Wouldn’t slipping into a cool swimming pool feel great right now?
Some area residents have put up backyard pools to help stay cool this summer as temps top 100 degrees. However, not properly fencing that pool could land you in hot water with the city.
The city of Newton treats all private swimming pools the same, whether they are above-ground or in-ground, said Bob Myers, city attorney.
All private pools require a four-foot high fence.
“The intent is to control access by children from off the property to prevent drowning,” Myers said.
Drowning in backyard pools is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States for children younger than 5.
Violators can be ticketed and fined.
However, Myers said the city generally tries to gain compliance before pursuing legal action.
Myers said small blow-up kiddy pools are not covered by the regulations.
The city of Hesston has a similar regulation.
Hesston’s ordinance states any pool more than two-feet deep has to be enclosed by a six-foot fence.
Neither city requires permits, but John Carder, Hesston city administrator, noted the Hesston requires homeowners to have permits for building fences.
Violation of a Hesston city code can subject the violator to a fine of up to $100 per day and jail time.
Carder said Hesston also prefers to work with residents to bring their properties into compliance rather than pursuing legal action.
Backyard pool owners also are obligated to inform their insurance companies when installing a backyard pool, Dan Heinze of Heinze Insurance said.
Most insurance companies will require homeowners to fence backyard pools, including above-ground and large blow-up pools, with a 6-foot fences that lock, Heinze said.
“We had an apartment complex that wanted to put one in,” Heinze said of a large blow-up pool, “And we said no way. It was not a secure perimeter and a child or anyone else could go in there without supervision,” he said. “That is the kind of exposure that insurance companies don’t want.”
There may be exceptions for pools that contain less than two feet of water; Heinze recommended checking with your insurance agent.
Most insurance companies will not charge extra to cover a pool if the security guidelines are met. A premium may be charged if a homeowner has a liability umbrella policy.