It is heartwarming to note that some time back in 2015, the Tamil Nadu Government Gazette published the Swimming Pool Rules and Regulations.
These offer a formal structure to the construction, management, maintenance and safety of swimming pools. These Swimming Pool Rules and Regulations offer information covering the following:
- Applying for permission to construct and operate a swimming pool
- Swimming pool inspections by the authorities
- Modification of existing swimming pools
- Structuring the swimming pool, fittings and accessories
- Water treatment system
- Personnel including pool manager, lifeguards
- Safety features and rescue equipment
- Water quality
- Operation and maintenance
- Operational timings
- Swimming Pool Rules and Regulations for users
Let’s look at each of these briefly. Swimming Pool Rules and Regulations
It is important to take the utmost care in the construction and management of swimming pools, besides paying attention to safety rules & regulations, since swimming pool accident statistics are alarmingly high.
Application for Permission for Construction and Operation of a Swimming Pool
Those intending to construct a swimming pool on the premises must apply for permission to the Executive Authority in the prescribed format, along with the necessary documents and fee and an affidavit on non-judicial stamp paper. If the swimming pool plans to have a diving facility, a clearance certificate must be obtained from the Public Works Department and attached with the application.
After doing its due diligence, the Executive Authority may or may not permit the construction of the swimming pool. Permission is granted depending on the approvals from other competent authorities after which construction may begin.
On completion of construction, the owner/occupier of the swimming pool must submit a completion report and apply for permission to operate it, along with an affidavit on non-judicial stamp paper to the Executive Authority. The swimming pool can be operated only after obtaining the No Objection Certificate.
Inspection Of Swimming Pools In Apartment
The Executive Authority and the Inspecting Authority can carry out random or regular inspections. If there are deviations and defects, these shall be rectified within the specified period. The swimming pool cannot be in use until satisfactory rectifications are made.
What about existing swimming pools in apartment?
For existing swimming pools, owners must carry out modifications mandated in these byelaws within a period of two months from the date on which they are effective. They can begin using the swimming pool only after the authorities inspect and approve it.
The byelaws provide detailed instructions about the dimensions, structure, material, floor slopes, transition point, pool walls, water depth, walkways and deck areas, ladders, step-holes, steps and ramps, diving area specifications, diving board rules and starting platforms.
The byelaws also specify electrical installation and lighting requirements, ventilation, regulations related to showers and bathrooms for sanitary facilities for each gender, fencing and exits.
The goal is to ensure safe operation, minimizing safety hazards and proper maintenance and management of the swimming pool.
Maintenance of the swimming pools in apartment complexes
One of the most important things in swimming pool maintenance is an efficient water treatment system that must have adequate filtration and water recirculation. It must also keep the chemical balance and disinfect the water for safety. The byelaws offers a list of mandatory accessories such as easily removable hair and lint strainer, inlets for filtered water, outlets at relevant points, makeup water, filtration and disinfection.
Each apartment complex must also have a competent pool manager, lifeguard and swimming coach or instructor with the requisite qualifications. The byelaws mention working hour rules and duty time.
Besides the above, the byelaws list specific safety features in relation to pool visibility for the lifeguard, life saving devices, rescue equipment, the display of emergency telephone and emergency contact list, depth markers for the swimming pool, operation and maintenance of the pool and pool area.
Swimming pool rules and regulations for users form a crucial part of the byelaws, including the pool manager’s responsibility for ensuring that pool users stick to certain guidelines. For instance, users may enter the pool only after they’ve showered and are in the right attire.
There is a list of situations when the swimming pool shall not be used, such as when the user has consumed alcohol, or is sick and during lightning and thunder. The pool manager’s responsibilities also include testing the water daily and declaring it fit for use and keeping a record of it.
Apartment complex residents and management committee have a responsibility to ensure that the facility is well maintained and safe. The ADDA app is a great tool to involve the residents and encourage their participation in implementing these measures.
Tamil Nadu is the only state in India who have published guidelines on Swimming Pools. As mishaps regarding swimming pools are increasing all over India, these set of guidelines is an excellent reference for apartment complexes across India. For a detailed version of the byelaws, here is the link
The Swimming Pool of your Apartment Complex
Summer is in and the Swimming Pool of your Apartment Complex must be splashing with kids, parents, fun and laughter! You may have wondered what keeps the pool water sparkling clean even though so many people use it! Here is a quick article for the typical apartment swimmer interested in knowing his summer heaven!
What gets the Pool dirty?
Simply put, the pool gets dirtied mainly by the following:
- Air-borne pollutants – dust, dry leaves, bird feathers, rain
- Hair and body oils from swimmers
- Bacteria that breed in the water
- Algae that breed on the tiles.
The Pool Filtration
To get rid of 1) and 2) the filtration unit of the Pool works continuously. There are drains at the bottom of the deepest end of the pool that sucks in the water continuously and sends to the filtration system. There are also drains at the top sides of the pool that sucks the surface water of the pool (where lighter debri oil, hair float) and sends to the filtration system.
Most filters in Apartment Complexes are high-rate sand filters, which are large tanks containing thick bed of special grade sand in a squarish shape. The water first goes through a strainer that catches larger debris like dry leaves, and then goes through this sand filter where rest of the debris are caught.
Water is then fed back into the pool.
To dislodge and clean up the fine dust settled on the pool floor, the Pool Vaccum Cleaner is used that can be pointed to specific areas to suck the water in that area and send to the filtration system. Pool vacuuming must be done at least once a week during the Pool season.
To get rid of 4) bacteria and other pathogen that breed in water, the pool is ‘treated’ with chlorine – the pool disinfectant. Chlorine in its granular (calcium hypochlorite) form or liquid form (sodium hypochlorite) is added at the point the water comes out from the filtration system, and into the pool. Chlorine in water forms hypochlorous acid which kills bacteria and other pathogens.
Did you Know: The strong ‘chlorine smell’ you get in a pool at times, does not mean it has too much chlorine, but too little ‘free chlorine’. The chlorine in the pool combines with other chemicals naturally available in the pool e.g., ammonia to form chloramines. These chloramines cause the distinct smell and eye irritation. This means, the chlorine is used up in these compounds and not available to attack the bacteria in the pool.
Shocking the Pool
To get rid of Chloramines the pool needs to be “Shock Treated”, once a week. This is done by adding unusually high amount of chlorine to the water while the filtration system is on. This “Super Chlorination” completely removes any bacteria or other unhelpful chemicals present in the pool water.
Shock Treating should be done after rains, and the pool should not be used for 12-24 hours after shock treating. This is the reason why most Swimming Pools in Apartment Complexes are closed once a week. This is also the day that any algae found breeding on the pool tiles is dislodged by scrubbing with a brush.
With all these practices in place by a adept pool Custodian, you splash through this summer!
Credits: howstuffworks.com, about.com, ehow.com, caudata.org, wikihow.com. Photo credit: Jennifer Macke
Typical Swimming Pool Usage Rules in Apartment Complexes
Swimming Pool Usage Rules for Apartment Complexes
- Take a Shower before Entering the Pool.
- Do not Enter the Pool if you have an Open Cut on your Body or any contagious illness.
- Wear well fitting Swimwear made of Lycra, Nylon etc. (reason, these material don’t release minute fibre in the water which can block the filtration system. The fit is to ensure there is no loose fabric creating a hazard for you or other swimmers)
- Food and Drink are not allowed in the Swimming Pool
- Children below 10 years age are not allowed in the pool without parental supervision
- Spitting, spouting water, blowing nose or discharging bodily waste in the pool is strictly prohibited.
Above is an optimal set of rules, please feel free to add/modify according to the specific requirements of your community.
Three Aspects of Well Maintained Swimming Pools in Apartments
This Summer has recorded record high temperatures in years. This is exactly when Residents find their Apartments swimming pool a blessing and feel grateful to the Association/Society for maintaining it well.
This also means the Association / Management Committee needs to be on its toes so that the Pool is on optimum maintenance for such peak usage.
Here is a list of aspects of a Hygienic and Well-Maintained Swimming Pool, and methods of maintaining these aspects:
1. Keep your Apartment Swimming Pool CLEAN
a) Cleaning the Pool
A Pool gets dirty mainly due to hair and body oil from swimmers, dust, dry leaves, bird feathers, bacteria and algae. Chlorine is used very commonly as a Pool Sanitiser. However, many times it cause red eyes, irritation, etc. There are some other alternatives to use of chlorine like reverse osmosis filtration and UV disinfection which can be used in apartment swimming pools.
On a regular and daily basis the Pool Filtration should be working perfectly. This ensures the water is constantly being cleaned. Refer to our blog for more details on Pool Filtration.
On a weekly basis the pool needs to undergo a shock treatment. This is a reason why almost every Apartment Community closes its swimming pool once a week.
b) Maintaining the Proper Pool Chemistry
Ideally the pool pH should be between 7.2 to 7.6. If your Swimming Pool water is Green, the main cause could be a high pH level of the pool which could be 7.9 or more. A high pH not only irritates the skin of swimmers, makes the pool less inviting by the look of the water but also makes the chlorination less effective.
What causes high pH level in your swimming pool?
The local source of water may have a higher pH value. Municipal water lines and other hardware usually get damaged faster is the water is not on the alkaline side.
The steps you need to take to get the pH right are:
- Test the pH level of the swimming pool water. There are various ways of doing this. pH strips, electronic pH testers, pH test kits, etc. However, using pH strips are an easy and economical way of determining the pH level of your swimming pool.
- If the pH is on the alkaline side then there are 2 main chemicals which are used for reducing pH of swimming pool water. They are Sodium bisulphate or muriatic acid. You can follow the instructions written in the manuals for the correct method of use.
2) Keep your Apartment Swimming Pool HYGIENIC
The Association must display the Rules of following Swimming Pool hygiene which the Swimmers must conform to.
One of the main Swimming Pool hygiene rule – Showering before Entering the Pool is often ignored, in some places by as many as 40% of the swimmers. A Shower before entering the Pool is not only good for keeping the Pool clean but also for the Swimmer’s own skin. A layer of fresh water on the skin ensures that the skin pores will not absorb the chlorinated water of the pool.
A heavy chlorine smell in the Pool is an indication that the Pool is NOT clean or hygienic. Such smell comes from chloramines that are formed when Chlorine comes in contact with contaminants. A clean and well maintained swimming pool in apartment complexes will not have strong chemical smell.
3) Keep your Apartment Swimming Pool SAFE
Since the Swimming Pool of an Apartment Complex is used by many, it is important that Clear Safety measures are laid out and followed. There are several safety measure which should be followed in apartment swimming pools. The water level should be monitored, there should be proper swimming timings, an adult should always accompany kids into the pool, etc.
The way a Swimming Pool is built is also a great contributor to its Safety. Here are 7 Design Aspects of SwimmingPools in Apartment Complexes
11 Safety Tips for Apartment Swimming Pools
Just a couple of days back, we were shocked by the death of a four year old child, who drowned in the swimming pool of a high end apartment complex, in Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore. The child accidentally fell into the pool while cycling. This is however not an incident without a precedence. Just a few months back, in another upscale apartment complex, in Sarjapur Road, Bangalore, a 11 year old child met the same fate. He was swimming unsupervised and his hand got stuck in the suction duct of the swimming pool, which resulted in his drowning.
If we go back a few years, a similar incident happened in an apartment complex near Jakkur Road, when a 4 year old kid drowned in their apartment swimming pool.
Swimming pools have become a must have amenity in apartment complexes for prospective buyers today. Riding on this rising wave of demand, most builders have started providing swimming pools as a part of their projects.
However, more care is taken to make a swimming pool visually appealing rather than putting proper safety regulations around it. The recent painful incidents demonstrate the need for both residents and builders to be more vigilant in aspects of design, regulations and supervision of a swimming pool.
Many builders are in the race for making a quick buck and pays very little attention to safety concerns. Government also does not have any statutory regulations around building swimming pools which builders have to follow.
Municipal bodies are supposed to scrutinize every building plan and safety measures, before providing the NOC for occupancy. However, this practice is hardly watertight and today many high end apartment complexes in cities across India, where residents are living for quite some years now, does not have NOCs. As accidents regarding swimming pools are not that common, residents and apartment management committees, more often than not, are a bit casual regarding safety regulations around the swimming pool.
For example: If the number of apartment security guards are a concern, then management usually compromises on a security guard requirement at the pool and give more precedence to having extra security guards at the gates.
In the present scenario, the onus largely comes on us, to be demanding buyers and responsible residents. As a responsible resident, we should help the apartment management committee in putting together proper safety regulations around the swimming pool and also help in up keeping the same.
Below are a few best practices which we believe the apartment management committee should think about putting in place:
- There should be fixed pool timings for kids, when a lifeguard should be present. Number of lifeguards should be more if the size of the pool is large. All kids below 12 years of age should be supervised at all time by guardians
- During pool time for adults, a lifeguard should be present at all time. If not possible, then there should at least be an apartment security guard or similar personnel stationed in near vicinity who can supervise activity on the pool
- Cleaning and maintenance activities of apartment complex swimming pools should be properly supervised. It would help to maintain a checklist of activities during cleaning and maintenance.
- Lifesaving equipment should be kept handy around the pools
- Residents should be discouraged to develop the pool into a general hangout area. People seeing to have food, drinks and refreshments around pool should be discouraged
- Wheel chairs, perambulators should not be allowed around the swimming pool
- Children or adults using items like skateboards, roller skates, cycles should not be allowed around the pool area
- Persons under influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant should not be allowed near the pool
- Use of swim toys, balls in the pool, should be ratified by supervisor on duty
- Explore the possibility of covering the pool when not in use
- Last but not the least, the importance of maintaining safety measures around the swimming pool, should be communicated in clear terms to all residents. Consider the possibility of putting posters on swimming pool safety around the pool, or share the link of this blog on your ADDA forum. If your Apartment complex / housing society is still not online on ADDA, you can create one absolutely free on apartmentadda.com and start communicating with your neighbours. It’s much easier to discuss matters regarding your apartment complex swimming pool, decide on regulations to be put in place, conduct polls on matters which need resolution, etc. using various in built features of ADDA software.
It’s usually just wonderful to have a swimming pool in your apartment complex. It’s blissful to be able to jump into your exclusive pool during those hot summer days and splash around or to have a quite swim and unwind after a hectic day of work. Swimming can be the perfect morning exercise and boost to kick-start a new day.
However, having a swimming pool in your apartment can be both a privilege and a liability depending on how one uses it. And it’s very easy to let it not become a liability. All you need is a little attention to SAFETY!
Conclusion – Swimming pool rules and regulations
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