Communities, SNHD craft aquatic regulations proposal

I would not be writing this article if it were not for the wonderful support from Clark County commissioners Marilyn Kirkpatrick and Chris Giunchigliani, who listened to the concerns of homeowners and apartment managers over proposed aquatic regulations and coordinated the workshops with Jacqueline Reszetar, director of environmental health for the Southern Nevada Health District; Jeremy Harper of the Health District; Brenda Lovato, legislative chair for the Institute of Real Estate Management; and myself.

We all built a wonderful working, collaborative relationship that developed over the months. The Health District officials sincerely listened to our specific concerns over proposed aquatic rules and established a new philosophy and new rules on our aquatic venues. When you can convert an adversarial relationship to a working partnership, you know that you have come a long way!

The following is a summary of the proposal that will be brought to the Southern Nevada Health Board for review and, hopefully, approval. This new perspective by the Southern Nevada Health District staff is based upon the premise of “self-management” by the homeowner associations, property residential owners and apartment managers.

Below is a preliminary outline of what has been discussed that we hope to codify as the final version with the approval of the Health Board.

Associations, condominium communities, town homes, apartment communities and other aquatic venues at similar facilities might qualify for exemption from routine inspection from the Health District. Applications will be made to the district.

Approval will be on a case-by-case basis and will be determined by facility or owner based on previous inspection compliance, maintenance of complete and accurate facility records, and imminent health hazard.

The following criteria must be met to maintain eligibility for exemption:

■ Maintaining accurate maintenance records on a quarterly basis.

■ No incidents of imminent health hazards observed as a result of a complaint or drowning, near drowning, diving accident or injury investigation.

Upon finding unsatisfactory compliance, the district may contact the permit holder and review the exemption and may schedule a supervisory conference to discuss conditions of exemptions.

If satisfactory compliance with the regulations cannot be met, the facility will enter the administrative process, and the district may revoke the exemption. Such facilities will not be eligible for the exemption process for a period of two years.

Changes in ownership for existing facilities could affect exemption status, and owner history will be considered upon original application that could allow the new ownership to qualify for exemption from routine inspection from the Health District.

It will respond to complaints of imminent health hazard conditions such as fence/barrier issues and missing or broken drain cover. Non-imminent health hazard complaints can be handled administratively by contacting the property and management company. Results of investigations may be used to determine eligibility.

Any changes in equipment, either by remodel or equivalent equipment replacement are still subject to the review/remodel process and must be approved by the district.

Facilities in new construction may submit alternate methods for review by the district instead of automated chemical control.

There will be an appendix that would include any relevant attachments, including the application, inspection checklists for the managers and operators and a closure violation list.

What does the new regulations mean to you and to your community? This is a major shift at how the Health District representatives will interact with community and property managers and property owners.

It is designed to acknowledge the responsible communities who properly maintain their swimming pools and spas while allowing officials to take action against those property owners and managers who allow their swimming pools and spas to become imminent health hazards.

For a change, we would have regulations that reward the “good guys.”

We look forward to this new partnership of working together with the Health District to educate and communicate with our managers and our residents so that we can enjoy our amenities in safety.

In the coming months, we plan to have informational articles for your community newsletters that will benefit your residents from Reszetar and Harper, with, hopefully, a credited seminar designed for community and property managers as to our roles in managing our aquatic venues.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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