OCEAN CITY — A public information session outlining new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for public pools and spas throughout Worcester County and across the state is scheduled for Jan. 10 at the Ocean Pines Library from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Last week, state officials announced hundreds of pools and spas in the resort area and thousands more across the state could be forced to comply with rigorous new ADA standards or run the risk of not getting their permits issued by state and local health departments. The state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) last week sent out a memorandum to public swimming pool and spa owners and operators in Worcester County detailing the requirements for compliance with the new 2010 ADA standards for accessible design.
The regulations set new minimum requirements for pools and spas to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. The new standards apply to existing as well as newly constructed pools and spas and there are no grandfather provisions for existing facilities. Depending on the size and level of use for a pool or spa, the new regulations could require significant changes, including the installation of lifts, sloped entries, ADA-compliant stairs, or transfer systems, for example.