There is a new swimming pool and spa code in town! The summer of 2014 marked the passing of a milestone for the swimming pool industry in Virginia. Virginia has adopted the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) 2012 which became enforceable, July 14, 2014. The public can purchase this code at APSP. What does this mean for the industry in general?  Well, it means safer and better constructed pools, ensuring federal law compliance (i.e., Virginia Graeme Baker), and reduced risk of injury or death for the end-user, and happy pool owners. This should mean more uniform bid proposals throughout the Commonwealth in both the commercial and residential markets. However, the code as written allows for local jurisdictional interpretation and enforcement. Thus, what might be acceptable in one county or township may not be acceptable in another.

Prior to this implementation, the building code official was primarily concerned with whether or not a structure (and all metal within 5 feet of the pool, electrical or otherwise) was electrically bonded (according to NEC Section 680.26), and whether or not the appropriate barrier (e.g. fence, cover, etc., according to ANSI/ IAF-8, 2005) were properly installed. There was no enforceable code for the actual construction of the pool. Only voluntary compliance with national standards. Improper electrical bonding has just recently lead to a boy’s death in North Miami April 13th of 2014. Roy Johnston, a Master Code Official in Pittsburgh, brought this to the attention of International Code Council Members on LinkedIn.

So, while the old law did provide for some consumer protection, the new law is much more comprehensive about how to construct a pool, from what hydraulics should be used to prevent suction entrapment to the shape of the diving envelope to prevent/ reduce injury. This will make pools, spas and water features in Virginia safer to enjoy and more energy efficient if complied with.

As for Augusta Aquatics, this is good news. The enforcement of these new laws brings the playing field in our market a little more level. Augusta Aquatics has ALWAYS built its pools, spas, and water features to the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) standard, the precursor to the newly adopted ISPSC standard in Virginia. As a matter of fact, the ISPSC actually references ANSI as well as the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) on the cover of its code book. This means that the competition must now by law begin building to a standard they may have previously not followed, making Augusta Aquatics more competitive in the marketplace.

What does this mean for current Augusta Aquatics clients? Well, it means that they have a pool with established value and our clients can rest assured they own a pool built to the best of standards, not because we had to, but because we wanted to serve our clients more than they were aware, and to “do it right.” Now that the state legislature has caught on, we’re confident our clients appreciate the diligence and forethought that has gone into each and every pool, spa and water feature.

“Fun” can be much more enjoyable when you don’t have to worry… We at Augusta Aquatics are also confident that the potential enforcement of such codes, our demonstrated diligence, and attention to forethought and detail will give our clients great comfort when referring their friends and family to have us build their “outdoor fun!”

 

 

See you at the pool!
Augusta Aquatics
Edited by: Tim Coleman