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TITLE 25HEALTH SERVICES
PART 1DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES
CHAPTER 265GENERAL SANITATION
SUBCHAPTER LPUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS AND SPAS
RULE §265.201Safety Features for Pools and Spas

(a) Handholds. Where the depth of the water below the design waterline of a pool or spa exceeds 42 inches and there is no seat or bench, swimout-installed handholds along the perimeter shall be provided.

(b) Handholds in wave action pools or leisure rivers. Handholds shall not be required for wave action pools, surf pools, and leisure rivers.

(c) Location and placement of handholds. Handholds shall be located not more than 12 inches above the design waterline and horizontally spaced not greater than 4 feet apart.

(d) Handhold type. Handholds can include one or more of the following:

  (1) top of pool deck or coping;

  (2) secured rope;

  (3) rail;

  (4) rock;

  (5) ledge;

  (6) ladder; or

  (7) stair step.

(e) Safety float lines and floor markings.

  (1) For Class A pools not being used for competitive events:

    (A) A rope and float line shall be provided between 1 and 2 feet on the shallow water side of the 5-foot depth. The floats shall be spaced at not greater than 7-foot intervals; and the floats shall be secured so they will not slide or bunch up. The stretched rope and float line shall be of sufficient size and strength to offer a good handhold and support loads normally imposed by users.

    (B) Rope and float lines shall be securely fastened to wall or deck anchors made of corrosion-resisting materials and of the type that is recessed or removable and shall have no projection that will constitute a hazard when the line is removed.

  (2) Class B pools that are over 5 feet deep shall comply with the following:

    (A) The transition point of the pool floor from the shallow area to the deep area of the pool shall be visually set apart with a 4-inch minimum width row of floor tile or other permanent method using a color contrasting with the bottom.

    (B) A rope and float line shall be provided meeting the requirements of paragraph (1)(A) and (B) of this subsection.

  (3) For Class C pools that are over 5 feet deep:

    (A) The transition point of the pool floor from the shallow area to the deep area of the pool shall be visually set apart by a 4-inch minimum width row of floor tile or other permanent method using a color contrasting with the bottom.

    (B) A rope and float line may also be used in addition to the transition line and shall meet the requirements of paragraph (1)(A) and (B) of this subsection.

  (4) Certain pools exempted. Wave pools, surf pools, and waterslide landing pools are not required to provide a safety rope on the shallow side of the change in floor slope.

  (5) Where an activity pool constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter or an activity pool constructed prior to effective date that is being renovated has a user accessible depth greater than 5 feet, the floor shall be visually set apart with a 4-inch minimum width row of floor tile or other permanent method using a color contrasting with the bottom just above the 5-foot water depth.

(f) Depth markers in pools. Depth markers in pools constructed or renovated on or after October 1, 1999, or that are being replaced, shall meet the following requirements.

  (1) Depth markers shall be permanent and may consist of metal tiles or letters, ceramic tiles, and engraved concrete with letters and numbers filled with Lithichrome enamel paint or an equivalent paint. The numbers and letters shall be not less than 4 inches in height, shall be clearly marked in a color contrasting to the background on which they are applied, and located on the deck and the vertical wall of the pool at:

    (A) the minimum and maximum water depths;

    (B) on both sides and at each end of the pool; and

    (C) at all points of slope change.

  (2) Depth markers shall be installed at water depth increments not to exceed 2 feet and shall be spaced at intervals not to exceed 25 feet and shall comply with the following:

    (A) Depth markers shall have units of measurement that either spell out "feet" or "inches" or abbreviate "FT," "IN," or fractions of a foot.

    (B) Depth markers may also use units of measurement in meters. The depth markers must be spelled out in "meters" or abbreviated as "M."

  (3) Depth markers shall indicate the actual pool depth within ± 3 inches at normal operating water level where measured 3 feet from the pool wall or at the tangent point where the cove radius meets the floor, whichever is deeper.

  (4) Depth marker positions.

    (A) Depth markers on the pool wall shall be positioned in the top 4-1/2 inches of the pool wall just under the coping and be positioned to be read by a user while in the pool.

    (B) Depth markers on decks shall be slip-resistant, placed within 18 inches of the water's edge, and positioned to be read while standing on the deck facing the water.

    (C) Deck depth markers shall not be placed on the deck above entry/exits including steps, ladders, recessed treads, water lounges, and beach entries of the pool.

  (5) Sidewall depth markers shall not be required of a beach entry pool on the beach entry.

  (6) Vanishing edge and overflow gutter pool depth markers shall comply with the following:

    (A) On roll out gutter pools or other pools without a vertical wall that do not have at least 3 inches of pool wall above the operating water level, the depth markers and any unit markers shall be readable from the pool and shall be placed in the first 6 inches of deck, or on a vertical wall or fence, if one exists, within 10 feet of the water's edge. If there is no practical location for installation of vertical depth markers, no depth or unit markers shall be required in those areas.

    (B) On vanishing edge pools, depth markers and any unit markers shall not be required on that portion of the vanishing edge that has no pool wall above the design water level and shall not be required on that portion of the vanishing edge that is inaccessible to patrons on the deck. Sidewall and deck markers must be installed on the vanishing edge immediately at the end of the vanishing edge in the top 4-1/2 inches of the pool.

  (7) Depth markers are not required on wave pool or surf pool decks.

(g) Depth markers for spas. Spa depth markers shall comply with the following:

  (1) Depth markers shall be permanent with numbers and letters not less than 4 inches in height and shall be clearly marked in a color contrasting to the background on which they are applied both on the deck and on the vertical wall of the spa. Depth markers on the vertical wall shall be positioned in the top 4-1/2 inches of the spa wall and be positioned to be read by a user while in the spa.

  (2) There shall not be less than two depth markers for each spa, regardless of spa size and shape.

  (3) Depth markers shall be spaced at not more than 25-foot intervals and shall be uniformly located around the perimeter of the spa.

  (4) Deck depth markers shall be positioned to be read while standing on the deck and shall be slip-resistant.

  (5) Depth markers shall have units of measurement that either spell out "feet" or "inches" or abbreviate "FT," "IN," or fractions of a foot.

  (6) Depth markers may also use units of measurement in meters. The depth markers must be spelled out in "meters" or abbreviated as "M."

(h) Movable bottom pool and spa depth markers. Pools or spas with movable floors shall have a sign indicating movable floor and varied water depth. The posted water depth shall be the water level to the floor of the pool or spa measured vertically 3 feet from the wall of the pool or spa. A sign shall be posted to inform the user that the pool or spa has a varied depth and refer to the sign showing the current depth.

(i) Deck "NO DIVING" markers for pools.

  (1) The warning words "NO DIVING" and the international symbol for no diving shall be permanent and clearly marked on the pool deck with contrasting colors and letters at least 4 inches high. The warning shall be placed at least every 25 feet or fraction thereof, around the pool where the water depth is 5 feet or less. At least two warnings including the "NO DIVING" and the international no diving symbol, shall be provided at the extreme ends of the minimum depth and at the extreme ends of the maximum depth of 5 feet on each side of the pool or on each of the longer dimensional sides of the pool. These warnings shall be slip-resistant. The warning "NO DIVING" and the international no diving symbol on the deck shall be within 18 inches of the water's edge and positioned to be read while standing on the deck facing the water. The international no diving symbol consists solely of a diver's profile in a circle with a 45-degree slash through the diver and may be red and/or black on a light background.

  (2) If a permanent structure above the pool deck is within 5 feet of the water's surface, the international no diving symbol and the warning "NO DIVING" in contrasting colors and letters at least 4 inches high, shall be permanently affixed to the structure so that such warnings are visible to persons who may attempt to use the structure for diving. The international no diving symbol and the warning are not required on diving boards or diving platforms, ADA-compliant chair lifts, slide flumes, lifeguard stands, or bridges.

  (3) Deck "NO DIVING" markers and international symbol for no diving shall not be placed on the deck above entry/exits, including steps, ladders, recessed treads, water lounges, and beach entries of the pool.

  (4) Deck "NO DIVING" markers and the international symbol for no diving are not required for spas.

  (5) "NO DIVING" markers are not required on the interior tile line of a pool or spa.

(j) Signs for pools.

  (1) Signs shall be in the pool yard, securely mounted as applicable, and readily visible to the pool user. Signs shall be posted within the pool yard unless otherwise stated within this subchapter.

  (2) Sign panels shall be durable for the weather conditions. The message surface shall be clean and smooth and shall readily accept paint or precut lettering adhesives.

  (3) Theming or artwork applied to signs shall not invade the message panel. Signs shall have a distinct border.

  (4) Multiple signs may be used, or the messages may be combined on one sign.

  (5) Safety signs for pools constructed on or after the effective date of this subchapter or safety signs that are replaced at pools constructed prior to the effective date of this subchapter shall be in compliance with Figure 25 TAC §265.201(j)(5).

Attached Graphic

  (6) In areas of Texas where the majority of citizens are non-English speaking, in addition to signs in English, signs and other written warnings or information required by these standards may be posted in the predominant language.

  (7) Variations of the language of the required safety signs in Figure 25 TAC §265.201(j)(5) are allowed if the language of the safety signs is substantially equivalent to the language in Figure 25 TAC §265.201(j)(5) and if local regulatory officials that regulate public swimming pools and spas approve the variations before the sign is posted in the pool yard.

(k) Instructional signs for pools such as wave pools, slide pools, and other pools. requiring additional instructions or information. Instructional signs in pools and spas constructed or renovated on or after the effective date of this subchapter shall be provided and inform guests of specific instructions for the use of the ride. Instructional signs shall be located along the queue approaching the ride dispatch area. Lettering shall be a minimum of 1-inch in height. Signs for waterslides shall indicate riding instructions, warnings, and requirements in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and be posted at the waterslide entry.

(l) Ring buoy, throw rope, and reaching pole. A pool shall have at least one ring buoy with throwing rope and a reaching pole for every 2000 square feet of pool surface area up to 6000 square feet. If the pool has over 6000 square feet of surface area an additional ring buoy, throw rope, and reaching pole shall be provided for each additional 4000 square feet of surface area or fraction thereof. The reaching poles and ring buoys with rope shall be visible and readily accessible from all areas of the pool yard.

  (1) The reaching pole shall be light, strong, non-telescoping, and at least 12 feet long. The pole shall be constructed of fiberglass or other material that does not conduct electricity and shall have a body hook or shepherd's crook with blunted ends attached.

  (2) The throwing rope shall be 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch in diameter, with a length at least two-thirds the maximum width of the pool. A USCG-approved ring buoy shall be attached to the throwing rope.

Cont'd...

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