What Is a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance?
A swimming pool certificate of compliance is an operating permit demonstrating that a public pool meets local health and safety standards. All public pools in Nevada — from hotel pools in Las Vegas to the community pools in Henderson and Reno — must have and display an operating permit.
If a public pool does not have an operating permit, the facility may not be compliant with health and safety regulations. This increases the likelihood that accidents, like slips and falls or accidental drownings, occur. But it’s important to remember that even if a facility has an operating permit, these accidents can still happen.
Knowing what health and safety regulations exist for both public and private pools can help you stay vigilant about protecting your family and even discover potential evidence in your swimming injury case.
What Kind of Pools Need a Certificate of Compliance in Nevada?
Only public pools (as well as some other public water features) are required to have an operating permit. In addition, a pool must have this permit whether it’s located inside or outside. Some types of pools and water features that need an operating permit in Nevada include:
- Community pools
- Hotel, motel, or resort pools
- Splash pads
- Wading lagoons
- Therapeutic pools
- Mineral baths
- Hot tubs/spas
A residential pool or hot tub does not need an operating permit but still must meet local, national, and industry building standards.
Basics of Nevada’s Pool Safety Regulations
While there are state, national, and industry codes in place to make sure pools are safe, local municipalities, HOAs, and even insurance policies may impose or suggest additional security precautions to prevent swimming pool-related tragedy. Nevada’s Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) outlines the following regulations and guidelines for pool construction and safety:
Building Process and Regulations
Before a public pool can even be constructed, the property owner must apply and get approved for an operating permit. Next, they must have their building design and plans reviewed by a professional engineer, architect, or class-A contractor from the State.
The public pool will undergo construction inspections to ensure the feature adheres to regulations. Any pool that is remodeled must go through the planning review and inspection process again.
For private and residential pools, plans must be approved by the local municipality to get a building permit to construct the feature. These may also need to undergo construction inspections.
Health and Safety Inspection Regulations
After a public pool opens, it must display the operating permit in a “conspicuous place” near the operating facility’s office. The pool must also pass regular compliance inspections from the Environmental Health Section of Nevada to remain open.
Private, residential pools do not undergo additional inspections or require an operating permit. It is the owner’s responsibility to maintain their water feature to avoid nuisance. If the pool is not properly maintained and poses a risk to the community, the local municipality may intervene.
Other Safety Requirements and Guidelines
In Nevada, public pools are not required to have a lifeguard. However, any lifeguards put in place must have proper training and certification in first aid, CPR, and pool safety. NRS 444.115 states that a lifeguard must have completed a Red Cross or other equivalent course.
Most areas of Nevada require public pools and water features to have adequate signage regarding pool safety rules and warnings. According to the Southern Nevada Health District, public pools and water features must have signage that includes these important messages:
- Operating hours (and warnings for unauthorized use outside of operating hours)
- No swimming if you have certain medical conditions, like diarrhea
- No diving, for shallow areas
- No lifeguard on duty
- Children must be accompanied
Pools must have fences at least 48 inches tall around the perimeter of the pool area, allowing safe space for walking, and gates that close or lock. It’s recommended that pool gates have self-latching or locking mechanisms and have combination locks to prevent children from accessing the pool unaccompanied.
Public pools must adhere to certain design guidelines, according to the Southern Nevada Building Officials, including no slip-hazard glazing around the pool, and requiring handholds, which include railings, steps, and even rock features along a pool’s perimeter.
National Standards for Pools
In 2008, the Virginia Graeme Baker Act was created to form a national standard for safety coverings on pool drains. Unfortunately, this law came about because a young girl lost her life when trapped in the suction of a pool drain. Now, pools must have grates over every drain and emergency shut-off valves that turn on when anything blocks them.
Industry Standards for Pools
All pools must meet regulations of the International Building Code and Uniform Plumbing and Electrical Codes to reduce hazards. Inspectors ensure these are met during the planning review and construction inspection stages.
How Operating Permits Prevent Swimming Pool Accidents
Operating permits indicate that a pool has passed building and health and safety inspections and that it’s generally safe to use based on local and federal guidelines. This permit demonstrates that all has been done to prevent swimming pool accidents, like:
- Slipping on wet surfaces
- Falling due to broken or improperly installed railings, ladders, or steps
- Getting caught in drains
- Contracting an illness from unclean pool water
But it does not mean that a pool is completely free of hazards. Patrons must still act responsibly while using the facility.
Get Help Filing a Claim for a Swimming Pool Accident
If you or a loved one have suffered a swimming pool injury, our Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can help you seek justice. When you work with De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, you can pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Contact our office today to speak to a Las Vegas swimming pool accident attorney about your pool accident case.