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Tyrone Borough reminds swimming pool owners about the safety and regulations that must be followed

With the recent heat wave simmering area residents at 90-plus degrees, many people are taking advantage of home-installed swimming pools to cool off.
Tyrone Borough officials want to remind its pool-owning residents that there are safety regulations and requirements that must be followed in order to have a pool installed and used at a residential home.
The 2006 International Residential Code (IRC) that Tyrone Borough follows controls the design and construction of swimming pools installed in or on the lot of a one or two family dwelling.
In the borough, a swimming pool is defined as any structure intended for swimming or recreational bathing that contains water over 24 inches deep. This includes in-ground, above ground, on ground, temporary, and inflatable pools.
Hot tubs and spas also must follow the regulations.
Tyrone Borough Code Enforcement Officer Jim Metzgar said that a fee is involved to have pools IRC certified.
“The cost can add up, but it’s for the safety of the residents,” stated Metzgar.
The fees involved include permit fees, a final pool inspection and electrical inspection that totals $156, and all pools, spas, and hot tubs require a Certificate of Occupancy that costs $25, which is good for the lifetime of the pool. If a swimming pool has a deck, it also needs inspected.
The permit application and inspection procedure has four steps in the borough: compliance with zoning regulations, compliance with the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (PUCC), payment of permit fees, and required inspections and certificate of occupancy.
For those wanting to build a pool, the first step is the compliance with zoning regulations. The borough has setback regulations for the placement of swimming pools. Those requirements are available at the borough municipal building.
Permit applicants must submit a drawing (plot plan or lot survey) of the lot that show dimensions, existing structures, location of the proposed pool, spa, or hot tub, as well as the location of any overhead electric and/or communication cables. The street address should also be clearly visible.
The plot plan makes it possible to determine the distance of the proposed swimming pool, hot tub, or spa to any property line, in order to comply with yard setback requirements. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the plot plan when applying for a permit. It does not have to be drawn by a certified architect or engineer, but it must be accurate.
As for complying with the PUCC, a person must submit three sets of construction plans, drawings, or blueprints with the zoning and building permit application. One copy of the swimming pool manufacturer’s instructions must also be submitted.
The plans, drawing, or blueprints for the PUCC compliance does not need to be prepared by a professional either, but must be drawn clearly, accurately to scale, and with sufficient detail. It must include pool dimensions, plans for required barriers, electric plans, and accessory buildings, if any.
Permit fee payment includes a zoning permit fee of $72 for all swimming pools. Plan review for residential pools is provided free of charge. The building permit fee is based on several factors, which depends on the complexity of the construction and size of the pool. All permit fees are due at the time of permit issuance.
Once the required inspections are done, the PUCC requires all swimming pools in Pennsylvania to have a Certificate of Occupancy. Pools should not be used until the final inspection is approved and the borough issues the Certificate of Occupancy.
Once approved, the permit holder must contact the borough building code official and provide the building code official with the signed inspection report from the building code inspector. The code official will then provide the pool owner a signed and original Certificate of Occupancy.
Metzgar said that it is important to keep the certificate in order to prove the swimming pool is legally occupied and was constructed in conformance with the PUCC.
“Swimming pool regulations are provided protection against potential drowning and near-drowning by restricting access to swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs,” said Metzgar.