nature and shall be slip-resistant.

  (4) Stairs in water depths over 48 inches shall have the lowest tread located at least 48 inches below the deck. Treads shall have an unobstructed horizontal depth of not less than 11 inches and shall have an unobstructed surface area of not less than 240 square inches.


Source Note: The provisions of this §265.187 adopted to be effective January 1, 2021, 45 TexReg 9529

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