Township of Lower Southampton, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 23-101 Definitions.

[Ord. 57, 2/9/1959; as revised by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986; and amended by Ord. 394, 11/14/1990, § 1]
As used in this part, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABOVEGROUND/ON-GROUND SWIMMING POOL
A removable swimming pool of any shape that has walls and an impervious liner that is located on the surrounding earth and may be disassembled or stored and reassembled to its original integrity.
BARRIER
A fence, a wall, a building wall, or a combination thereof.
HOT TUB/SPA
A structure containing water, intended for recreational use, in which all controls, water-heating, water-circulating equipment are an integral part of the product.
IN-GROUND POOL
A permanent swimming pool in which the surface of the water is approximately level with the surrounding ground surface and the volume of water is below ground level.
STRUCTURE
Any man-made object having an ascertainable stationary location on or in land or water, whether or not affixed to the land.
SWIMMING POOL
Any structure intended for swimming and/or diving purposes, made of concrete, masonry, metal or other man-made impervious material or a combination thereof, in which the water is treated to maintain a sanitary condition, and that has a water depth of 24 inches or more. This includes in-ground, aboveground/on-ground swimming pools and hot tubs/spas.

§ 23-102 Applicability.

[Ord. 57, 2/9/1959; as revised by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986; and amended by Ord. 394, 11/1/4/1990, § 2]
This part shall apply to all new outdoor swimming pools hereinafter constructed as well as existing swimming pools, whether above ground or in the ground, having a depth of 24 inches or more at any one point. Outdoor swimming pools lawfully constructed or erected prior to the date of this enactment shall be considered nonconforming structures, as to their location and placement, but shall be required to meet the "enclosure" provisions of this part, § 23-104 hereof.

§ 23-103 Construction permit and approval.

[Ord. 57, 2/9/1959; as revised by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986]
1. 
Before any work is commenced on the construction of a swimming pool or on any alteration, addition, remodeling or other improvement to a swimming pool, an application for a permit for construction, together with plans and specifications pertinent to the construction, as well as explanatory data, shall be submitted to the Building Inspector. No part of the work shall be commenced until approval has been granted the applicant by a written permit. The fee for such permit shall be set by resolution by the Board of Supervisors.
2. 
All plans, including a plot plan, shall bear the name and seal of a registered architect or registered engineer. The plot plan shall show the location of all buildings and the proposed pool on the property, distances to all property lines in the immediate vicinity of the swimming pool and dwelling, and the location of wells, sewage disposal systems and proposed enclosure or fence around the pool.
3. 
Standard pools, properly designed by established swimming pool companies and having the approval of a registered engineer or registered architect, shall be acceptable when accompanied by suitable plans and specifications, including information as stated herein.

§ 23-104 Enclosure.

[Ord. 57, 2/9/1959; as revised by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986; and as amended by Ord. 394, 11/14/1990, § 3]
An outdoor swimming pool, including an in-ground, aboveground/on-ground pool, and hot tub/spa shall be provided with a barrier that completely surrounds the swimming pool, which shall comply with the following:
A. 
The top of the barrier shall be at least 48 inches (four feet) above grade measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier shall be two inches measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure is above grade, such as an aboveground pool, the barrier may be at ground level or mounted on top of the pool structure. Where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, the maximum vertical clearance between the top of the pool structure and the bottom of the barrier shall be two inches.
B. 
Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a four-inch-diameter sphere.
C. 
Solid barriers which do not have openings, such as a masonry or stone wall, shall not contain indentations or protrusions except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints.
D. 
Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members, and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches, the horizontal members shall be located on the swimming pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 1 3/4 inches in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1 1/4 inches in width.
E. 
Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members, and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is 45 inches or more, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed four inches. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1 3/4 inches in width.
F. 
Maximum mesh size for chain-link fences shall be a one-and-one-fourth-inch square, unless the fence is provided with slats fastened at the top or the bottom which reduce the openings to no more than 1 3/4 inches.
G. 
Where the barrier is composed of diagonal members, such as a lattice fence, the maximum opening formed by the diagonal members shall be no more than 1 3/4 inches.
H. 
Access gates shall comply with the requirements of Subsections A through G above, and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device. Pedestrian access gates shall open outwards away from the pool and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching device. Gates other than pedestrian access gates shall have a self-latching device. Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate:
(1) 
The release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the gate at least three inches below the top of the gate.
(2) 
The gate and barrier shall have no opening greater than 1/2 inch within 18 inches of the release mechanism.
I. 
Where a wall of a dwelling serves as part of the barrier, direct access to the pool through the wall shall be limited to doors and windows which meet the following conditions:
(1) 
Windows leading to the pool area shall have a latching device at least 54 inches above the floor.
(2) 
Hinged doors leading to the pool area shall be self-closing and shall have a self-latching device. The release mechanism of the self-latching device shall be located at least 54 inches above the floor.
(3) 
Sliding doors and sliding screen doors leading to the pool area shall be self-closing and shall have a self-latching device. The release mechanism of the self-latching device shall be located at least 54 inches above the floor.
J. 
Barriers shall be located so as to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar objects from being used to climb the barriers.

§ 23-105 Location on property.

[Ord. 57, 2/9/1959; as revised by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986; and as amended by Ord. 466, 7/12/2000]
1. 
A swimming pool shall be located at the rear of a dwelling or along the side of the dwelling where practical.
2. 
There shall be a minimum of three feet of concrete, stone, brick or block sidewalk or other all-weather surface around all pools, except portable aboveground pools.
3. 
No swimming pool or appurtenances, including decks and shelters, shall be erected nearer to any property line than a building could be erected in the same use district as set forth in Chapter 27, Zoning.
4. 
No swimming pool shall be so located as to interfere with the operation of a well or on-site septic system or be located where there is potential danger of a septic system discharging into the pool or onto the adjacent area around the pool. If it is not possible to locate a swimming pool within the required rear yard, no in-ground swimming pool or appurtenances shall be located less than 10 feet from the rear property line, and no aboveground/on-ground pool or appurtenances shall be located less than six feet from the rear property line.

§ 23-106 Design and construction requirements.

[Ord. 57, 2/9/1959; as revised by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986]
No permit to construct new swimming pools (existing pools are excluded from this section) shall be issued unless and until the following design and construction requirements are observed:
A. 
Material. The material used for lining a swimming pool shall be light in color, impervious and shall provide a tight tank with easily cleaned surfaces. Sand or dirt bottoms are prohibited if uncovered.
B. 
Walls and bottom. All pool walls and bottoms shall be designed to withstand water pressure from within and to resist the pressure of earth or groundwater when the pool is empty.
C. 
Steps, ladders, handholds. One or more steps, ladders, stepholes or handholds shall be provided for all pools. The coping of the swimming pool, if not higher than eight inches above the water surface, shall be considered a handhold.
D. 
Makeup water. Pools shall be equipped with suitable facilities for adding makeup water as required. There shall be no physical connection between the water supply line and the pool system. When makeup water is added to the pool, the inlet shall be at least six inches above the pool water surface.
E. 
Drainage outlet. No pool water shall be drained at the curb, along the gutter line of any street, or on the surface of any street.
F. 
Recirculation. Provision shall be made for complete circulation of water throughout the pool. The system shall be designed and constructed so that a turnaround at least once every twelve-hour period shall be provided. Recirculation systems shall consist of pumping equipment, hair-and-lint catcher, filters, together with all necessary pipe connections to the pool inlets and outlets, facilities and pipe connections necessary for back-washing or cleaning filters.
G. 
Safety equipment. Life preservers, ropes and poles shall be readily available at the pool site.

§ 23-107 Property rights.

[Ord. 57, 2/9/1959; as revised by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986]
No swimming pool shall be so located or maintained as to interfere unduly with the enjoyment of the property rights of others.

§ 23-108 Shielding lights.

[Ord. 57, 2/9/1959; as revised by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986; and amended by Ord. 394, 11/14/1990, § 5]
The pool may be lighted by underwater or exterior lights, or both, provided all exterior lights are located so that the light is neither directed nor reflected upon adjacent properties in such a manner as to be a nuisance or an annoyance to neighboring properties. Lighting shall comply with the provisions of § 23-110.

§ 23-109 Unnecessary noise.

[Ord. 57, 2/9/1959; as revised by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986]
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued at any swimming pool, any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise which disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, health, peace or safety of others. The use or operation of any radio, musical instrument, phonograph, recording equipment, or other machine or device for the producing or reproducing of sound in such a manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of neighboring inhabitants or at any time with volume louder than is necessary for convenient hearing of persons at the swimming pool site shall be unlawful.

§ 23-110 Electrical connections.

[Ord. 57, 2/9/1959; as revised by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986]
1. 
All electrical installations shall conform to the specifications of the National Electrical Code. No electric wires or conductors shall cross, either overhead or underground, on any part of a swimming pool, nor shall any electric wiring be installed parallel to any pool wall closer than five feet, if underground, unless enclosed in a rigid conduit, or within five feet, if overhead.
2. 
All underwater lights must be watertight, self-contained units with ground connections running from a waterproof junction box to a proper grounding facility or medium. All underground electric wires supplying current to said lights within a distance of five feet of the pool wall or walls shall be enclosed in rigid conduits.
3. 
All metal fences, enclosures or railings near or adjacent to a swimming pool which might become electrically charged as a result of contact with broken overhead conductors or from any other cause shall be effectively grounded.

§ 23-111 Violations and penalties.

[Ord. 57, 2/9/1959; as revised by Ord. 356, 12/17/1986; and as amended by Ord. 532, 9/10/2008]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this part continues or each section of this part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.