Township of Bethlehem, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Bethlehem 12-5-1964 by Ord. No. 6-1964 (Ch. 23, Part 1, of the 1988 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 110.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 230.
Zoning — See Ch. 275.

§ 235-1 Compliance.

It shall be unlawful to construct, maintain, operate and/or use any private swimming pool within the Township limits except in compliance with all of the provisions of this chapter, and of Chapter 275, Zoning.

§ 235-2 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, certain terms as used herein shall have the meanings given as follows:
PRIVATE
All pools which are used, or intended to be used, as swimming pools in connection with residences, and available only to the family of the householder and his private guests; it shall not include any swimming pool that is open to the public, or that is publicly owned, or that is owned and/or operated by any organization, partnership, corporation or group, whether or not formed solely for such ownership and operation or that is otherwise regulated by any statutes or by rules and regulations other than those of Bethlehem Township.
PUBLIC or SEMIPUBLIC
Any swimming pool other than a private swimming pool.
SWIMMING POOL
Any receptacle or artificially constructed private pool for water, having a walled depth of two feet or more at any point within its perimeter, intended or adapted for the purposes of immersion or partial immersion of human beings therein, and including all appurtenant equipment.

§ 235-3 Permit required.

[Amended 8-15-1988 by Ord. No. 8-1988]
A. 
Before any construction, including structural alterations or partial or complete relocation, is begun on any swimming pool, a permit shall be applied for and obtained from the Building Official, as provided for in Chapter 275, Zoning, as amended, to the date of such application or issuance of a permit. Each application for a permit to construct, erect or place a private swimming pool upon a lot occupied by a private dwelling shall be accompanied by the following data, in triplicate:
(1) 
Plot plan, drawn to a scale of one inch equals 10 feet, showing all existing structures including location of proposed pool. Accurate distances or measurements shall be shown. Scaling of dimensions is not permitted.
(2) 
Specifications, showing or describing details of construction.
(3) 
Cross-sections showing pool dimensions, including depths and volume in gallons.
(4) 
Type and size of filter system; filtration and backwash capacities.
(5) 
Pool piping layout showing all pipe and fitting sizes and indicating types of material to be used.
(6) 
Rated capacity of pool pump in gallons per minute, head dimension and size and type of motor; pressure or head for filtration or backwashing purposes.
(7) 
Electric wiring layout. Before any permit shall be issued such plans and specifications shall be approved as aforesaid by both the Building Official, and also by the Health Officer, and before any completed swimming pool is put into use it shall be subject to final inspection and approval by both the Building Official and the Health Officer.
B. 
Each application for a permit shall be accompanied by a permit fee which shall be established from time to time by resolution.
C. 
All permits issued hereunder shall be issued under and subject to the same regulations, including time limitations, or govern the issuance of building permits under Chapter 275, Zoning.

§ 235-4 General regulations and maintenance.

A. 
No portion of the water surface area of any swimming pool shall be located within the minimum required front yards as the same are established for the various classes of residence districts in Chapter 275, Zoning, nor within six feet of any side or rear property line when a swimming pool is located to the rear of the front face of the dwelling.
B. 
The entire water surface area of the completed swimming pool shall be computed and included as "lot coverage" as the same is defined in Chapter 275, Zoning, as land taken up by buildings, and the limit of such total building area established in Chapter 275, Zoning.
C. 
No exposed electric wires shall be located within five feet of the water's edge, nor shall any exposed permanently installed electric wires within a horizontal distance of 25 feet of the water's edge be located less than 10 feet above ground level, nor shall wires of any kind cross or be located over or above the water surface except as approved by the Building Official. Underwater lighting shall be accomplished by methods approved for such purposes. The entire electrical installation shall comply with and be maintained in accordance with the requirements of the National Electrical Code.
D. 
There shall be no cross-connections of a public water supply with any other source of water supply for the swimming pool. The line from a public water supply, if available, to the pool shall be protected against a back flow of polluted water by means of an air gap and shall discharge at least six inches above the maximum high water level of the makeup tank or the pool.
E. 
The drain line from the swimming pool may be connected to an available municipal sewerage system only in compliance with the following provisions:
(1) 
If a storm sewer is available to the site of the swimming pool, the pool drain shall be connected thereto.
(2) 
Where no storm sewer is available, the pool drain may be connected to an available sanitary sewer, subject to the approval of the Building Official.
F. 
The swimming pool shall be constructed in such a manner that all scum, splash and deck water shall not be permitted to be returned to the pool except through the filter system.
G. 
The pool shall be kept free at all times of floating material, sediment and debris by means of an automatic surface skimmer, scum gutter or some other method approved by the Health Officer.
H. 
The recirculating system shall have a capacity sufficient to accomplish the filtering and recirculating of the entire volume content of the pool during an eighteen-hour period. The maximum rate of application of pool water on the filters shall be five gallons per minute per square foot of filter area.
I. 
Provision shall be made for positive germicidal or bacterial control by the use of chlorine, bromine or such other disinfecting agents or devices as may be approved by the Health Department. Such disinfecting agents shall be applied to the pool water at a uniform rate. The application thereof shall be so adjustable as to keep the germicidal or bacterial protection of the water in the pool equal to a standard of from 0.5 to 1.0 parts per million of chlorine residual. Testing devices capable of accurately measuring such residual shall be provided by the pool owner.
J. 
All swimming pools to be constructed or which have already been constructed shall be enclosed by fence which shall be at least four feet in height and shall be of such type or construction that is not readily climbed or scaled by small children. Gates shall be of a self-closing and latching type with the latch on the inside or pool side of the gate. Provided, however, that if the entire premises of a residence is enclosed, then this provision may be waived by the Building Official following inspection and approval of such enclosure. Provided further, that the Building Official may approve in lieu of a fence: a natural barrier, hedge, pool cover, or other protective device approved by the Board of Appeals so long as the degree of protection afforded by the alternate protective device or devices is not less than the protection afforded by a fence enclosure. Provided further, that the owners of swimming pools already constructed shall be required to comply with these fencing provisions within 60 days after the final passage of this chapter.

§ 235-5 Filtration systems.

All existing swimming pools which at the present time have no filtration systems shall be required to make installation thereof as provided herein and to have same approved by the Health Officer within 60 days after final passage of this chapter.

§ 235-6 Inspection.

The Building Official and Health Officer shall have the right at any reasonable time to inspect any swimming pool for the purposes of determining that all of the provisions of this chapter are fulfilled and complied with.

§ 235-7 Effect on other provisions.

A. 
This chapter is in no way intended to amend or alter any existing Township or county ordinance or state statute, the provisions of which are not covered by this chapter.
B. 
In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with a provision of Chapter 275, Zoning, or Chapter 110, Construction Codes, Uniform, existing on or after the effective date of this chapter, the provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail.

§ 235-8 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 8-15-1988 by Ord. No. 8-1988]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than $300 and/or to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days; and shall discontinue the use of the swimming pool until necessary corrections have been made and approved by the Building Official and the Health Officer.