Building a pool is an exciting project – one your family and friends are sure to enjoy. Before you begin, though, understand certain pool construction laws. Many pool owners make innocent mistakes every year because they aren’t fully aware of these laws. Keep your pool project lawful and safe by remembering these key points.
1. Be Aware of Utility Charges
Some cities, including Tampa, will not give you an allowance when you fill or refill your pool. Utility companies cannot individually determine the purpose of everyone’s water, so giving pool allowances would not be fair or workable. Most cities will charge for water purification, so know how many chemicals you need and how many you use. Never dispose of chlorinated water or chemicals in your storm sewer, as that could result in charges. Be diligent in paying utility bills each month, and be aware that filling a pool can increase your rates.
2. Make Sure Permits Are in Order
Whether your pool project is commercial or residential, you need a permit. This applies unless you’re building a self-contained spa with no electricity or plumbing work required. You must submit two sets of plans drawn to scale before your permit can be approved. Your pool will also need separate electrical and plumbing permits. Special permits for tree removal or storm water systems may be required depending on where you live and what type of pool or spa you have.
3. Review Safety Laws
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death, especially among children and young teens. Review all pertinent safety and supervision laws before building a pool, especially if it’s a public or commercial one. Ensure all lifeguards are fully trained and have experience in first aid and CPR. Familiarize yourself with city and county regulations regarding pool gates and fences, as well as pool alarms.
Florida requires pool barriers not have any gaps large enough for small children to crawl through. Requirements also state that a pool barrier cannot contain any apparatus that could be climbed to access the pool. Ensure your pool has an approved cover and is closed at appropriate times. If you have a hot tub, ask your local attorneys or chamber of commerce about other specific laws. Ensure hot tubs are always clean, set well away from your home, and contain proper safety barriers.