Township of Muhlenberg, PA
Berks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners (formerly the Board of Supervisors) of the Township of Muhlenberg 9-5-1960 by Ord. No. 32, effective 9-5-1961. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building construction — See Ch. 54.
Health standards — See Ch. 80.
Plumbing standards — See Ch. 103.
Water — See Ch. 150.
Zoning — See Ch. 154.

§ 130-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
Not open to the public and not publicly owned or not otherwise regulated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by statute or by rules and regulations of one of its administrative bodies.
Any artificially constructed nonportable pool capable of being used for swimming or bathing, having a depth of two feet or more at any point.

§ 130-2 Permits required.

Before work is started on the construction of a private swimming pool or any alteration, addition, remodeling or other improvement to a pool, plans showing the location, construction, specifications and pertinent explanatory data shall be submitted to the Zoning Officer, Building Inspector and Plumbing Inspector.[1] No permit shall be issued until such plans and specifications therefor have been endorsed by all of the abovementioned persons. Before any swimming pool is supplied with water or used, a final inspection and approval shall be had from all of the above-named persons.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 154, Zoning; Ch. 54, Building Construction; and Ch. 103, Plumbing Standards, respectively.

§ 130-3 Submission of plans.

Plot plans shall be submitted in quadruplicate, drawn to scale, indicating the location and dimensions of the pool and equipment of the lot. Plans must show the finish grade elevations at pool and property lines.
Building plans shall be drawn to scale, accurately dimensioned, showing the construction of the pool, walk area, type of filtration system, lighting, enclosing fence and such details as may be required to satisfy the persons concerned, with their compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

§ 130-4 Zoning requirements.

A private swimming pool is permitted as an accessory use in all residential zones, provided that it shall be in conformity with area regulations in the particular zoning district in which it is located.[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 154, Zoning.

§ 130-5 Construction requirements.

No portion of a private swimming pool, including pumps, filters and disinfection equipment, shall be located at a distance less than eight feet from any side or rear property line. Pools and appurtenant equipment shall not be permitted in the side yard between buildings.
The design and construction of each swimming pool begun after the effective date of this chapter shall comply with the following requirements:
Pool structure. The pool structure shall be designed to withstand the pressures to which it is reasonably expected that the pool will be subjected.
Walls and floor. The walls shall be vertical to a depth of three feet, and the floor slope on the shallow side of the transition line may not exceed one foot vertical to seven feet horizontal. The transition line between shallow and deep water may not be more than five feet deep.
Pool interior. The interior of the pool shall be smooth and light in color.
Obstructions and projections. Except for steps in a private pool, no obstruction or projection other than a ladder may extend from the walls or floor of the pool.
Ladders and stairs. At least one ladder or recessed stairway shall be included for each 75 feet of perimeter or fraction thereof, with a total of not less than two for each pool. Ladders shall be equipped with handrails. Steps shall be at least three inches wide and made of nonslip material.
An unobstructed walk area not less than three feet wide, constructed of concrete or hard-surface material, shall be installed entirely around the pool. The slope of the walk shall have a pitch of at least 3/8 of an inch to a foot away from the pool, designed to prevent surface water and back drainage from entering the pool.
Fencing. The owner of an outdoor swimming pool shall maintain a fence, surrounding the pool area, strong enough to make the pool inaccessible to small children. The fence shall be at least five feet high, with no opening greater than four inches wide, except for gates or doors. Each gate or door to the pool area shall be self-closing and self-latching, with the latch located at least four feet above the ground. No person may leave such a gate or door open unnecessarily.
All floodlights for the pool shall be so designed as to light the pool area, but at no time shall lights be erected so as to shine on adjoining property. All electric equipment, lights, etc., shall be properly grounded.

§ 130-6 Plumbing.

Water supply. No source of water supply other than that secured from the Muhlenberg Township Authority or such other public water supply, where such is available, shall be used, in which event it shall be used exclusively. The use of an independent water supply where a public supply is not available shall be made only after express approval has been granted by the Board of Commissioners and the State Health Department.
Drainage of pool. The construction of the pool shall be such as to provide for the draining of the pool in such a way as to prevent possible sewer backflow from entering the pool, and the draining of said pool shall be either into a public sanitary or storm sewer or into a private sewage disposal system, and where no public sanitary or storm sewer or private sewage disposal system is available, all wastes shall be disposed of within the confines of the property. No drainage shall be taken to the street gutter or drain to adjoining property areas.[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 117, Sewers.

§ 130-7 Sanitary requirements.

The pool shall be constructed so as to be watertight and easily cleaned. The pool shall be made of a nonabsorbent material and shall be free of open cracks, joints and protruding edges.
The pool shall have an overflow gutter or other device at the high-water line which is designed so as effectively to remove scum or floating debris.
The construction of the pool shall be such that all scum splash and deck water shall not return to the pool except through the filter system.
The pool shall be kept free at all times of floating material, sediment and debris either by an automatic skimmer, scum gutter or by some other means approved by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Muhlenberg or its representative.
The recirculating system shall be capable of filtering and recirculating the entire volume content of the pool during a twelve-hour period. An outlet shall be placed at the distant point of the pool for recirculating and emptying the pool. The rate of application of pool water on the filters shall not be greater than three gallons per minute per square foot of filter area. The Health Department may approve other rates of recirculation or rates of application of water on the filters.
Provision shall be made for positive germicidal or bacterial control by the use of chlorine, calcium hypochlorite or such other disinfecting agents as may be approved by the Health Department.
Such disinfecting agents shall be applied to the pool water at a uniform rate.
Water in the pool shall be tested and maintained so as to keep the germicidal or bacterial protection of the water in the pool equal to a standard of 0.5 part per million to 1.0 part per million chlorine residual.
Testing devices capable of accurately measuring such residual shall be provided.
Persons with inflamed or sore eyes, colds, nasal or ear drainage, cuts, boils or other evident skin or bodily infections shall be excluded from the pool.

§ 130-8 Inspection.

The Board of Commissioners of the Township of Muhlenberg and such representatives appointed by them shall have the right, at any reasonable hour, to inspect any swimming pool for the purpose of determining that all provisions of this chapter are fulfilled and complied with. They may make tests for the presence of residual chlorine, pH value of water and the cleanliness of the water whenever required, and they may take such measures for the prevention of accidents or for the preservation of health as they may deem necessary.

§ 130-9 Operation and maintenance.

No private swimming pool shall be used, kept, maintained or operated in the Township of Muhlenberg if such use, keeping, maintaining or operating shall be the occasion of any nuisance or shall be dangerous to life or a detriment to health.
Pools shall be maintained in a clean, sanitary and safe condition at all times.
It shall be the responsibility of the owner of the pool to prevent any loud or unnecessary sound from emanating from the pool which may disturb the peace or comfort of the neighbors.

§ 130-10 Enforcement.

In the event of the failure to comply, after due notice, with the provisions of this chapter, the Board of Commissioners of Muhlenberg Township shall have the power to abate or cause the suspension of the use of such swimming pool until such time as the same is no longer a health menace.

§ 130-11 Existing pools.

Any existing private swimming pool which does not conform to the provisions of this chapter shall be brought into compliance therewith within 60 days after the effective date of this chapter.

§ 130-12 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 3-1-1982 by Ord. No. 188; 11-7-1988 by Ord. No. 250[1]]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable, upon conviction thereof, by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 and costs of prosecution or by imprisonment in the Berks County Prison for not more than 90 days, or by both fine and imprisonment. In the event of the imposition of a fine only, default in payment of such fine and costs of prosecution shall subject the violator to imprisonment in the Berks County Prison for not more than 90 days.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that the fines and penalties may be collected by suit brought in the name of the Township before any Justice of the Peace, in like manner as debts of like amount may be sued for by existing laws, and to remit such fines and penalties.