Jurisdictions First to Adopt New
Swimming Pool and Spa Safety Code

Amarillo, Texas, Mt. Juliette, Tennessee, and the state of South Carolina are the first jurisdictions in the nation to adopt the 2012 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC), the only comprehensive code to upgrade pool and spa safety and meet the requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Act. The ISPSC, published by the International Code Council, uses prescriptive and performance-related provisions to establish minimum safety requirements for public and residential pools, spas and hot tubs.

"It only makes sense to utilize the most current industry standards," said Scott McDonald, Amarillo Building Official. "The ISPSC provides a single resource for persons involved in every aspect of the construction, maintenance and operation of pools, spas and hot tubs, to ensure they provide for the welfare and safety of the users."

The ISPSC was developed with input from a wide range of industry experts, including the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP), and was finalized through the Code Council's governmental consensus process. The ISPSC effectively combines the relevant provisions of the full set of ICC Codes (including the International Residential Code, International Building Code, International Plumbing Code and International Mechanical Code), as well as APSP standards to serve as the one and only consolidated and fully integrated document for pool and spa safety.

"The ISPSC responds to the needs of many jurisdictions and integrates the widely used design and safety features of both the APSP standards and the I-Codes," said Dominic Sims, acting Code Council CEO. "By adopting the ISPSC, the industry and the public benefit from nationwide code uniformity and more cost-effective construction and installation, and for the first time, unprecedented protection for users of residential and public pools, spas and hot tubs."

"This is a monumental step for aquatic safety in the U.S.," said Bill Weber, APSP President and CEO. "These early adopters of the ISPSC serve as a blueprint for other jurisdictions and states to follow. The ISPSC creates peace of mind and confidence for building code and health officials because now they can rely on a clear and consistent resource for managing every aspect of pool, spa and hot tub safety for the people they serve."

Safety aspects of the ISPSC include barrier, decking, lighting, circulation system, pump, accessibility, diving, sanitizing equipment, filter, and suction fitting provisions coordinating with the International Building Code and the International Residential Code; and requirements for all types of aquatic vessels, including residential and public pools, portable and in-ground spas, water parks, exercise spas, and hot tubs. The ISPSC is the first swimming pool and spa code to address aquatic recreation facilities, and the first to include an energy standard for residential portable electric spas and for residential in-ground swimming pools and spas.

"The ISPSC provides a single resource for consistency across several city departments," McDonald said. "The city of Amarillo collaborated with local and state officials and the private sector to ensure the ISPSC complied with state health department regulations with minimal amendments. Hopefully our efforts will provide a vehicle for other Texas jurisdictions to use to easily adopt the 2012 ISPSC."