The most common chemical used in the treatment of swimming pool water is Chlorine. It not only eliminates bacteria and algae by disinfecting (killing) action, it also oxidizes (chemically destroys) other materials such as dirt and chloramines. State code requires that chlorine be injected into the pool water through the use of an approved automatic chlorinator. When chlorine (in any form) is added to water, a weak acid called Hypochlorous acid is produced. It is this acid, not the chlorine, which gives water its ability to oxidize and disinfect. Proper chlorination and filtration give pool water its clear, sparkling appearance.
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The pool shall be enclosed by one or a combination of one of the following: a fence, portion of a building, wall or other approved durable enclosure. Doors, openable windows, or gates of living quarters or associated private premises shall not be permitted as part of the pool enclosure. The enclosure, doors and gates shall meet all of the following specifications:
The enclosure shall have a minimum effective perpendicular height of 5 feet as measured from the outside.
Openings, holes or gaps in the enclosure, doors and/or gates shall not allow the passage of a 4-inch diameter sphere. The bottom of the enclosure shall be within 2-inches of the finished grade.
The enclosure shall be designed and constructed so that it cannot be readily climbed by small children. Horizontal and diagonal member designs, which might serve as a ladder for small children, are prohibited. Horizontal members shall be spaced at least 48-inches apart. Planters or other structures shall not be permitted to encroach upon the clear span area. Chain link may be used provided that the openings are not greater than 1 ¾ inches measured horizontally.
Gates and doors shall be equipped with self-closing and self-latching devices. The self-latching device shall be designed to keep the gate or door securely closed. Gates and doors shall open outward away from the pool except where otherwise prohibited by law. Hand-activated door or gate opening hardware shall be located at least 3 ½ feet above the deck or walkway. EXCEPTION: Doors leading from areas of hotels and motels, as defined in the Business and Professions Code Section 25503.16(b), which are open to the general public, e.g., restaurants, lobbies, bars, meeting rooms, and retail shops need not be self-latching.
Gates and doors shall be capable of being locked during times when the pool is closed.
The pool enclosure shall have at least one means of egress without a key for emergency purposes. Unless all gates or doors are so equipped, those gates and/or doors that will allow egress without a key shall be clearly and conspicuously labeled in letters at least 4-inches high “EMERGENCY EXIT”.
The enclosure shall be designed and constructed so that all persons will be required to pass through common pool enclosure gates or doors in order to gain access to the pool area. All gates and doors exiting the pool area shall open into a public area or walkway accessible by all patrons of the pool.
California State Requirements:
pH of 7.2 - 8.0 (recommended 7.4 - 7.6)
Cyanuric acid amounts less than 100 ppm Spa temperature may not exceed 104°F Not State required but recommended:
Temperature of pool around 76°F – at temperatures between 78°F and 82°F, chlorine dissipates faster, algae grows better, and the formation of scale is more likely to occur so it is recommended that the temperature of swimming pools remains outside this zone.
Alkalinity of 80-120 ppm
Chemicals should never be added directly to the pool while it is open for use. Please allow time for the chemicals to circulate throughout the pool before allowing swimmers to enter. Chlorine introduced through an automatic chlorinator is excluded from this rule. Chemicals and materials used for treatment of water should be stored separately from one another and should NEVER be mixed in order to prevent harmful chemical reactions from occurring.
No. Chlorine does not kill all the germs in the water, but it does a good job of killing most of the germs. However, a few germs can survive normal pool, hot tub, and spa levels of chlorine for several hours to days. Chlorine must be maintained at proper levels to kill most of the germs.
Any swimmer who swims in or accidentally swallows fecally contaminated water can become ill. Most of the illness reported is diarrhea. Children, women who are pregnant, and people with weakened immune systems (such as HIV-infected persons, those who have received an organ transplant or those receiving certain types of chemotherapy) may be more susceptible to severe disease.
Yes. Although you can get the same diseases from a spa as you can from a swimming pool, skin infections are the most common type of infections spread through hot tubs and spas. The high water temperature of hot tubs and spas may cause chlorine levels to dissipate faster. As a result, chlorine in hot tubs and spas needs to be checked more regularly than in swimming pools.