PA 15-148—sHB 5101

Public Health Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING PUBLIC POOLS

SUMMARY: This act exempts flotation vessels from Department of Public Health (DPH) oversight and fees associated with public pool inspections and plan reviews. It defines a “flotation vessel” as a salt water tank, devoid of light and sound, in which a person floats for purposes such as meditation, relaxation, and alternative medicine. Existing regulations classify flotation vessels as special purpose public pools.

Also, unlike existing regulations, the act specifically classifies splash pads and spray parks where water is recirculated as public pools, thus subjecting them to these fees and DPH oversight.

The act adds a statutory definition of “public pool” for purposes of these fees, generally similar to existing regulations. As under those regulations, the act requires DPH to classify public pools into one of five categories. The fees, unchanged by the act, are the same for all categories: $750 to review a pool plan; $250 to review a resubmitted plan; $200 for a pool inspection, and $150 for a reinspection.

Prior law required DPH to charge these fees, as well as fees for its review of subsurface sewage disposal flow plans, despite any regulations to the contrary. The act instead requires the commissioner to amend regulations as needed to implement these fee requirements.

The act also makes technical and conforming changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

DEFINITIONS

Under the act, a “public pool” is an artificial basin constructed of concrete, steel, fiberglass, or other impervious material and equipped with a controlled water supply intended for recreational bathing, swimming, diving, or therapeutic purposes. The term includes any related equipment, structure, area, or enclosure intended for use by anyone using or staffing the pool. Pools intended for use at a single-family residence are not considered public pools, unless used for commercial or business purposes.

Similar to existing regulations, the act requires DPH to classify public pools in one of five categories, defined as follows:

1. a “public swimming pool” is a pool used or intended for recreational bathing, swimming, or water recreation activities;

2. a “public wading pool” is a pool principally used or intended for wading and recreational bathing by small children;

3. a “public spa” is a pool used for recreational bathing in conjunction with a high-velocity water recirculation or air system, hot water, cold water, a mineral bath, or any combination of these;

4. a “public diving pool” is a pool used solely for diving or the instruction and practicing of diving techniques; and

5. a “special purpose public pool” is a pool used for a specialized purpose, including: a splash pad or spray park where water is recirculated, water flume, scuba diving instruction pool, therapeutic pool, hydrotherapy pool, or pool used in an aquatics program for people with disabilities. The term does not include a “flotation vessel.

BACKGROUND

Public Pool Regulations

Under existing regulations, public pool construction or reconstruction plans must be approved in accordance with DPH's Public Swimming Pool Design Guide. The regulations set general requirements for public pools, such as supervisory personnel, water quality and pH level, signs (e. g. , warning when no lifeguard is on duty), and barriers to discourage unauthorized access. There are additional requirements for certain types of pools (e. g. , public swimming pools and diving pools must have depth markers) (Conn. Agencies Reg. , 19-13-B33b).

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