In the coming weeks, I will be writing my traditional articles on the new association laws that were passed and signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval, so be on the look out for them.
Our focus now needs to be directed to the Southern Nevada District Board of Health and the proposed revised pool and spa regulations that are being submitted to it by the staff of the Southern Nevada Health District. The pool regulations have once again been pulled off the agenda. There will be no June hearing. The hearing is now scheduled for July 27.
Since my last article, the Health District has made a number of changes to the proposed regulations, as follows:
1. We were successful in that the new regulations will not be requiring the automatic feeders for the pH and chlorine chemicals for existing pools and spas.
2. At this time, I am not sure whether these automatic feeders will be required for new construction. I am concerned that once the automatic feeders start being installed in new construction that in the future we may see the Health District attempt, once again, to require these feeders in existing pools and spas.
3. Here is the catch 22 on these automatic feeders. Associations could be required to install them if the Health District determines that an association is not properly maintaining the pH balance.
4. For associations that have only three days a week service, you will need to seriously look at extending the three-day service to seven days as the increase in the cost of the service will be substantially less than converting to the automatic feeders, which would require major construction changes, such as an additional building that is ventilated and has corrosive proof sprinkler system, barriers from the existing pool pump area, the cost of the feeders, themselves, the increased insurance cost as a result of the storage of these chemicals at the community, and a written emergency plan if the chemicals leak into the atmosphere or on an individual, just to name a few of the requirements.
5. Just as a point of information, one of my senior communities has calculated a cost of about $120,000 to install these automatic feeders and meet the requirements of the Health District, the Clark County Building Department and the Clark County Fire Department. This does not include any requirements that the insurance company may impose upon this association. In addition, the cost to make the conversion must come from the monthly association assessment and not from the reserves.
6. In the proposed changes if the Health District were to require you to convert to the automatic feeders, you would not have a five-year period to make the changes as was stated in the original proposed regulations. There is no time frame and the Health District could have your pools and spas shut down for many years as you try to obtain the funds for the conversion.
7. The appeal process to prevent the installation of the automatic feeders would require the association to prepare a position paper that would be presented first to the Health District and if denied by them then presented to the Board of Health. During this appeal period, your pools and spas would probably be closed.
8. One of the other reasons for seriously considering the seven-days-a-week service is that the Health District did not change any of its regulations pertaining to the daily recorded chemical readings, or the daily checking of the pool gate doors each morning to ensure that they are properly opening and closing. This is how the Health District will find a way to require your association to install automatic feeders, as you would be failing to show that you are properly maintaining the pH levels as well as the pool entrance gates.
9. In the revised pool regulations, the Health District has decided to allow associations to use the stabilized chlorine tablets. The catch 22 here is that they also reduced the accepted level limit of the cynuric acid. In layman’s terms, what this means is that approximately 80 percent of the associations will be required to drain their pools about six times a year and then refill the pools with fresh water. The reason why is that is the only way to remove the excess cynuric acid from your pools. Conceivably, you may have to drain them during the summer months and consequently interrupting the use of the pools and spas during high-use summer months pool season. Please note that not only would your pool service cost be increased but also your water bills will substantially increase during the already high water usage period.
10. If your pool inspector, who will be required to check the cynuric acid each times he or she inspects your pools, finds that the cynuric acid is above 80 ppm, the inspectors will be required to immediately close your pool and with it assess a fine per body of water.
11. The new pool regulations have not clarified what will be required as to the emergency lighting which could impact some of the homes that are adjacent to the pools.
Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.