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Pools must meet city regulations

June 29, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Although some people may not realize it, inflatable pools must meet certain city regulations, Hagerstown Building Inspector Mike Heyser said Friday.

The city issued an advisory Friday to remind citizens of the regulations for the installation of swimming pools.

The move was prompted by city inspectors noticing violations by owners of inflatable pools, Heyser said. In recent weeks, inspectors have been going around the city and informing people who are violating the rules, he said.

Until a few years ago the only place to get pools was through pool distributors, Heyser said. Now they can be purchased at toy stores and department stores. Employees of those businesses usually don't tell customers about local regulations regarding the pools, he said.

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The dangers of someone drowning in a pool are just as real with an inflatable pool as with a standard pool, Heyser said.

"The city of Hagerstown enforces codes for swimming pools in an effort to promote safety as individuals continue to enjoy the summer months," Heyser said.

"First and foremost, all pools with a pump must meet current city of Hagerstown electrical codes, and no pool designed to hold water more than 24 inches in depth may be installed without first obtaining a building permit," he said. "This includes the so-called 'inflatable pools' now being sold in local department stores and toy stores."

Requirements for pools designed to hold more than 24 inches of water include:

-- Pools must be protected by a fence or barrier at least 48 inches high.

-- All gates must be 48 inches high and be self-closing and self-latching.

-- Pools may not be installed under overhead electrical lines.

-- All pumps or any other electrical devices attached to the pool must meet all electrical codes.

-- Pools must be at least 6 feet from all property lines.

Other codes and requirements may also apply, Heyser said.

Residents can call the Engineering Department at 301-790-4163 for more information.

For areas outside the city, requirements for pools are enforced by the Washington County Department of Permits and Inspections.

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