1. Section 25-8-63, Section 6, Subsection 6, Impervious Cover Calculations, states that "the water surface area of a GROUND LEVEL pool, fountain, and pond" are exempt from calculations. This code section differentiates between ground level and above ground pools. Will there be a distinction under definitions between ground level and above ground pools?
The adoption of the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) will not affect the application of requirements within City Code Section 25-8-63 Impervious Cover Calculations. Per ISPSC Section 201.1 Scope, shown below, the words and terms within the ISPSC are stated for the purposes of that code, which is located within 25-12.
201.1 Scope. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this code, have the meanings shown in this chapter.
Above ground and in ground pools are considered pervious cover per the Environmental Criteria Manual Section 1.8.1.C: Impervious cover calculations exclude the water surface area of ground level (including in ground and above ground) pools, fountains, and ponds.
The only distinction between grades in the ISPSC is mentioned in the scope of Chapters 7 and 8, which are included below.
701.1 Scope. This chapter describes certain criteria for the design, manufacturing, and testing of on-ground, storable pools intended for residential use. This includes portable pools with flexible or non-rigid side walls that achieve their structural integrity by means of uniform shape, support frame or a combination thereof. Also included in this chapter are pools that can be disassembled for storage or relocation. This chapter includes what has been commonly referred to in past standards or codes as on-ground or above-ground pools.
801.1 Scope. The provisions of this chapter govern permanent In-ground residential swimming pools. Permanent in-ground residential swimming pools shall include pools that are partially or entirely above grade. This chapter does not cover pools that are specifically manufactured for above-ground use and that are capable of being disassembled and stored. This chapter covers new construction, modification and repair of in-ground residential swimming pools.
2. Section 25-12-241, Section 7, states that "a swimming pool that is prefabricated and less than 24" deep is exempt from a building permit (BP). Is this consistent with the 2018 ISPSC?
Yes, they are consistent.
3. Section 25-8-341 Cut Requirements, states "swimming pool". For clarification, is a swimming pool consistent with the definitions under the 2018 ISPSC?
The adoption of the ISPSC will not affect the application of requirements within LDC 25-8-341 Cut Requirements. Per ISPSC Section 201.1 Scope, shown below, the words and terms within the ISPSC are stated for the purposes of that code, which is located within 25-12.
201.1 Scope. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this code, have the meanings shown in this chapter. The general definition of swimming pool is taken from the Building Code. See below.
General Definition from the Building Code
SWIMMING POOL. Any structure intended for swimming, recreational bathing or wading that contains water over 24 inches (610 mm) deep. This includes in-ground, above ground and on-ground pools; hot tubs; spas and fixed-in-place wading pools.
Specific Definitions from the Swimming Pool and Spa Code
PUBLIC SWIMMING POOL (Public Pool). A pool, other than a residential pool, that is intended to be used for swimming or bathing and is operated by an owner, lessee, operator, licensee or concessionaire, regardless of whether a fee is charged for use.
Public pools shall be further classified and defined as follows:
RESIDENTIAL SWIMMING POOL (Residential Pool). A pool intended for use that is accessory to a residential setting and available only to the household and its guests. Other pools shall be considered to be public pools for purposes of this code.
4. Can a swimming pool be ground level and above ground?
A swimming pool can be above or at grade level. For more detail, see ISPSC Section 801.1.
5. I have recently worked on a permit for an above ground pool. It seems that a lot of these pools are treated different by City review staff, but there is nothing in the code to formally process these and reviewing can be very messy and confusing. It would be good to take this opportunity to provide clear direction on how to permit these above ground pools.
This comment was submitted to us with the questions regarding compliance with City Code Section 25-8 Environment. The Development Services Department has forwarded this suggestion to the Environmental Review and Residential Review work units to improve review consistency in relation to swimming pools and City Code Section 25-8.
Should you have concerns with regard to the permitting process of above ground pools in compliance with existing City Code Chapters 10-7 or 25-12, through the Development Services Department Commercial Plan Review or Austin Public Health, please forward your question with more specificity about the project or project(s) to DSDEngagementUnit@austintexas.gov.