On May 18, 2012, the Department of Justice announced that it was adopting a final rule extending the compliance date for the sections of the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design that relate to existing swimming pools, wading pools, and spas (those built before March 15, 2012). 

Under the ADA standards, all public swimming pools with 300 or more linear feet of pool wall must have at least two accessible means of entry, with at least one of the means of entry being either a pool lift or a sloped entry to the pool (other accessible means of entry include transfer walls, transfer systems, and accessible pool stairs). (Note: public swimming pools with less than 300 linear feet of pool wall must have at least one accessible means of entry that is either a pool lift or a sloped entry.) 

These provisions for existing pools will now take effect on January 31, 2013. The final rule does not, however, affect the March 15, 2012, effective date for newly constructed or altered pools.

Cities that operate public swimming pools should take action to ensure they are in compliance with the new ADA standards by January 31, 2013. To access the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, go to:

To access the rule extending the deadline, go to:

TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.

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