CODES

ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Swimming Pool and Spa Code 2015 (ISPSC 2015)

Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this code, have the meanings shown in this chapter.
Words used in the present tense include the future; words stated in the masculine gender include the feminine and neuter; the singular number includes the plural and the plural, the singular.
Where terms are not defined in this code and are defined in the International Building Code, International Energy Conservation Code, International Fire Code, International Fuel Gas Code, International Mechanical Code, International Plumbing Code or International Residential Code, such terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them as in those codes.
Where terms are not defined through the methods authorized by this section, such terms shall have ordinarily accepted meanings such as the context implies.
ACCESSIBLE. Signifies access that requires the removal of an access panel or similar removable obstruction.

ACTIVITY POOL. A pool designed primarily for play activity that uses constructed features and devices including lily pad walks, flotation devices, small slide features, and similar attractions.

AIR INDUCTION SYSTEM. A system whereby a volume of air is introduced into hollow ducting built into a spa floor, bench, or hydrotherapy jets.

ALTERATION. Construction or renovation to an existing pool or spa other than repair that requires a permit.

[A] APPROVED. Acceptable to the code official or authority having jurisdiction.

[A] APPROVED AGENCY. An established and recognized agency regularly engaged in conducting tests or furnishing inspection services, when such agency has been approved by the code official.

AQUATIC RECREATION FACILITY. A facility that is designed for free-form aquatic play and recreation. The facilities may include, but are not limited to, wave or surf action pools, leisure rivers, sand bottom pools, vortex pools, activity pools, inner tube rides, body slides and interactive play attractions.

BACKWASH. The process of cleansing the filter medium or elements by the reverse flow of water through the filter.

BACKWASH CYCLE. The time required to backwash the filter medium or elements and to remove debris in the pool or spa filter.

BARRIER. A permanent fence, wall, building wall, or combination thereof that completely surrounds the pool or spa and obstructs the access to the pool or spa. The term "permanent"shall mean not being able to be removed, lifted, or relocated without the use of a tool.

BATHER. A person using a pool, spa or hot tub and adjoining deck area for the purpose of water sports, recreation, therapy or related activities.

BATHER LOAD. The number of persons in the pool or spa water at any given moment or during any stated period of time.

BEACH ENTRY. Sloping entry starting above the waterline at deck level and ending below the waterline. The presence of sand is not required. Also called "zero entry."

CHEMICAL FEEDER. A floating or mechanical device for adding a chemical to pool or spa water.

CIRCULATION EQUIPMENT. The components of a circulation system.

CIRCULATION SYSTEM. The mechanical components that are a part of a recirculation system on a pool or spa. Circulation equipment may be, but is not limited to, categories of pumps, hair and lint strainers, filters, valves, gauges, meters, heaters, surface skimmers, inlet fittings, outlet fittings and chemical feeding devices. The components have separate functions, but when connected to each other by piping, perform as a coordinated system for purposes of maintaining pool or spa water in a clear and sanitary condition.

[A] CODE OFFICIAL. The officer or other designated authority charged with the administration and enforcement of this code, or a duly authorized representative.

[A] CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS. Written, graphic and pictorial documents prepared or assembled for describing the design, location and physical characteristics of the elements of a project necessary for obtaining a building permit.

DECK. An area immediately adjacent to or attached to a pool or spa that is specifically constructed or installed for sitting, standing, or walking.

DEEP AREA. Water depth areas exceeding 5 feet (1524 mm).

DESIGN PROFESSIONAL. An individual who is registered or licensed to practice his or her respective design profession as defined by the statutory requirements of the professional registration or licensing laws of the state or jurisdiction in which the project is to be constructed.

DESIGN RATE OF FLOW. The rate of flow used for design calculations in a system.

DESIGN WATERLINE. The centerline of the skimmer or other point as defined by the designer of the pool or spa.

DIVING AREA. The area of a swimming pool that is designed for diving.

DIVING BOARD. A flexible board secured at one end that is used for diving such as a spring board or a jump board.

DIVING PLATFORM. A stationary platform designed for diving.

DIVING STAND. Any supporting device for a springboard, jump board or diving board.

EXERCISE SPA (Also known as a swim spa). Variants of a spa in which the design and construction includes specific features and equipment to produce a water flow intended to allow recreational physical activity including, but not limited to, swimming in place. Exercise spas can include peripheral jetted seats intended for water therapy, heater, circulation and filtration system, or can be a separate distinct portion of a combination spa/exercise spa and can have separate controls. These spas are of a design and size such that they have an unobstructed volume of water large enough to allow the 99th Percentile Man as specified in APSP 16 to swim or exercise in place.

EXISTING POOL OR SPA. A pool or spa constructed prior to the date of adoption of this code, or one for which a legal building permit has been issued.

FILTER. A device that removes undissolved particles from water by recirculating the water through a porous substance such as filter medium or elements.

FILTRATION. The process of removing undissolved particles from water by recirculating the water through a porous substance such as filter medium or elements.

[BS] FLOOD HAZARD AREA. The greater of the following two areas:

1. The area within a flood plain subject to a 1-percent or greater chance of flooding in any year.

2. The area designated as a flood hazard area on a community’s flood hazard map, or otherwise legally designated.

FLUME. A trough-like or tubular structure, generally recognized as a water slide, that directs the path of travel and the rate of descent by the rider.

GUTTER. Overflow trough in the perimeter wall of a pool that is a component of the circulation system or flows to waste.

HAIR AND LINT STRAINER. A device attached on or in front of a pump to which the influent line (suction line) is connected for the purpose of entrapping lint, hair, or other debris that could damage the pump.

HANDHOLD. That portion of a pool or spa structure or a specific element that is at or above the design waterline that users in the pool grasp onto for support.

HANDRAIL. A support device that is intended to be gripped by a user for the purpose of resting or steadying, typically located within or at exits to the pool or spa or as part of a set of steps.

HYDROTHERAPY JET. A fitting that blends air and water, creating a high-velocity turbulent stream of airenriched water.

JUMP BOARD. A manufactured diving board that has a coil spring, leaf spring, or comparable device located beneath the board that is activated by the force exerted by jumping on the board's end.

[A] JURISDICTION. The governmental unit that has adopted this code under due legislative authority.

[A] LABEL. An identification applied on a product by the manufacturer that contains the name of the manufacturer, the function and performance characteristics of the product or material, and the name and identification of an approved agency and that indicates that the representative sample of the product or material has been tested and evaluated by an approved agency.

[A] LABELED. Equipment, materials or products to which has been affixed a label, seal, symbol or other identifying mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory, inspection agency or other organization concerned with product evaluation that maintains periodic inspection of the production of the above-labeled items and whose labeling indicates either that the equipment, material or product meets identified standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose.

LADDER. A structure for ingress and egress that usually consists of two long parallel side pieces joined at intervals by crosspieces such as treads.

TYPE A DOUBLE ACCESS LADDER. An "AFrame"ladder that straddles the pool wall of an aboveground pool and provides ingress and egress and is intended to be removed when not in use.

TYPE B LIMITED ACCESS LADDER. An "AFrame"ladder that straddles the pool wall of an aboveground/onground pool. Type B ladders are removable and have a built-in feature that prevents entry to the pool when the pool is not in use.

TYPE C LADDER. A "ground to deck"staircase ladder that allows access to an above-ground pool deck and has a built-in entry-limiting feature.

TYPE D IN-POOL LADDER. Located in the pool to provide a means of ingress and egress from the pool to the deck.

TYPE E or F IN-POOL STAIRCASE LADDER. Located in the pool to provide a means of ingress and egress from the pool to the deck.

LIFELINE. An anchored line thrown to aid in rescue.

[A] LISTED. Equipment, materials, products or services included in a list published by an organization acceptable to the code official and concerned with evaluation of products or services that maintains periodic inspection of production of listed equipment or materials or periodic evaluation of services and whose listing states either that the equipment, material, product or service meets identified standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose.

MAINTAINED ILLUMINATION. The value, in foot-candles or equivalent units, below which the average illuminance on a specified surface is not allowed to fall. Maintained illumination equals the initial average illuminance on the specified surface with new lamps, multiplied by the light loss factor (LLF), to account for reduction in lamp intensity over time.

NEGATIVE EDGE. See "Vanishing edge."

NONENTRY AREA. An area of the deck from which entry into the pool or spa is prohibited.

ONGROUND STORABLE POOL. A pool which can be disassembled for storage or transport. This includes portable pools with flexible or nonrigid walls that achieve their structural integrity by means of uniform shape, a support frame or a combination thereof, and that can be disassembled for storage or relocation.

OVERFLOW GUTTER. The gutter around the top perimeter of the pool or spa, which is used to skim the surface.

[A] OWNER. Any person, agent, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the property.

[A] PERMIT. An official document or certificate issued by the authority having jurisdiction that authorizes performance of a specified activity.

POOL. See "Public swimming pool"and "Residential swimming pool."

POWER SAFETY COVER. A pool cover that is placed over the water area, and is opened and closed with a motorized mechanism activated by a control switch.

PUBLIC SWIMMING POOL (Public Pool). A pool, other than a residential pool, that is intended to be used for swimming or bathing and is operated by an owner, lessee, operator, licensee or concessionaire, regardless of whether a fee is charged for use. Public pools shall be further classified and defined as follows:

CLASS A, COMPETITION POOL. A pool intended for use for accredited competitive aquatic events such as Federation Internationale De Natation (FINA), USA Swimming, USA Diving, USA Synchronized Swimming, USA Water Polo, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), or the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

CLASS B, PUBLIC POOL. A pool intended for public recreational use that is not identified in the other classifications of public pools.

CLASS C, SEMI-PUBLIC POOL. A pool operated solely for and in conjunction with lodgings such as hotels, motels, apartments or condominiums.

CLASS D-1, WAVE ACTION POOL. A pool designed to simulate breaking or cyclic waves for purposes of general play or surfing.

CLASS D-2, ACTIVITY POOL. A pool designed for casual water play ranging from simple splashing activity to the use of attractions placed in the pool for recreation.

CLASS D-3, CATCH POOL. A body of water located at the termination of a manufactured waterslide attraction. The body of water is provided for the purpose of terminating the slide action and providing a means for exit to a deck or walkway area.

CLASS D-4, LEISURE RIVER. A manufactured stream of water of near-constant depth in which the water is moved by pumps or other means of propulsion to provide a river-like flow that transports bathers over a defined path that may include water features and play devices.

CLASS D-5, VORTEX POOL. A circular pool equipped with a method of transporting water in the pool for the purpose of propelling riders at speeds dictated by the velocity of the moving stream of water.

CLASS D-6, INTERACTIVE PLAY ATTRACTION. A manufactured water play device or a combination of water-based play devices in which water flow volumes, pressures or patterns can be varied by the bather without negatively influencing the hydraulic conditions for other connected devices. These attractions incorporate devices or activities such as slides, climbing and crawling structures, visual effects, user-actuated mechanical devices and other elements of bather-driven and bather-controlled play.

CLASS E. Pools used for instruction, play or therapy and with temperatures above 86°F (30°C).

CLASS F. Class F pools are wading pools and are covered within the scope of this code as set forth in Section 405.

Public pools are either a diving or nondiving type.. Diving types of public pools are classified into types as an indication of the suitability of a pool for use with diving equipment.

TYPES VI-IX. Public pools suitable for the installation of diving equipment by type.

TYPE O. A nondiving public pool.

RECESSED TREADS. A series of vertically spaced cavities in a pool or spa wall creating tread areas for step holes.

RECIRCULATION SYSTEM. See "Circulation system."

[A] REPAIR. The restoration to good or sound condition of any part of a pool or spa for the purpose of its maintenance or to correct damage.

RESIDENTIAL. For purposes of this code, residential applies to detached one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses not more than three stories in height.

RESIDENTIAL SWIMMING POOL (Residential Pool). A pool intended for use which is accessory to a residential setting and available only to the household and its guests. All other pools shall be considered public pools for purposes of this code.

TYPES I‒V. Residential pools suitable for the installation of diving equipment by type.

TYPE O. A nondiving residential pool.

RETURN INLET. The aperture or fitting through which the water under positive pressure returns into a pool.

RING BUOY. A ring-shaped floating buoy capable of supporting a user, usually attached to a throwing line.

ROPE AND FLOAT LINE. A continuous line not less than 1/4 inch (6 mm) in diameter that is supported by buoys and attached to opposite sides of a pool to separate the deep and shallow ends.

RUNOUT. A continuation of water slide flume surface where riders are intended to decelerate and come to a stop.

SAFETY COVER. A structure, fabric or assembly, along with attendant appurtenances and anchoring mechanisms, that is temporarily placed or installed over an entire pool, spa or hot tub and secured in place after all bathers are absent from the water.

SHALL. The term, when used in the code, is construed as mandatory.

SHALLOW AREAS. Portions of a pool or spa with water depths less than 5 feet (1524 mm).

SKIMMER. A device installed in the pool or spa that permits the removal of floating debris and surface water to the filter.

SLIP RESISTANT. A surface that has been treated or constructed to significantly reduce the chance of a user slipping. The surface shall not be an abrasion hazard.

SLOPE BREAK. Occurs at the point where the slope of the pool floor changes to a greater slope.

SPA. A product intended for the immersion of persons in temperature-controlled water circulated in a closed system, and not intended to be drained and filled with each use. A spa usually includes a filter, an electric, solar or gas heater, a pump or pumps, and a control, and can also include other equipment, such as lights, blowers, and water-sanitizing equipment.

PERMANENT RESIDENTIAL SPA. A spa, intended for use that is accessory to a residential setting and available to the household and its guests and where the water heating and water-circulating equipment is not an integral part of the product. The spa is intended as a permanent plumbing fixture and not intended to be moved.

PORTABLE RESIDENTIAL SPA. A spa intended for use that is accessory to a residential setting and available to the household and its guests and where it is either selfcontained or nonself-contained.

PUBLIC SPA. A spa other than a permanent residential spa or portable residential spa which is intended to be used for bathing and is operated by an owner, licensee or concessionaire, regardless of whether a fee is charged for use.

SELF-CONTAINED SPA. A factory-built spa in which all control, water heating and water-circulating equipment is an integral part of the product. Self-contained spas may be permanently wired or cord connected.

NONSELF-CONTAINED SPA. A factory-built spa in which the water heating and circulating equipment is not an integral part of the product. Nonself-contained spas may employ separate components such as an individual filter, pump, heater and controls, or they can employ assembled combinations of various components.

SPRAY POOL. A pool or basin occupied by construction features that spray water in various arrays for the purpose of wetting the persons playing in the spray streams.

SUBMERGED VACUUM FITTING. A fitting intended to provide a point of connection for suction side automatic swimming pool, spa, and hot tub cleaners.

SUCTION OUTLET. A submerged fitting, fitting assembly, cover/grate and related components that provide a localized low-pressure area for the transfer of water from a swimming pool, spa or hot tub. Submerged suction outlets have also been referred to as main drains.

SURFACE SKIMMING SYSTEM. A device or system installed in the pool or spa that permits the removal of floating debris and surface water to the filter.

SURGE CAPACITY. The storage volume in a surge tank, gutter, and plumbing lines.

SURGE TANK. A storage vessel within the pool recirculating system used to contain the water displaced by bathers.

SWIMOUT. An underwater seat area that is placed completely outside of the perimeter shape of the pool. Where located at the deep end, swimouts are permitted to be used as the deep-end means of entry or exit to the pool.

TUBE RIDE. A gravity flow attraction found at a waterpark designed to convey riders on an inner-tube-like device through a series of chutes, channels, flumes or pools.

TURNOVER RATE. The period of time, usually in hours, required to circulate a volume of water equal to the pool or spa capacity.

UNDERWATER LEDGE. A narrow shelf projecting from the side of a vertical structure whose dimensions are defined in the appropriate standard.

UNDERWATER SEAT. An underwater ledge that is placed completely inside the perimeter shape of the pool, generally located in the shallow end of the pool.

VANISHING EDGE. Water-feature detail in which water flows over the edge of at least one of the pool walls and is collected in a catch basin. Also called "Negative edge."

WATERLINE. See "Design waterline."

WAVE POOL CAISSON. A large chamber used in wave generation. This chamber houses pulsing water and air surges in the wave generation process and is not meant for human occupancy.

ZERO ENTRY. See "Beach entry."
Resources