New Aquatic Access ADA Advisor for Public Pools and Spas

 

On September 15, 2010, the Final Rule for the Accessible Design for Recreational Facilities, including public pools and spas, was published in the Federal Register. These standards became the law of the land on March 15, 2011, and compliance was required by March 15, 2012 until that deadline was extended to May 21, 2012, and again, in May, 2012, to January, 2013. Compliance with the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design will be required for pools and spas that serve the public by January 31, 2013 unless that dates is changed again by the Department of Justice. Tax incentives for improvements made by businesses in order to comply with the ADA can be found at http://www.ada.gov/taxcred.htm or at www.IRS.gov.

The Aquatic Access series of pool lifts are defined by the Department of Justice as fixed lifts, and fully comply with the law for public pools. Because Aquatic Access water-powered lifts are easy to install and maintain, they provide READILY ACHIEVABLE ACCESS at a reasonable cost. To be certain that you are investing in accessibility products that comply, a careful reading of the pertinent documents at www.ADA.gov is advised, and specific questions should be addressed to the true accessibility experts at the ADA. A hot line has been established to help you understand the new law at 800.514.0301.

Questions about the best lift for your particular needs can be answered by Aquatic Access at 800.325.5438. If you call during normal business hours (8:30-4:30 Eastern Time, weekdays) you can always reach a real human being ready to assist you. Our personal service guarantees that you will get a lift that fits your particular pool and provides the level of safe access you desire.

Aquatic Access is providing a number of documents for download that can help you in the decision-making process for your particular pool. These documents should help clear up the many misconceptions being published by those who are misinformed about the actual regulations. The documents are listed here:

ADA 2010 Revised Requirements-- Accessible Pools Means of Entry and Exit: This Department of Justice publication includes all revisions through May 24, 2012.

ADA Questions and Answers Regarding Compliance of Existing Title III Pools: This document was provided to further explain the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design to companies and owners of pools that serve the public. This document should relieve some of the confusion about compliance.

Pool Lift Design Specific Standards: This online page is the Aquatic Access ADA Advisor which provides full data on the requirements and which Aquatic Access lifts are the best choices for compliance.

ADA Definition: What is the ADA? What does it mean by Title II and Title III? What is required?

Means of Access Required: What means of access are required for my pool? A convenient chart and measurement guide for determining how many means of access you need to provide in your pool.

Your Primary Choices: The regulations state that only two types of access can be the primary means of access for swimming pools. This document categorizes both types for you.

Aquatic Access ADA Models: This document provides information about the various Aquatic Access Lifts that meet the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design.

Aquatic Access currently has twelve models of water-powered lifts that comply with all of these regulations. The IGAT-180 and the IGAT-180/135 lifts provide access to most in-ground pools, and, with the use of a recessed socket plate, can provide that access to above-ground pools with decks around them as well. The IGAT-180AD lifts provides access to in-ground pools equipped with an automatic pool cover or with a raised lip around the edge of the pool. Click on the button below to see details about each of these lifts. All of the IGAT products can be customized as heavy-duty for the bariatric customer, designed to rotate either clockwise or counter-clockwise, or configured for a number of different pool designs. Call and discuss your special requirements with any of our engineering team.

See the Video

You can find the entire 2010 Standards for Accessible Design online at http://www.access-board.gov/ada-aba/ada-standards-doj.cfm if you care to review it in its entirety. We have extracted the main points relevant to pool lifts from sections 242 and 1009 here for your convenience.

The text in red is extracted verbatim from the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design.

The text in black is an explanation of the requirement.

The text in blue tells you how the Aquatic Access IGAT-180, IGAT-180/135, and IGAT-180AD pool lifts provide the best solution to your accessibility needs.


The recommendations for public pools require that 
at least two accessible means of entry for larger pools (300 or more linear feet) and at least one accessible entry for smaller pools. This section requires that at least one entry will have to be a sloped entry or a pool lift; the other could be a sloped entry, pool lift, a transfer wall, or a transfer system (technical specifications for each entry type are included at section 1009). Section 242 of the 2010 Standards
for Accessible Design.

The secondary means of access
could include a pool lift, sloped entry, transfer wall, transfer system, or pool stairs. 

The Aquatic Access Models IGAT-180, IGAT-180/135, and IGAT-180AD offer a perfect solution to a pool owner's dilemma as a cost-effective and space-saving improvement to a pool measuring less than 300 feet in p
erimeter length. A lift can be either primary or secondary access to a large (more than 300 linear fee of perimeter) pool. Aquatic Access ADA-compliant lifts can be easily installed on an existing pool, or incorporated in the design of a new facility. 

The first technical requirement states that 
pool lifts need to be located where the water level does not exceed 48 inches (1220
mm). There are two exceptions to this rule: 1. Where the entire pool depth is greater than 48 inches (1220 mm), compliance with 1009.2.1 shall not be required. 2. Where multiple pool lift locations are provided, no more than one pool lift shall be required to be located in an area where the water level is 48 inches (1220 mm) maximum. Section 1009.2.1

Because of the ease of installation, Aquatic Access lifts can be placed in almost any pool area. Check with our engineering team to determine the best location at your pool.

In the raised position, the centerline of the seat shall be located over the deck and 16 inches (405 mm) minimum from the edge of the pool. The deck surface between the centerline of the seat and the pool edge shall have a slope not steeper than 1:48. Section 1009.2.
2

In order for an individual to move safely from wheelchair to lift and lift to wheelchair, there needs to be a comfortable distance from the edge of the pool to the place where the transfer will occur. A significant slope would increase the danger of the wheelchair rolling away.

The properly installed Aquatic Access IGAT-180, IGAT-180/135, and IGAT-180AD with standard seats meet these space requirements. While some models of Aquatic Access lifts can be built with sling seats, the IGAT-180, IGAT-180/135, and IGAT-180AD have a standard seat of molded polypropylene on a sturdy stainless steel frame. 

On the side of the seat opposite the water, a clear deck space shall be provided parallel with the seat. The space shall be 36 inches (915 mm) wide minimum and shall extend forward 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum from a line located 12 inches (305 mm) behind
the rear edge of the seat. The clear deck space shall have a slope not steeper than 1:48.. Section 1009.2.3

In order for an individual to bring a wheelchair alongside the lift and slide safely onto the lift seat (and return to the wheelchair after a swim), there must be enough space for positioning the chair. Again, a significant slope would increase the danger of the wheelchair's rolling.

The Aquatic Access engineering team is well trained in the Accessible Design standards and can take the guesswork out of lift placement.

The height of the lift seat shall be designed to allow a stop at 16 inches (405 mm) minimum to 19 inches (485 mm) maximum measured from the deck to the top of the seat surface when in the raised (load) position. Section
1009.2.4

The height of the seat was determined as a compromise to accommodate the needs of an adult or a child in a standard wheelchair. 

The Aquatic Access
seat has a standard stop at 19" from the pool deck, which meets this requirement. Further, standard Aquatic Access seats have stops built in at 19" or 21" or 23"and can be customized when ordered to stop at any desired height.

The width of the lift seat is to be 16" (405 mm) wide minimum. Section
1009.2.5 

The standard Aquatic Access seating surface is 1
7.5" wide, with 20" between the arms for further seating comfort. A number of adaptations can be made to suit particular customer needs.

Footrests shall be provided and shall move with the seat.
Sections 1009.2.6 There is an exception to this rule. Footrests shall not be required on pool lifts provided in spas.


An adjustable padded footrest is standard equipment for the Aquatic Access Models IGAT-180 and IGAT-180AD. Although it is not required by the ADA, the Aquatic Access footrest easily flips up to a vertical position so it will not interfere with the transfer to the seat. The accessories available for the IGAT-180, IGAT-180/135, and IGAT-180AD lifts include a flip-up arm, a headrest
, and seat belts that can be positioned at hip and chest levels.

If provided, the armrest positioned opposite the water shall be removable or shall fold clear of the seat when the seat is in the raised (load) position.
Sections 1009.2.6

 This provision is included to guarantee an easy side-to-side transfer from wheelchair to lift seat. 

The Aquatic Access
optional Flip-Up Arm rotates 115° from horizontal to past vertical, placing it well out of the way of a bather sliding into the lift seat from a wheelchair.

I The lift shall be capable of unassisted operation from both the deck and water
levels. Controls and operating mechanisms shall be unobstructed when the lift is in use and shall comply with 309.4 Pool lifts must be capable of unassisted operation from both the deck and water levels. This will permit a person to call the pool lift when the pool lift is in the opposite position. It is extremely important for a person who is swimming alone to be able to call the pool lift when it is in the up position so he or she will not be stranded in the water for extended periods of time awaiting assistance. The requirement for a pool lift to be independently operable does not preclude assistance from being provided. Sections 1009.2.7

This section stipulates that the lift must have controls at the deck level and at water level all of the time. This guarantees that a person in the water does not become stranded in the water, and allows multiple individuals to utilize the lift within a swimming session. It is important that a lift buyer consider carefully whether or not this requirement is met. The regulation also implies in its final sentence that, while total independence is desirable, prudence must be exercised in any potentially dangerous situations.

The Aquatic Access Models IGAT-180, IGAT-180/135, and IGAT-180AD feature controls at both deck and water levels that require less than 5 lbs. of pressure to operate. Unlike some other products on the market, the Aquatic Access IGAT-180, IGAT-180/135, and IGAT-180AD have controls that are always in reach at both levels, so that once the lift has delivered a swimmer to the pool, it can be recalled to the deck for another swimmer's use. Similarly, if the seat has been recalled to the deck, the swimmer in the pool can call the seat back to underwater level to exit the pool. The implications of this ruling cannot be overstated, and it is unfortunate that some lifts are being marketed as "ADA-compliant" that do not have stationary controls at both the deck and water levels and could potentially leave a handicapped individual stuck in the water for extended periods of time. 

The lift shall be designed so that the seat will submerge to a water depth of 18 inches (455 mm) minimum below the stationary water level.he lift be designed so that the seat will submerge to a water depth of 18" minimum. 
 Section 1009.2.8

This depth is deemed necessary to ensure that natural buoyancy assists the individual in moving from the lift into the pool. The standard models of the IGAT-180, IGAT-180/135, and IGAT-180AD fulfill this requirement.

The versatile design of the Aquatic Access IGAT-180, IGAT-180/135, and IGAT-180AD is such that these lifts can accommodate any depth requirement. The swimmer totally controls the seat's travel, stopping and starting wherever and whenever desired.This important feature allows children or shorter adults to stop before they are submerged to an uncomfortable level. 

Single person pool lifts shall have a weight capacity of 300 pounds (136 kg) minimum and be capable of sustaining a static load of at least one and a half times the rated
load. Section1009.2.9

This requirement serves to guarantee that the lift can provide access to the majority of the population and has been tested with weights exceeding the rated load by 50%. 

The Models IGAT-180 and IGAT 180/135 have a 400 lb. weight capacity at 55-6
5 PSI (normal city water pressure), and the Model IGAT-180AD has a 350 lb. weight capacity. All Aquatic Access lifts models are available as custom heavy-duty units. Some custom heavy-duty units can lift individuals who weigh more than 400 pounds. 

If you have further questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act or about how Aquatic Access lifts can help you
bring your pool into compliance with the new laws, please send us an e-mail or call us at (800)325-5438. We will be glad to assist you in making the best choice of a lift for your pool.

Aquatic Access currently has twelve models of water-powered lifts that comply with all of these regulations. The IGAT-180 and the IGAT-180/135 lifts provide access to most in-ground pools, and, with the use of a recessed socket plate, can provide that access to above-ground pools with decks around them as well. The IGAT-180AD lifts provides access to in-ground pools equipped with an automatic pool cover or with a raised lip around the edge of the pool. Click on the button below to see details about each of these lifts. All of the IGAT products can be customized as heavy-duty for the bariatric customer, designed to rotate either clockwise or counter-clockwise, or configured for a number of different pool designs. Call and discuss your special requirements with any of our engineering team.

ADA-Compliant Lifts


Rev. 5/21/12