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PDFWAC 246-260-131

Operation of water recreation facilities.

(1) Operation plan. Owners shall ensure proper operation to protect the public health, safety, and water quality by establishing standard practices and developing a written operations manual addressing each of the following:
(a) Physical pool facility components and signage;
(b) Personnel;
(c) Users and spectators, including pool rules;
(d) Emergency response provisions;
(e) Diving during supervised swimming instruction into water depths recognized as adequate by the organization certifying the activity, such as ARC; and
(f) Environmental conditions.
(2) Physical components. Owners shall check each WRF's physical components routinely to ensure:
(a) Barrier protection, emergency equipment and structural facilities are properly maintained.
(b) Water does not pond on walking surfaces;
(c) Common articles provided for patrons, such as towels, bathing suits, bathing caps, etc., are sanitized before reuse;
(d) Sanitation items including toilet tissue, handwashing soap and single use towels or equivalent are maintained at facilities;
(e) Treatment of the water recreation pool facility occurs continuously at turnover rates required by this chapter twenty-four hours a day during periods of use;
(f) Swimming, spa, wading and spray pools shall be equipped with drain covers that are properly maintained, intact and secured to protect against entrapment.
(g) Extra filter cartridge provided for each cartridge filter.
(3) Food service. If food service is provided and allowed, the owner shall:
(a) Ensure food and beverage sale and consumption areas at general use pools are separated from pool and deck enclosure areas;
(b) Prohibit food and beverage in pool water at limited use pools and maintain a minimum four-foot clear area between pool edge and any tables and chairs provided for food service;
(c) Prohibit use of glass in pool facility and provide trash containers; and
(d) Prohibit the sale or consumption of alcohol at general use pools.
(4) Spa and recirculating spray pool reservoir cleaning. Owners shall routinely drain, clean and refill spa and recirculation spray pools at a minimum frequency specified by the following formula.
Spa or spray pool reservoir volume in gallons/3/average number of users per day = Number of days between draining, cleaning and refilling.
(5) Signage for user rules.
(a) Owners shall provide and maintain signage specifying user rules and safety information required by this section in a conspicuous place in the pool area with easily readable lettering at least three-eighths of an inch high. All swimming, spa and wading pool facilities must have signs stating pool rules:
(i) Prohibiting use by anyone running or participating in horseplay:
(ii) Prohibiting use by anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
(iii) Prohibiting use by anyone with a communicable disease or anyone who has been ill with vomiting or diarrhea within the last two weeks;
(iv) Prohibiting anyone from bringing food or drink into the pool water;
(v) Requiring everyone to have a cleansing shower before entering the pool;
(vi) Requiring anyone in diapers to wear protective covering to prevent contamination;
(vii) Requiring diapers to be changed at designated diaper change areas;
(viii) Warning patrons that anyone refusing to obey the pool rules is subject to removal from the premises;
(ix) Directing patrons to the location of the nearest telephone and first-aid kit for emergency use;
(x) Advising patrons that anyone with seizure, heart, or circulatory problems should swim with a buddy; and
(xi) Where diving boards are used, provide signs for proper use.
(b) All swimming, spa, and wading pool facilities where lifeguards or attendants are not present shall have signs stating additional pool rules that:
(i) If a child twelve years of age or less is using the pool, a responsible adult eighteen years of age or older must accompany the child and be at the pool or pool deck at all times the child uses the facility; and
(ii) If an individual between thirteen years of age and seventeen years of age is using the pool, at least one other person must be at the pool facility.
(c) All spa pool facilities must have signs stating additional pool rules:
(i) Cautioning that children under the age of six should not use a spa pool;
(ii) Cautioning that persons suffering from heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure should consult a physician before using a spa pool;
(iii) Cautioning that women who are or might be pregnant seek physician's advice regarding using a spa pool;
(iv) Cautioning everyone to limit the stay in the spa pool to fifteen minutes at any one session; and
(v) Posting the maximum bather capacity of each spa pool.
(d) All spray pool facilities must have signs stating pool rules as specified in (a)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), and (viii) of this subsection.
(6) Required personnel.
(a) Owners shall ensure appropriate personnel specified in this subsection provide monitoring at pool facilities.
(b) General use swimming pool facilities shall have lifeguards present at all times pools are in use; except:
(i) If swim or dive teams are facility users, the owner may allow substitution of a qualified coach properly credentialed by the sponsoring organization furnishing the swim or dive coach; and
(ii) Owners may substitute persons with Master Scuba Diver Trainer or Master Scuba Diver Instructor certification through PADI or SCUBA instructor, assistant instructor or divemaster through NAUI or other department-approved training in lieu of lifeguards for SCUBA training.
(iii) PADI or NAUI certified scuba instructing staff shall maintain the following conditions:
(A) Limit number of persons training to ten persons per instructor.
(B) Ensure all persons being instructed are monitored at all times while in the pool to ensure thirty-second response time can be provided.
(iv) Private club swimming pool facilities must have lifeguards present at all times persons sixteen years of age and younger are using the pool facilities, except:
(A) Attendants or shallow water lifeguards may supervise persons thirteen through sixteen years of age when these users are restricted to a pool depth less than or equal to five feet; and
(B) Attendants or shallow water lifeguards may supervise all persons sixteen years of age and under if the entire pool depth is less than four and one-half feet.
(c) If a spa or wading pool is in same enclosure as a swimming pool, all pools are subject to the most stringent monitoring personnel requirements applicable for any pool in the enclosure unless barriers that conform to WAC 246-260-031(4) restrict access between pools.
(d) The use of spas or wading pools not requiring lifeguards or attendants is subject to the following conditions:
(i) If the pool is used by children twelve years of age or under, a responsible adult eighteen years of age or older must accompany the children and be at the pool or pool deck at all times the children use the facility;
(ii) If the pool is used by persons seventeen years of age or under, a minimum of two people must be at the pool facility at all times the pool is in use;
(iii) The owner shall post the requirements of this subsection to assure the responsible person is notified of conditions for use of the facility.
(e) Limited use pool facilities must have an equivalent or greater level of supervision as specified for private clubs in (b)(iv) of this subsection during any times when activities are provided that put the pools into the category of general use pools.
(f) At limited use pool facilities, if alcohol is sold within the pool facility, the owner must provide a lifeguard or attendant at the pool area.
(g) All pool facilities must have a water treatment operator.
(7) Personnel duties and equipment.
(a) Owners shall ensure personnel are present at each WRF who perform duties specified in this subsection.
(b) Lifeguards, shallow water lifeguards and swim coaches shall guard assigned pool users and provide a rescue response time of thirty seconds or less.
(c) Attendants, if provided at pools not requiring lifeguards, shall oversee pool use by the bathers and provide supervision and elementary rescues such as reaching assists to bathers in need. This does not mean the person is qualified or trained to make swimming rescues.
(d) Owners shall notify responsible persons on the conditions for facility use at pools not requiring lifeguards and for which no lifeguards or attendants are present. A responsible person means a person having responsibility for overseeing users seventeen years of age or under including, but not limited to, a person:
(i) Renting an apartment, hotel, motel, RV camp, etc.; or
(ii) Who is an owner or member of a condominium, homeowner's association, fraternity, equity ownership facility, mobile home park, sorority, or private club with a pool facility.
(e) Water treatment operators shall assure the water treatment components of each WRF are functioning to protect health, safety and water quality.
(f) Owners shall ensure that lifeguards, shallow water lifeguards, swim coaches, and attendants:
(i) Wear a distinguishing suit/uniform, or emblem; and
(ii) Carry a whistle or equivalent signaling device.
(8) Personnel training.
(a) Owners shall ensure that pool personnel required by subsection (6) of this section have skills necessary for their duties, obtained by training and certification specified in Table 131.1 in Appendix B, or equivalent.
(b) Owners shall keep a copy at the WRF of each currently valid certification required for pool personnel.
(c) Owners shall ensure safety-monitoring personnel obtain continuing education needed to maintain lifeguarding skills and maintain valid certifications required by this subsection.
(d) If SCUBA or kayaking lessons are conducted at a pool, owners shall ensure that personnel monitoring these activities are trained to recognize special hazards associated with these activities.
(9) Emergency response plan.
(a) Owners shall prepare and implement emergency response plans specified in this subsection.
(b) In pool facilities where lifeguards, shallow water lifeguards, or swimming coaches are required by subsections (6) and (7) of this section:
(i) Sufficient qualified personnel must be present and appropriately located to provide a rescue response time of thirty seconds or less for all pool users;
(ii) The number and qualifications of personnel present must be based on factors dealing with pool depth, line of sight, bather load, potential emergency procedures, and personnel rotation;
(iii) Emergency response drills must be held two or more times each year to test whether thirty-second response time can be met; and
(iv) A record of each response drill must be kept at the WRF for three or more years.
(c) In pool facilities where lifeguards are not present, in accordance with subsection (6)(c) and (e) of this section, owners shall adopt rules, provide enforcement of conditions for pool use and notify users when first using facility and at least annually thereafter that conditions for use include:
(i) If a child twelve years of age or less is using the pool, a responsible adult eighteen years of age or older shall accompany the child and be at the pool or pool deck at all times the child uses the facility; and
(ii) If anyone seventeen years of age or less is using the pool, a minimum of two people shall be at the pool facility.
(d) Emergency equipment specified in WAC 246-260-041, 246-260-051, and 246-260-071 must be readily available during WRF operating hours.
(e) In facilities where chlorine gas is used:
(i) WRF personnel shall conduct annual emergency drills; and
(ii) The plan shall identify the location of accessible chlorine cylinder repair kits.
(f) Operators shall ensure that lifeguards, shallow water lifeguards, and swim coaches receive ongoing training of emergency response skills.
(10) Environmental conditions. Owners shall monitor various environmental conditions affecting the facility or potentially affecting the health and safety of users. Owners shall close the WRF or take other appropriate action in response to adverse environmental factors, (e.g., electrical storms, fog, wind, and visibility problems) to ensure that the health and safety of users are protected.
(11) Closure. Owners shall close the facility when the facility presents an unhealthful, unsafe, or unsanitary condition. These conditions include lack of compliance with the water quality or an operation requirement in this section or in WAC 246-260-111.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 70.90.120. WSR 05-09-004, § 246-260-131, filed 4/7/05, effective 5/8/05. Statutory Authority: Chapters 70.90 and 43.20 RCW. WSR 04-18-096, § 246-260-131, filed 9/1/04, effective 10/31/04.]
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