After years of working with state officials, Florida’s industry lobby has succeeded in revising a controversial law that it believed would compromise safety at public pools.
The state’s public pool rule, known as 64E-9, removed duplicative functions between Florida’s health and building departments. It divided inspection responsibilities between the agencies: Health would oversee water quality; building officials would monitor construction items.
But the building department doesn’t perform biennial inspections. And because items such as drain covers, ladders and barriers no longer fell under the purview of the Health Department, its inspectors would have no authority to fine or shut down a facility if any of those items fell out of compliance.
Though the rule passed in 2012, the Florida Swimming Pool Association worked with state officials to delay implementation, allowing time to amend it.
FSPA joined with the United Pool & Spa Association, the Building Officials Association of Florida and the Health Department to form the Public Pool Coalition, which successfully pushed for the amendment of 64E-9 so it now places critical life-safety items back on health inspectors’ checklists.
The revised law went into effect July 20, so health inspectors can continue doing their jobs as they always have.
FSPA will continue to work with the two agencies and industry officials to address any issues with the new law, said Jennifer Hatfield, FSPA’s government relations consultant.
“We hope it’s going to be a smooth transition,” she added.