First Edition of ICC Swimming Pool and Spa Code Approved
Code enforcement officials, APSP pool safety experts, engineers, health department officials, manufacturers, contractors participated in development
The first comprehensive swimming pool and spa code to upgrade pool safety and meet the requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Act will soon be available for adoption by jurisdictions and use by contractors. The International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC), published by the International Code Council and coordinated with the other I-Codes was researched and developed with input from a wide range of industry experts. The ISPSC is expected to be available in March.
“Less than a decade ago, a seven-year-old girl named Virginia Baker—granddaughter of former White House Chief of Staff and Treasury Secretary James Baker—was the fatal victim of suction-pump entrapment in an in-ground spa,” ICC CEO Richard P. Weiland said. “If our pool and spa code can spare even one family from the loss that the Bakers and thousands of other families have suffered, we will leave a lasting legacy.”
Currently there are a multitude of differing pool codes used across the country, many lack consistency and are not updated regularly. The ISPSC responds to the needs of many jurisdictions that still use the Standard Swimming Pool Code, and integrates the widely used design and safety features of both the APSP standards and the I-Codes. The ISPSC will allow code enforcement officials, designers and builders to more effectively ensure that pools and spas are built safely. Code uniformity also will result in more consistent contractor training and certification, and will be more cost-effective. By adopting the ISPSC, the industry and the public will benefit from nationwide uniformity, advances in safety and technology, and for the first time, unprecedented protection for users of residential pools and spas.
The ISPSC was developed under the Code Council’s governmental consensus process with the support of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, and brought together the industry’s top-notch code enforcement officials, pool safety experts, engineers, health department officials, contractors, manufacturers and others.
Changes to the code approved during the November final action hearings included:
- Suction fittings for all aquatic vessels must be in accordance with APSP 16, a federal requirement adopted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) effective Sept. 6, 2011. The CPSC replaced the ASME A112.19.8 standard within the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act with the APSP 16 standard.
- Occupant load for decks around water park aquatic vessels was increased from one person per 50 square feet to one person per 15 square feet. Operator experience indicates deck areas in these types of facilities are often very crowded which leads to concerns about egress problems during an emergency condition.
The International Code Council is a member-focused association dedicated to helping the building safety community and construction industry provide safe and sustainable construction through the development of codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.