Danedri Thompson
Jim Hendershot, Spring Hill City Planner, doesn’t want local residents to become one of the statistics: Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children between the ages of one and four. The majority of those take place in residential settings, according to a Consumer Product Safety Commission report.
“I think the main thing we’re trying to do is to make the public aware that there are safety regulations regarding private pools,” Hendershot said.
Now that summer is officially in session, Hendershot is cautioning local pool owners to know city code regarding residential pools.
Specifically, he worries that owners of seasonal, inflatable pools may not realize that many of the city codes regulating residential pools applies to some season pools as well.
Hendershot said city codes don’t regulate small, plastic kiddie pools, but any pool that holds more than 24 inches or 2 feet of water.
“I’ve had people say, well I just won’t fill it that full. But if it’s capable of holding 24 inches, that’s where the regs begin,” he said.
Spring Hill formally adopted residential pool regulations last year, and Hendershot said city officials notified between 10 and 12 owners that their pools did not meet regulations.
“Most of which were very cooperative and understanding of what we were trying to do and brought their pools into compliance,” Hendershot explained.
The regulations the city adopted come from a national residential safety code recognized for building standards around the house.
The regulations require barriers around residential pools that hold more than 24 inches of water.
“Our primary goal is safety, particularly of young children,” he said. “Those that live at the house and kids from the neighborhood may find a pool and think that’s something to do.”
Residential pools also require permits. There is no cost to obtain a permit, however, Hendershot said making a residential pool compliant with city code could be costly.
“There are going to be some expenses involved,” he said. “We urge people to call us first if they decide they want to have a pool. To the best of my knowledge we have never had a serious pool incident in Spring Hill. The regulations are there to do all we can to prevent that from happening.”