Pool Safety, Continued…

And this time, it’s about something bigger than a microscopic protozoan.

In December of 2007, President Bush signed the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. The act requires that public pools and spas(which will include community association pools and spas) must have some type of anti-entrapment device on the drain designed to eliminate the risk of death or injury.

Apparently, drownings associated with pool and spa drains are disurbingly common, and rather easily preventable. A number of devices can be installed to provide safety and compliance with the act.

Compliance with the act is not mandated until December, but why wait? If you haven’t had this done, get it done immediately.

Diapers Required; Bikinis Prohibited?

Ya just gotta love living in this state…

Salt Lake County now requires diapers for those under three, and Kanab City (down South, for those of you who may not know your Utah geography) is prohibiting bikinis on all (men and women of all ages, apparently).

It appears, according to the KSL News story on the subject, that the city leaders may backpedal on that one; apparently the Kanab city leaders were so concerned with the health issues that they overlooked the dress codes that they were passing.

And we wonder why we get such great laws in this state…

Salt Lake Valley’s Pool Rules

The Salt Lake Valley Health Department has weighed in on the Crypto problem, and they have a slightly different take on the State’s rule:

Any child under three years old, any child not toilet trained, and anyone who lacks control of defecation shall wear a water resistant swim diaper and waterproof swimwear. Swim diapers and waterproof swimwear shall have waist and leg openings fitted such that they are in contact with the waist or leg around the entire circumference.

I don’t remember reading anything about “under three” in the Utah State rule, but if I operated a public pool in Salt Lake County (Heaven forbid), I wouldn’t look any further. I’d post that, and hope to be done with it until Labor Day.

Besides the three year old restriction, doesn’t “anyone who lacks control of defecation” sound better than “those who cannot control evacuative bodily functions”?

Er, on second thought, maybe not.

New Proposed Pool Rules

The Utah Department of Health has submitted a proposed rule to try to avoid, or at least minimize the risk of, another Cryptosporidiosis outbreak this summer; a link to their release on the proposed rule is here.

For those of you who just want the quick summary, here it is, according to the Department of Health:

SUMMARY OF THE RULE OR CHANGE: The following additions have been made: 1) a definition of a cleansing shower has been added; 2) a requirement for operators to follow The Centers for Disease Control Fecal Accident Response Recommendations; 3) a requirement prohibiting swimmers from swimming if they have diarrhea, or have had diarrhea within the last two weeks; 4) a requirement for young children and those who cannot control evacuative bodily functions to wear swim diapers or waterproof swimwear; 5) requirements pool operators must follow in response to the Department of Health issuance of Cryptosporidiosis “Watches” and “Warnings”; 6) modifications to the requirement for drain covers that are less than 24 inches by 24 inches to meet the cited ANSI/ASME standard rather than requiring a listing by a laboratory that has tested the drain cover using the ANSI/ASME standard; 7) a requirement to provide soap for patrons in the shower area, in addition to lavatories; and 8)the drain cover requirement is relaxed to allow large drain covers that meet the standard but that have not been independently certified to meet the standard.

Regular readers of this blog, and those who know me, are well aware that I’m a strong advocate of relying upon others for assistance in rulemaking and enforcement; these rules, if adopted, will help associations protect the health of owners and guests while avoiding the risks associated with familial status discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.

It Depends Upon How You Phrase It

At last weekend’s legal seminar, I reminded my audience that the Fair Housing Act’s protections against familial status prohibit discrimination against families with children, and as a result have resulted in fines against associations who require children to wear diapers in the pool.

So, remember that if you require anyone to wear diapers in the pool, your rule must be age neutral. “Those requiring diapers must wear them in the pool” is OK; “Children must wear diapers in the pool” is not.