How Many More Serious Injuries And Deaths Before the Supervisors Fix the Outdated Swimming Pool Provision Codes?
The Pima County Code’s swimming pool provisions were last updated in 1990, almost thirty years ago. Nonetheless, when an individual is injured in a pool, and a property owner is sued invariably the property owner will argue compliance with the Pima County Code to say they did nothing wrong.
The argument is often meritless. Code compliance does not alleviate property owners of their responsibility to keep their pools safe especially when the code at issue is stale, as is the case in Pima County. This is even more true when the Center for Disease Control has promulgated a model code – The Model Aquatic Health Code that sets the national standard of care of a reasonable pool owner. The idea behind the Model Aquatic Health Code was to create uniform national practices for the safe operation of recreational water.
There were four water-related deaths in 2018 and three in the first three quarters of 2019. It is time for Pima County to take a long hard look at adopting the Model Aquatic Health Code either in whole or in part. This is important to bring our community into the 21st century of pool safety. It would also remove a false sense of security from pool operators who believe compliance with a nearly thirty-year-old code is a reasonable practice. By adopting the Model Aquatic Health Code, Pima County would take meaningful steps to increase pool safety throughout our community and reduce the trauma suffered by all who witness or are affected by a drowning or other pool injury event.
Drowning is 100% preventable. Adopting the Model Aquatic Health Code would help to reduce drownings and other pool-related injuries.