MISSOULA, Mont. — New federal regulations go into effect March 15 that will require RV parks and campgrounds to install handicapped lift systems for each of their pools, RV Daily Report has learned.
Richard Pentoney, with Aqua Creek Products, said campgrounds that fail to abide by the new rules could face fines up to $110,000.
President Barack Obama signed a law Sept. 15 that requires all pools open to the public to be equipped with assisted entry systems. Swimming pools greater than 300 linear feet will require two means of assisted entry.
As a result, all pools must have either a zero-depth, sloped (walk in) entry or install an ADA-compliant lift. Pools over 300 linear feet must also offer a transfer wall, transfer systems, or stairs in order to comply with the new law.
The installed lifts by be capable of being remotely operated by the disabled person from the deck and water level, and the lift can’t be located in water more than 4 feet deep.
“The law indicates that facilities should remove barriers when it is ‘readily acheivable’ to do so,” said Pentoney. “This means they are to update their facilities when it can be done easily and without much expense. Due to the relatively low cost of installing a lift system, campgrounds and RV parks won’t have much of a defense to claim that they should be excluded from the law due to excessive costs.”
Pentoney said the federal government provides tax incentives up to $15,000 for businesses that remove barriers and make their facilities more accessible.
Lifts are the best methods for compliance
Installing a lift is considerably less expensive than developing a sloped entry into the water, Pentoney explained.
Lifts must be able to lift at least 300 pounds, and have a rigid seat and a footrest. Sling seats are not compliant with the law, he added.
In addition to creating opportunities for access to the water, campgrounds must also offer an accessible route to the handicapped access point. The deck must slope no more than 1 inch for every 48 inches of deck space. The seat’s center line should also be no closer than 16 inches to the pool.
Clear deck space must also be provided on the side of the lift for transfers. That space is defined as being 36 inches perpendicular to the side of the pool as well as 48 inches parallel to the seat as measured from 12 inches behind the back of the seat, said Pentoney.
“By removing barriers to people with disabilities, your facility is open to the largest minority group in America,” said Pentoney. “With more than 200 billion in spending power, marketing to this demographics can increase your revenues substantially.”
For more information, call Pentoney at 813-695-5469, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.poolspalifts.com.