Pool ADA Certification & ConsultationS

The Americans With Disabilities Act now provides an enabling environment for individuals with a disability, who for a long time were unable to participate in several kinds of recreational activities like swimming. This situation changed for the better when in 2010 the Department of Justice (DoJ) proposed regulations under the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards) that ensured swimming pools, spas, and wading pools at the different facilities fulfilled certain accessibility requirements. The City of Los Angeles includes discrimination on the basis of disability as a covered entity under Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

AVOID A $75,000.00 FINE

Federal law allows for fines of up to $75,000 for the first ADA violation and $150,000 for any additional ADA violations

Our Licensed CASp experts are educated on the most up-to-date techniques for ADA Swimming Pool Requirements per the state of California. Offering a wide range of Pool & Spa ADA Compliance Consultations and Construction Services Including:

  • Accessibility audits of existing facilities with swimming pools / jacuzzis as well as new construction projects
  • Designing and working with Architects for ADA accessible construction
  • Technical assistance for accessibility issues for currently constructed buildings
  • Consultation on the best methods for designing and managing buildings per the ADA
  • Training staff members on how to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act
  • Training sessions can be arranged for clients and their employees
  • Developing guidelines and policies related to disability-related issues




(818) 805-1915

Please fill out the form and a Qualified ADA representative will reach out shortly

Most Common Areas For
ADA Liability Associated with Swimming Pools & Spas

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Pool Entryway and Exit requirEments

The 2010 Standards require that newly constructed or altered swimming pools, wading pools, and spas have an accessible way for people with disabilities to enter and exit the pool. The Standards also provide technical specifications for when a means of entry is accessible, such as, for pool lifts, the location, size of the seat, lifting capacity, and clear floor space.

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Pool Warning Sign Requirements

Public pools will have public health warning signs near the pool area with at least 4-inch letters or numbers that are clearly legible. These signs will be fixed to a gate, pool wall, pole, or similar structure and must be clearly visible to pool users at all hours.

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Pool Life Ring & Hook Requirements

All swimming pools are required to have life rings that are at least 17 inches in diameter and easily accessible. A 3/16 inch cord that is at least as long as the width of the pool must be permanently attached to the life ring. To avoid risks, at least one life ring must be provided at the opposing ends of the pool when it exceeds 50 feet in width or 75 feet in length.

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Pool Lift Accessibility Requirements

If you own, or are building a public-accessible pool with more than 300 linear feet of pool-wall, you must have two accessible means of entry and exit. One means of entry/exit must be a fixed pool lift or sloped entry; the other entry can be a transfer wall, transfer system, or pool stairs. Small pools (pools with less than 300 linear feet of pool wall) must provide at least one accessible means of entry/exit, which must be either a fixed pool lift or a sloped entry.

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Yes! If you have publicly accessible water features, they will need to be ADA Compliant per California guidelines. In January 2012, the Department issued guidance titled “ADA 2010 Revised Requirements: Accessible Pools—Accessible Means of Entry and Exit” to assist entities covered by Title III of the ADA, such as hotels and motels, health clubs, recreation centers, public country clubs, and other businesses that have swimming pools, wading pools, and spas, in understanding how the new requirements apply to them.

ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities with Public Pools & Jacuzzis

To determine which pools must be made accessible, public entities should consider the following factors:

> How to provide swimming programs in the most integrated setting appropriate;
> The ways in which people participate in the programs (e.g., individually, in families, in youth groups);
> Locations where the programs are offered;
> What programs are offered at each pool and to which constituencies (e.g., family swims, children's swimming lessons, older adult exercise classes, high school swim meets);
> Which pools are accessible and to what extent; and
> Level of dispersion of the accessible locations and convenience to reach them (e.g., one pool in each quadrant of the town, all on accessible mass transit).

The Department of Justice further revised these 2010 ADA requirements in January 2012 to provide guidelines for commercial entities covered by Title III of the ADA including recreation centers, hotels, motels, public country clubs, health clubs, and other kinds of businesses that had swimming pools, spas, and wading pools at their facilities.

Our Certified Access Specialists (CASp) will review your water features for ADA Compliance.


A sign written in clear language or diagram and which contains letters that are at least 1 inch or 25 mm in height must be placed at a public pool indicating that individuals suffering from active diarrhea or those who have had active diarrhea within the last 14 days are not allowed to enter the pool.

Large pools in a newly constructed public accommodation or altered facilities are required to have two accessible means of entry, one of which should be a sloped entry or a pool lift. Smaller pools can have just one accessible means of entry, but it should be either a sloped entry or a pool lift.

Yes, for public pools that exceed 75 feet in length or 50 feet in width, the pool operator shall provide a rescue pole and a life ring on at least two opposing sides of the public pool at centralized locations.

All swimming pools are required to have life rings that are at least 17 inches in diameter and easily accessible. A 3/16 inch cord that is at least as long as the width of the pool must be permanently attached to the life ring. To avoid risks, at least one life ring must be provided at the opposing ends of the pool when it exceeds 50 feet in width or 75 feet in length.

Public pools will need to have public health warning signs near the pool area with at least 4-inch letters or numbers that are clearly legible. These signs will be fixed to a gate, pool wall, pole, or similar structure and must be clearly visible to pool users at all hours.

At each spa, a precaution sign must be provided stating that:

  • Senior citizens, pregnant women, people suffering from health conditions, and infants should consult their physician before entering a spa.

  • People under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or narcotics are advised not to indulge in hot water immersion, as this can have severe consequences.

  • Long exposures can cause dizziness, nausea, or fainting.

  • Children must not visit the spa without adult supervision.

  • Do not use the spa alone.

Yes, pool capacity signs are required for all publicly-accessible pools and spas. The sign must indicate the maximum number of pool users allowed into the pool.

Spa pool users including persons with disabilities must be able to occupy at least 10 square feet of the pool water surface area. Other pools must allow each user to occupy at least 20 square feet of the pool surface area. These pool capacity restrictions do not apply to spray grounds and wading pools.

Legal obligations under Title II must be fulfilled. Reading of data is sorted according to the percent per unit. Currently, free chlorine residuals in California pools and spas must be at least 1.0 ppm at all times when stabilizers like cyanuric acid are not used and at least 2.0 ppm when stabilizing solutions are used. Service equipment like the chlorine test kit must be in operation at all water features open to the general public and not limited to maintained space accessible to people with disabilities. The main drain must be clearly visible to all from the deck.

Swimming pools at all times must have access to body hooks permanently attached to poles that are 12 feet or more in length. In cases where the swimming pool exceeds 50 feet in width and 75 feet in length, such body hooks attached to poles must be provided at the opposing ends of the pool.

Emergency phone numbers, the emergency contact number of a nearby emergency service, names and street addresses of the pool facilities should be displayed.

  • Emergency Signs
  • No Lifeguard Signs
  • Spa Emergency Shut-Off
  • Switch Sign
  • Artificial Respiration And CPR Sign
  • No Diving Signs
  • Keep Closed Signs

The pool transfer wall is found along the accessible route that enables handicapped persons with mobility devices to mount a wall and then use the transfer system to get into the pool or spa. Regulations state that this wall is required to have a minimum of one grab bar.


Regulations state that the chair with a seated user should rise at least 16 inches to a maximum of 19 inches above the deck. The chair must be constrained in a way that the user has adequate room to get into the poolside lift without any difficulty.

Title III of the ADA act requires covered entities like hotels, swimming clubs, resorts, and sites of events that are open to the public to remove physical barriers that make achieving ADA standards for accessible means easily accomplishable and without much difficulty or expense. These readily achievable conditions will differ from business to business. Several factors including the hours needed to complete this task and the economic conditions in Los Angeles must be taken into consideration to determine what can be readily achieved by a specific business.

For example, if it can be readily accomplished, a commercial facility may have to install a fixed pool lift at their existing swimming pool to remove physical barriers that hindered accessible means of entry or independent use by a handicapped person. The business can consider other approved solutions like providing a portable pool lift for safe operation when it is unable to install a fixed pool lift on a swimming pool deck. The ADA original text contribute to a better understanding of these regulations.

It is also important to understand that the barrier removal obligation is part of a continuous process and that the business in question will take all possible steps to improve accessibility over a period of time. This exercise is not limited to barrier removal alone but could include staff department resources to maintain the pool water purification system, and to sustain public health standards by protecting the pool water with regular free chlorine residual checks. Other factors like the financial resources needed to enable these free chlorine residual checks and to keep the poolside lift and other equipment running at all times must also be considered.

To determine the scope of achievable accessibility for a pool, public accommodations can consider the following conditions:

  • Overall resources available at the swimming pool or spa pool

  • Cost, nature, and time in hours needed for physical barrier removal

  • Distance of a controlling parent corporation or entity from the pool site

  • Overall resources available with the parent corporation to achieve accessibility at the site

  • Operations performed by the parent corporation or entity, when applicable, must be considered.

Our risk management and ADA compliance specialists can work with the operations team at the site or the parent entity to achieve and maintain accessibility standards required by the ADA department in Los Angeles, California for swimming pools, spa pools, and wading pools.

Sloped entries at swimming pool facilities must meet the standards set for zero grade ramp or beach access, which means that the maximum slope allowed is 1:12. For all practical purposes, mobility devices and wheelchairs are not used on sand or submerged in water, as this may damage their electrical systems, motors, and batteries, or may contaminate the pool.

As a building owner or property developer with hotel rooms, you must provide access to your aquatic facilities.

The reason for this is that customers, particularly those with disabilities, may request to have services provided at your premises, and it would be against the law for you to deny them service.

So, for example, if you had a lap pool, you would need to ensure that all laws are met as per ADA norms by providing appropriate features such as ramps as well as ensuring that access has been planned so as not to separate people into couples or groups based on their abilities.

But if the facility provides instructional swimming lessons to students on a regular school day with 15 or more participants taught by a certified instructor, and the pool has less than 300 linear feet of swimming pool walls, then the requirements would be more relaxed.

It is mandatory to have warning signs that contain letters that are at least 4 inches in a way that it can be clearly seen from a distance.

Pool owners in San Diego and other places in California can use poles, gates, pool walls, or any other structure that will offer a clear view to all even when the sun is not up.

Precaution signs at their spa must indicate the following:

  • Individuals cannot use spa facilities on their own

  • Those who suffer from medical conditions, infants, pregnant women, and senior citizens must consult a doctor before they enter the spa

  • If someone is on to narcotics/drugs or has consumed alcohol, then hot water immersion must be avoided to prevent dangerous situations

  • Extended spells at the spa can cause fainting, nausea, and dizziness

  • Children cannot enter the spa without an accompanying adult

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires covered entities like swimming clubs, hotels, and resorts to remove physical barriers that make it easily achievable for a handicapped person (for example wheelchair users with a certain type of disability) to gain access to the pool.

As far as visitors or guests who are part of their swimming club are concerned, such individuals can be discriminated against when it comes to resort facilities and services.

Factors like the time in hours needed to accomplish this task and the overall economic conditions in California are to be considered.

Other ADA Consultation Services

Our team can assist with the development of restaurant building designs for compliance with the American ADA. We have qualified ADA consultants who will assist you with your next construction project. Our consultant firm also assists restaurant customers in protecting themselves from future compliance risks.

The ADA covers private elementary and secondary schools as places of public accommodation; i.e., the schools must be physically accessible to those with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits the exclusion of people with disabilities from everyday activities, such as enjoying a meal at a restaurant. 

If you operate a Doctor office, Dental office, or similar – you’ll need to make sure you facility accommodates the disabled. 

Whether you own the entire stip mall or only one shop in the facility, we’ll work with you to make sure you’re ADA Compliant. 

If you own a gas station, you’ll want to make sure your pumps are ADA friendly, as well as parking, bathroom access and more. 

Whether you’re a restaurant with an online menu, or run an online ecommerce website, you’ll need to make sure you are ADA compliant. 

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