On February 21, 2017, members of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, Ocean City Hotel Motel and Restaurant Association, and members of the Delmarva Condominium Managers Association gathered at the Princess Royale on 91st street in Ocean City to discuss the future regulations of pools in the state of Maryland.
Pools and pool operations are governed by the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR). These regulations are upheld by local county health departments. The State is considering adopting The Model Aquatic Health Code. There are a few states that have adopted these regulations. These states did not have a code for pools prior to the adoption of the Model Aquatic Health Code.
In 2016, the Maryland State Health department worked on wide spread changes to the current COMAR pool regulations. Due to a large number of complaints in regards to the cost of compliance and the unnecessary restrictions and small compliance timeframes, the suggested changes were not implemented. The State is now recommending the Model Aquatic Health Code.
Although there are a lot of changes to chemical checks and pool plumbing the most obvious cost prohibitive change comes from having a Level One CPO on site at all times the pool is open. A Level One CPO can check chemicals but cannot add chemicals to the pool system and are not required to be lifeguard certified. The number of checks on the chemicals doesn’t change, so the time between checks the person would just sit there, and if chemicals were needed they would have to call in someone else to perform that function.
There also appears to be building regulations such as the proximity to bathroom facilities that would be harder for older pools to be able to comply no matter the amount of time given
The meeting provided a place for people to express their disappointment with the lack of comment time for the new regulations and to discuss each change in detail and how it would affect the community. Follow up meetings with the community are being planned.
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