New Mandate May Dry Up Area Pools

By Maureen Mespell
By Max Resnik

April 3, 2012 Updated Apr 3, 2012 at 6:26 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- New federal regulations about public pools are causing a bit of a stir as we head into the summer swimming season.

The new rules are part of the Americans with Disabilities Act update from 2010.

Pools across the country located at hotels, resorts, swim clubs and community pools have to purchase chair lifts to allow people with disabilities easy access to pools. The lifts are priced in the thousands.

Originally, entities required to install the lifts were to have done so by March 15. That deadline has been extended to May 21 as a result of confusion among many semi-public pools. They have argued that the rules for exemption are not clear enough. Many of the same entities also say they need more time to collect the funds necessary to purchase the lifts. It is possible that the extension could be given another six months for the various groups to comply.

The law was created back in 2010 as a measure to create equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

In Fort Wayne, the Allen County Health Department works with hotels, parks, public pools and spas to help on inspections.

They however are not required to enforce the mandate on these groups. That is up to the Federal Government.

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