ISPSC Code Holds Builders to a Higher Standard
Many states that never before had pool & spa codes, now have included them in their building codes. While most states and municipalities have adopted a version of the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC), some have never even heard of the pool & spa code before.
What does the ISPSC do?
The ISPSC is the only comprehensive swimming pool code that is coordinated with the I-Codes and PHTA Standards. It was developed in conjunction with the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA). The ISPSC incorporates prescriptive and performance-based minimum requirements for public and residential pools, spas, and hot tubs.
The ISPSC covers both the design and construction of commercial AND residential swimming pools. It also includes and references many APSP codes as well. Consequently, because of these additional references in the ISPSC, many designers and builders now have a myriad of codes and standards which they must now meet.
Texas Adopts ISPSC Statewide
A state that previously had no formal pool and spa codes, Texas, recently adopted the ISPSC statewide. The Texas State Residential Code section R326.1, adopted the 2015 ISPSC.
Many local governments often adopt the codes as well, oftentimes making amendments to the adopted statewide version. Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, Texas have all adopted their own versions of the ISPSC.
Even though a project is being built outside of city limits where there are no permit or formal inspection requirements, the State Building Codes still apply as the minimum design and performance standards. (Residential Code, ISPSC, Electric Code, Fuel Gas Code and Mechanical Code). In the event of an personal injury or a workmanship dispute, the State Building codes will be compared to the project parameters.
Where do you find the codes?
You can find the codes on the following website: https://up.codes/codes/
Researching the codes in each state will better familiarize you and help you to learn and understand them. It certainly pays to know, after all this is your trade and profession!
International Swimming Pool and Spa Code to Become Law in Maryland
The code will strengthen pool and spa safety and efficiency statewide
(Annapolis, MD) – Governor Larry Hogan announced that House Bill 303 will become law in Maryland and greatly advance swimming pool and spa safety and efficiency throughout the state. House Bill 303, sponsored by Delegate Dana Stein (District 11, Baltimore County) and Senator Cory McCray (District 45, Baltimore City), will require Maryland to use the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) as the new minimum standard, effective December 31, 2023, for building swimming pools and spas.
The adoption of the ISPSC enhances the safety and efficiency of pools and spas by applying a consistent, uniform construction and safety code that is based on proven best practices for drowning prevention and energy efficiency. The ISPSC is currently used in over 30 states in the U.S., including Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and New Jersey.
“On behalf of the industry and a diverse coalition of supporters, we applaud the General Assembly and Governor Hogan for passing and enacting HB 303,” said Justin Wiley, PHTA Vice President of Government Relations, Standards and Codes. “This safety-focused law takes a significant step toward modernizing Maryland’s building codes and standards for swimming pools and spas.”
House Bill 303 passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House of Delegates and the Senate. The bill was supported by the International Code Council, Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) and a coalition of businesses, regulators, first responders and safety professionals, including the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, the Maryland Building Officials Association, the Maryland Fire Marshal Committee, the Maryland State Firefighter’s Association and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.
“This adoption ensures a safe and comprehensive code for the design and construction of swimming pools in Maryland,” said Frank Quillen, President of the Maryland Building Officials Association. “The ISPSC coordinates with the other building safety codes adopted in Maryland to create a consistent regulatory framework for both building safety professionals and for builders.”
The legislation requires the Maryland Department of Labor to adopt the ISPSC as a baseline code for the state and allows for local jurisdictions to enforce and amend the code as necessary. More importantly, the ISPSC correlates with local laws and regulations that are already established.
“The adoption, implementation and enforcement of modern codes and standards play an important role in keeping communities safe, resilient and affordable” said Gabe Maser, Code Council Senior Vice President of Government Relations. “The Code Council commends Maryland for the adoption of the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code and their efforts to ensure the state is using the most up-to-date safety and efficiency standards.”
The signing and implementation of House Bill 303 will afford all jurisdictions access to grants for training on the ISPSC under the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA). The VGBA is a United States law named after Virginia Graeme Baker, who died after sustaining a pool suction-drain injury in June 2002. It is incorporated as Title 14 of the U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA Title 14, Pub.L. 110-140). This act became enforceable law on December 19, 2008.
The incorporation of the ISPSC in Maryland will follow the same process the state already uses for most building codes in practice, such as the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC) which are enforced and amended by the counties.
“The PHTA Mid-Atlantic Chapter is happy to see that Governor Hogan is allowing the ISPSC to become law. This will help to improve safety around public and private pools and spas across the great state of Maryland,” said Brian St. Clair, President of the PHTA Mid-Atlantic chapter. “The public can find comfort in knowing that the ISPSC will hold companies to the highest safety standards, helping to reduce drownings, ER visits, and accidents around pools. It will also help to consolidate code compliance for new construction and renovations of pools and spas, helping to streamline the building process for local companies. Thank you, Governor Hogan, for helping to keep Marylanders safe while enjoying the pools and spas across this wonderful state!”
You can view the 2021 ISPSC Digital Code here.
Maryland House Bill 303 Passes House And Senate, Governor To Sign
Maryland to Use International Swimming Pool and Spa Code as Minimum Standard
(Annapolis, MD) – Swimming pool and spa builders celebrated the passage of legislation that would establish a statewide building code for the construction of new swimming pools and spas in Maryland. House Bill 303, sponsored by Delegate Dana Stein (District 11, Baltimore County) and Senator Cory McCray (District 45, Baltimore City), requires Maryland to use the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) as the new minimum standard moving forward for building swimming pools and spas in the State. The ISPSC is currently being practiced in over 30 states nationwide, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and New Jersey.
“The Maryland Department of Health reported drowning as the second leading cause of death for children under the age of 4 and the third leading cause of death for children aged 5-14,” said Delegate Stein. “Most of the current laws and regulations for building swimming pools are over 30 years old and no longer practiced by the industry. This legislation will update the State’s current practices and modernize our approach.”
House Bill 303 passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House of Delegates and the Senate without opposition testimony in committee hearings. The legislation received strong support from the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, the Maryland Building Officials Association, the Maryland Fire Marshal Committee, the Maryland State Firefighter’s Association, and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.
Alan Walker, Vice President of Anthony & Sylvan Pools and Maryland native, testified publicly in support of the statewide adoption of the ISPSC. “The statewide adoption of ISPSC pool building code is a win for the State of Maryland, contractors and customers,” said Walker. “This uniform level of code adoption allows pool builders to adhere to a uniform code, as opposed to different county-level codes, providing a higher-quality, safer product to homeowners. Maryland pool customers will also benefit from the most current safety developments in the timeliest manner. Anthony & Sylvan looks forward to continuing working with the State of Maryland for many years to come.”
The Legislation requires the Maryland Department of Labor to adopt the ISPSC as the minimum code for the State but specifically allows for the local jurisdictions to enforce and amend the code as necessary and, more importantly, correlate the ISPSC with their own local laws and regulations that are already established. The incorporation of the ISPSC in Maryland will follow the exact same process the State already has for most building codes in practice, such as the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC) which are enforced and amended by the counties.
“Baltimore City has utilized the ISPSC for several years, and most counties throughout Maryland also rely on portions of the code. If implemented, the ISPSC will seamlessly integrate into the State’s building codes. It’s common-sense legislation that will provide clear-cut clarity, easing the burden for businesses in the industry by providing a baseline code to follow, as opposed to a myriad of laws and regulations,” said Senator McCray, who sponsored the legislation in the Senate (Senate Bill 319).
For more information or to learn how to get involved, please contact Jason Davidson, PHTA Director of Government Relations, at [email protected] or 703-838-0083 x 165.
About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with over 3,600 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit www.phta.org.
PHTA Welcomes Public Comments on a New PHTA/ICC-2 Standard for Public Pool and Spa Operations and Maintenance
(Alexandria, Va.) – The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) is inviting public review and comments on a new PHTA/ICC-2 Standard for Public Pool and Spa Operations and Maintenance. Public review is an important part of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards consensus development process.
This standard is intended to cover the operations and maintenance of public pools, spas, and other aquatic venues intended to operate with or within recreational water quality standards. Design and construction of public pools and other aquatic venues are addressed in other standards. Residential pools and other water-containing amenities not intended for swimming, bathing, or wading shall not be included in the scope of this standard.
“We felt it was important to create a modern operations and maintenance standard that is easy to access and follow,” says Dennis Berkshire, PHTA-2 Standard Writing Committee (SWC) Chair and President of Aquatic Design Group. “The development of this standard has been a collaborative process involving all facets of public swimming pools and takes into consideration current technology, industry standards of care, and the expanded programs that public pools and spas are expected to support.”
The PHTA/ICC-2 Standard can be used by owners and operators of public pools, spas, and aquatic venues for the operation and maintenance of all types of public aquatic venues. It is also intended to be used by state and local authorities for adoption into state and local codes and standards. Industry stakeholders such as commercial pool and spa service companies, water park operators, and public pool operators can also use this standard as the benchmark for the minimum standards to operate and maintain public aquatic venues.
PHTA invites all pool, spa, and hot tub professionals, as well as non-industry members, to review the draft and submit comments for consideration. The ANSI public review announcement on the required 45-day public review period was published in the ANSI Standards Action on February 11, 2022. All public review comments on the PHTA/ICC-2 Standard are due by March 28, 2022.
The following individuals serve as Voting Members on the PHTA-2 SWC:
Dennis Berkshire, Chair, Aquatic Design Group (Carlsbad, CA)
Rich Anderson, International Code Council (ICC) (Loveland, CO)
Steve Barnes, AquaStar Pool Products (Ventura, CA)
Lauren Broom, Space Coast Pool School (Palm Bay, FL)
Philip Escobedo, Fluidra (Carlsbad, CA)
Kenneth Gregory, Pentair (Washington, UT)
Scott Heusser, Idaho Pool Remodeling (Meridian, ID)
Joseph Laurino Ph.D., Periodic Products, Inc. (Sarasota, FL)
John Mason, Pool School of Oregon (Bend, OR)
Alicia Mitchell, Southern Nevada Health District (Las Vegas, NV)
Stephen Neville, Stainless Aquatics (Del Mar, CA)
Trevor Sherwood, Pool Operation Management (Brick, NJ)
Graeme Thomson, Splash Inc. Ltd. (Grand Cayman, CYM)
John Weber, BioLab, Inc. (Lawrenceville, GA)
Edward White, Springfield Pool and Spa, Inc. (Springfield, MO)
To request an electronic copy of the draft standard for review and comment, please email [email protected] or call (703) 838-0083.
About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with nearly 3,500 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub, and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge, and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety, and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer, and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit www.phta.org.
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