A code is more than a standard
The International Code Council is showcasing its International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC). Their efforts to have the pool code adopted in more states and jurisdictions are paying off as many states are replacing their own codes with the ISPSC.
This effort resulted in the Code Council producing a six-hour code course to introduce its pool code to the building professionals in those states. The course presented in many states throughout the nation has received many positive responses. There is an effort to provide this course using an online video conference format to reach as many building officials as possible.
This training is not just for building officials. The Code Council has a partnership with the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), formerly the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. The PHTA is the trade organization for the swimming pool industry. Many pool and service contractors have taken this new course. They have indicated their approval of the course as giving them a clear understanding of how to build or repair a pool or spa and ensure it is safe to use.
This new course uses a brand-new format in the presentation. The presentation uses many handouts that each student can use to follow the instruction, gaining a better understanding of the presentation. Check with your local chapter for a schedule and the location near you for the next course presentation. PHTA is also planning many training opportunities, including an online format.
The ISPSC developed in 2012 was the very first code to address all types of pools, residential and commercial. Commercial pools have many types, from competition to resorts pools, all having differences that this code covers. In contrast, many existing codes only address one type of commercial pool and do not address residential pools.
The ISPSC also includes many National Consensus Standards. Many people confuse a code with a standard. For example, a health code may require that food on a buffet line is maintained at a certain temperature, but it is a standard (thermometer) that is used to verify compliance. Another example would be a building code that requires wall studs placed on 16-inch centers. The standard (measuring tape) is used to verify compliance. In fact, we use standards almost every day; we just do not think about them in that way. All of our modern-day building codes utilize many standards to enforce their requirements.
Many building officials prefer the ISPSC to other codes because the language of the ISPSC is enforceable language. Code language must be clear and precise so there is no misunderstanding of what the code requires and how to comply. The ISPSC clearly meets this requirement.
The Code Council needs your help to get the ISPSC adopted in more states. The code will ensure our pools and spas are safe. We all know each time we have a case where someone is injured or killed while using a pool or spa, our industry suffers. People want and demand safe pools — the ISPSC can help provide those safe pools and spas.
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