A swimming pool lift is an assisted access device that can be independently operated, to lower a person with limited mobility into a swimming pool, and also easily lift a person from the water in a sitting position, to a location safely on the pool deck.

As part of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 2012, or ADA, all public and semi-public pools and spas are required to install a means for making the pool accessible to all persons. Several options are allowed in fulfilling the requirement, including Transfer Walls, Sloped Entry or a Pool Lift.

Pool lifts are the easiest means for most hotels, swim clubs and fitness centers to meet the mandate. They are installed pool side, in an area large enough to maneuver a wheelchair safely. In all cases a fixed installation into the pool deck is called for, but some inspectors may allow portable units, fixed permanently to the pool deck.

If the facility has a pool and a spa, two means of access must be provided for, one for each body of water. And if the pool is large enough, more than one means of access must be provided, for pools with over 300 foot of linear perimeter. Other means of access could include walk-in pool stairs, sloped entries or transfer systems.

Pool lifts must also be always at the ready, uncovered with a charged battery. They cannot be stored until a guest wants or needs to use the lift. The pool lift will also need regular maintenance and care, and be repaired if it becomes broken.

ADA compliant pool lifts must meet certain standards such as seat height and width, foot and arm rests, and capable of independent operation by hand-held remote. They also must be capable of lifting 300 lbs and can be operated with 12V battery power or hydraulic (water) power.

ADA compliant pool lifts are made by many manufacturers in the U.S., including Aqua Creek, Global, Inter-Fab, and SR Smith.

For complete ADA pool lift guidelines see Section 1009.2 of the ADA regulations at http://www.ada.gov

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