[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Washington 5-14-1998 by Ord. No. 1585 (Ch. 23 of the 1986 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall be defined as indicated:
- SWIMMING POOL or POOL
- An outdoor pool used or intended to be used solely for and by the owner of a residential property, his family or lessee thereof and his family, and by guests invited to use it without the payment of any fee.
This chapter 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 18 inches or more at any point.
Before any work is commenced on the construction of a swimming pool or any alteration, addition, remodeling or other improvement to a swimming pool, an application for a permit for construction, together with plans and specifications pertinent for 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 fixed from time to time by resolution of City Council for the City of Washington.
All plans, including plot plan, shall bear the name and seal of a registered architect, engineer or surveyor. 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.
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.
Every swimming pool shall be completely surrounded by a fence, wall or similar enclosure not less than four feet in height, which shall be so constructed as to have no openings, holes or gaps larger than two inches in any dimension. If the fence or wall is a picket fence, the horizontal dimensions maintained shall not exceed four inches. A dwelling or accessory building may be used as part of such enclosure. All gates or door openings through such enclosure shall be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device on the pool side for keeping the gate securely closed at all times when not in use, except that the door of any dwelling or accessory building which forms a part of the enclosure need not be equipped. The fence shall surround the pool and the deck area. A fence shall be erected around all existing pools no later than January 1, 1997.
A swimming pool shall be located at the rear of a dwelling or alongside of the dwelling, where practical. 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. No swimming pool or appurtenances, including decks and shelters, shall be erected nearer to any property line than permitted by the Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 350), 10 feet from said property line. No swimming pool shall be located as to interfere with the operation of a well or on-site septic system or to be located where there is a potential danger of a septic system discharging into the pool or onto the adjacent area around the pool.
No permit to construct new swimming pools (existing pools are excluded from this section) shall be issued until the following design and construction requirements are provided by the applicant:
Material. The material used for lining of 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.
Walls and bottoms. 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.
Steps, ladders and 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 surface, shall be considered a handhold.
Make-up water. Pools shall be equipped with suitable facilities for adding make-up water as required. There shall be no physical connection between the water supply line and the pool system. When make-up water is added to the pool, the inlet shall be at least six inches above the pool water surface.
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. A pool drainage system may be connected to the public sanitary sewer system upon written approval of the Building Inspector.
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 backwashing or cleaning the filters.
Safety equipment. Life preservers, ropes and poles shall be readily available at the pool site.
All aboveground pools having walls less than four feet shall be enclosed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Portable aboveground pools having walls four feet or greater in height may be excluded from the fencing requirements, provided such pools are equipped with access ladders which may be raised and locked in a near vertical position when the pool is unattended. An aboveground pool as described in this section which is served by a ladder or steps which cannot be raised and locked as to prevent access by small children shall be enclosed in accordance with § 319-4.
No swimming pool shall be located or maintained as to interfere unduly with the enjoyment of the property rights of others.
Lights used to illuminate any swimming pool shall be so arranged as to reflect light away from adjoining properties.
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.
All electrical installations shall conform to the specifications of the National Electrical Code. No electrical 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 overhead. 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. 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.
[Amended 12-7-2006 by Ord. No. 1766]
Any individual, person, firm, corporation or other entity who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon being held liable in any civil proceeding or upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a penalty, fine or charge of no less than $100 nor more than the maximum amount permitted by law, but not to exceed $1,000, and in default of payment or any failure to pay any fine or penalty, upon a summary or other criminal conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period not to exceed 30 days, or both.
Each day that a violation of this chapter shall continue shall constitute a separate offense, subject to the fines, costs, penalties and charges set forth above for each offense.
Nothing herein shall limit, prevent or preclude the City of Washington from taking any and all legal action or exercising any other remedy available to the City by law, including but not limited to the initiation of civil or criminal proceedings or injunctive relief, in order to enforce or ensure compliance with this chapter. As an additional remedy, the City of Washington may abate any nuisance, dangerous or hazardous condition by any means permitted by law, which shall include but not be limited to an action in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Pennsylvania, for injunctive relief; the use of any City of Washington personnel, equipment and materials or that of an authorized agent or contractor hired by the City to remove or abate any nuisance, dangerous or hazardous condition, and with all costs thereof or related thereto to be charged against the property owner(s) and/or person or entity who has violated the chapter or portion thereof; said costs shall include all actual costs and expenses, including all costs of collection and reasonable administrative costs of the City, incurred in enforcing the provisions of the chapter.