Updated as of June 2018
Whereas the occasion may arise when an application for the location and construction of public or semipublic swimming pools may be made to the Board of Health in the Borough of Emerson; and whereas there have been, are being and will be constructed many private swimming and wading pools within the Borough of Emerson, and the Board of Health of the Borough of Emerson deems it necessary to the public interest, health, safety and convenience and for the protection of property values and for the general welfare of the Borough to regulate and control the location, construction, alteration and operation of such swimming and wading pools, now, therefore, the following regulations controlling such wading and swimming pools are hereby approved and shall hereafter regulate and control all such swimming and wading pools.
This chapter shall be known by the short-form title of “Swimming Pool Code of Borough of Emerson.”
No person shall locate, construct, alter or operate a swimming or wading pool until permits therefor shall have been issued by the Board of Health as herein provided.
Permits issued for the operation of a swimming or wading pool shall expire annually on May 31 of each year, and application for the renewal thereof shall be submitted with the required fee prior to May 1 of each year. The fee for any permit issued after May 31 of any year shall be prorated.
Permits required under this chapter may be denied or suspended by the Board of Health for failure to comply with this chapter or the ordinance pertaining to the same. The Board of Health shall afford any person whose permit is denied or suspended an opportunity to be heard before the Board at a public hearing, and following said hearing to be informed of the Board’s decision within 30 days after such hearing.
The following fees and charges are hereby established:
For issuance of a permit to locate and construct a public swimming pool: $500.
For issuance of a permit to locate and construct a semipublic swimming pool: $250.
For issuance of a permit to locate and construct a private pool: $10.
For issuance of a permit to locate a surface-manufactured pool: $1.
For the renewal of a permit to operate a public swimming pool: $100.
For the renewal of a permit to operate a semipublic swimming pool: $50.
For the renewal of a permit to operate a private swimming pool: $1.
For the renewal of a permit to locate a surface-manufactured pool or a swimming pool or a wading pool having a capacity of more than 1,000 gallons: $1.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
The Board of Health of the Borough of Emerson.
A swimming pool constructed on the property owned by any individual and maintained for his private use.
A swimming pool which is operated for profit and is available to the public generally for a fee.
A swimming pool operated by a club, group of persons or any organization not operated for profit and used only for members of such group, club or groups and their guests.
A portable pool constructed of a plastic or any similar material, having a capacity of 1,000 gallons or more.
A shallow pool intended for use by children, having a depth of not more than 12 inches.
Approval to locate and construct or alter. Swimming pools shall not be located and constructed or altered by any person until the Board of Health has given formal approval therefor by issuance of a permit.
Permits shall not be issued until the Board of Health has received and approved a letter of application therefor, together with plans, specifications and reports prepared by a licensed professional engineer or registered architect fully describing and setting forth all data as hereinafter required or as may otherwise be required by the Board of Health or the Plumbing Inspector.
For locating and erecting portable artificial wading and swimming pools, a letter of application and a simple plan shall be submitted to the Board of Health for approval.
An applicant shall submit for approval plans, specifications and reports prepared by a licensed professional engineer or registered architect, which shall include the following data:
Site and detail plans, pool layout, construction and dimensions, including piping arrangements, pumps, bathhouses, toilet facilities and all other pool appurtenances, including recreational facilities.
Pool water treatment units.
Disposal facilities for filter wastewaters, sanitary sewage and shower wastes if a municipal sanitary sewer is not available; well construction if public water supply is not available.
Proposed operation and maintenance procedure.
Proposed supervisory personnel and safety equipment.
A report that all regulations relative to the State Department of Health, watershed laws and other Borough ordinances that may be applicable have been complied with.
Upon compliance with all provisions of this chapter and approval of the plans, specifications and report, together with the data contained therein, a permit shall be issued for the location and construction so requested.
A permit to alter a swimming pool shall not be issued until the Board of Health has received a letter of application therefor, together with such plans, specifications or reports as may be requested by the Board of Health to fully describe the proposed alteration.
Upon compliance with all applicable provisions of this chapter and approval of the requested alteration or proposal, a permit shall be issued for said alteration.
Not conforming to chapter. Proposed design or construction features of a pool differing from provisions of this chapter may be approved upon submission of evidence to the satisfaction of the Board of Health that public health or safety would not be affected by such design or construction.
Existing swimming pools. Sections of this chapter relating to location and construction shall not apply to swimming pools in existence at the time of its adoption, except that any alteration of any portion or any unit or units of such swimming pool shall be made in accordance with the applicable provisions of this chapter, but all provisions herein contained relating to the operation, maintenance and safety factors shall be applicable.
Approval to operate. Swimming pools shall not be operated by any person until the Board of Health has given formal approval therefor by issuance of an appropriate permit. This permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous place on the premises, where it may be readily observed by all persons. No person shall operate a pool whose permit is suspended.
A permit to operate a swimming pool shall not be issued until a properly executed application containing information as requested on a form supplied by the Board of Health has been submitted and approved.
Persons denied a permit shall be notified in writing accordingly by the Board of Health. Such notice shall specify the reason for such action and the remedial action necessary to obtain approval for issuance of a permit.
Suspension of permit to operate. The permit of any person to operate a swimming pool may be suspended at any time when, in the opinion of the Board of Health or its authorized agent, such action is necessary to abate a present or threatened menace to public health.
Suspension notification. The person whose permit has been suspended or his representative in charge of the pool shall, at the time such permit is suspended, be informed that the permit to operate the pool is suspended, the reason for such action and remedial action to be taken before the suspension may be lifted. Thereafter and within 24 hours, written notice of suspension containing the same information given at the time a permit is suspended shall be forwarded by registered mail to the last known address of the person whose permit was suspended.
Persons whose permits have been suspended shall be afforded a hearing before the Board of Health within three days after such suspension, or thereafter at such person’s option, to show cause why the suspension should be lifted. The Board of Health shall, within seven days after such hearing, render a written decision confirming or rescinding the suspension and shall notify the person whose permit has been suspended in writing of its action and reasons therefor.
Persons whose permits have been denied shall be afforded a hearing before the Board of Health within seven days after such denial, or thereafter at such person’s option, to show cause why a permit should be granted. The Board of Health shall, within seven days after such hearing, render a written decision confirming or rescinding the denial of a permit and shall notify the person whose permit has been denied in writing of its action and reasons therefor.
Monthly operating reports–public pools. Reports of pool operation shall be submitted to the Board of Health or its agent within 10 days after the last day of the preceding month upon forms furnished by the Board of Health.
Location. The site of all proposed swimming pools shall be such that proper and adequate water-supply and waste-disposal facilities will be available and shall not be in conflict of the provisions of P.L. 1954, c. 199, and Standards for the Construction of Sewerage Facilities For Realty Improvements.
Layout. Pool layout shall be such that exits and entrances shall be located at the shallow end of pool.
Materials of construction. All materials used shall be durable, waterproof and easily cleaned. The bottom and sides of pools shall be either white or a light color, except that aluminum paint shall not be used as a finish. Pool sides and bottom shall be smooth and free from cracks or open joints. Walkways around pools shall be of light color, easily cleaned and slip-proof
Marking. Critical depths of pools are those at both ends and also at change-of-slope locations of the pool. Such critical depths shall be conspicuously marked in a permanent manner on both the horizontal and vertical surfaces of the pool and shall be visible in and out of the water. Markings at one-foot depth intervals are considered desirable.
Overflow gutter. Gutters shall extend completely around the pool and shall be constructed with the lip of the gutter level throughout the perimeter. Overflow gutters shall be of sufficient size and grade to receive and carry off all overflow. Overflows shall be designed to permit cleaning and repair.
Gutter drains. Gutter drains shall be provided at intervals not greater than 15 feet, except that such intervals shall not exceed three feet in either direction from any corner or irregularity in the scum gutter. Outlets shall be at least 1 1/2 inches and properly covered.
Ladders and stairs. Ladders for entering and leaving a pool shall be constructed of nonslip tread and shall be located at both sides of the deep section. If the wall height at the shallow end is more than two feet, ladders or steps shall be provided. Stairs or ladders shall have a handrail on either side with the top leading out over the walkway. Step holes shall not be permitted.
Enclosures. Pools shall be surrounded with a fence, at least four feet high with gate and lock, wall or other enclosure for the safety and control of patrons, persons using the pool, spectators and the enforcement of pool regulations. The Board of Health may require additional safety devices for the protection of small children using private pools.
Diving stands, when provided, shall be rigidly constructed and properly anchored with sufficient bracing to ensure stability under the heaviest possible load. Slides and drop ropes shall not be permitted.
Floats. Fixed platforms and floats shall not be permitted.
Headroom. At least 13 feet of free and unobstructed headroom shall be provided above diving boards and stands.
Height. Diving boards or platforms available for use by the general public shall not be more than 10 feet above water level.
Covering. Springboards and diving platforms shall be covered with cocoa matting or other nonslip material. The use of canvas for such purpose is prohibited.
Layout. Wading pools, if constructed adjacent to a swimming pool shall be separated therefrom by a fence or other partition sufficiently high to prevent waders from entering the swimming pool area.
Depth requirements. Wading pools shall not be designed or used for swimming or diving. The maximum depth allowed shall be 12 inches.
Capacity. All circulation units shall have sufficient capacity to circulate the entire contents of the pool within eight hours or less, except that if scum-gutter-water recirculation is proposed, the units shall be capable of recirculating the entire contents of the pool in six hours or less.
Pumps. Pumps shall have capacities as required in this section.
Piping. The piping system shall be designed to:
Fill the pool.
Circulate the pool water through the treatment equipment.
Wash each filter individually.
Filter the waste.
Operate suction cleaner if recirculation pumps are used.
Empty the pool.
Drain the entire system.
Installation. The circulation system and pumps shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, by a registered and bonded master plumber in the Borough of Emerson or under the supervision of mechanics employed by the registered master plumber, subject to approval by the Plumbing Inspector.
Protection of potable water supply. Physical connections between potable water systems and swimming pool circulation systems shall not be permitted. Potable water for makeup shall be introduced either into a float-controlled surge tank having an air gap of at least six inches above the overflow rim of the tank or directly into the pool by means of a discharge pipe located beneath a diving board and turned downward with an air gap at least six inches above the pool overflow level. Where the circulating pump is not adequate to operate such equipment, auxiliary pumps shall be provided where necessary.
Hair catchers. At least one hair catcher shall be installed with duplicate strainer baskets provided. Hair catchers shall be located on the suction side of all pumps.
Suction cleaners. Suction cleaners, either portable type or as a part of the permanent piping system, are required. Permanent suction cleaners are to be installed in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturer and approved by the Plumbing Inspector.
Drains. Pools shall be equipped with at least one drain at the deepest point capable of emptying the pool within four hours.
General. Suspended matter in the pool shall be removed by means of adequate filtration equipment consisting of pressure or gravity filters designed and operated as provided herein. All filters shall be of a corrosive-resistant material.
All filters shall be installed as recommended by the manufacturer and shall have the approval of the Board of Health.
Disinfecting agent. Means shall be provided for continuous and effective disinfection of swimming pool waters. Chlorine gas, chlorine-bearing compounds or bromine solution shall be required as disinfecting agents. The addition of ammonia to chlorine solutions for the purpose of forming chloramines as the disinfecting agent shall not be allowed without special permission of the Board of Health or its authorized agent.
Chlorination. Chlorinating devices shall be of the solution-feed type. Gas masks shall be provided where chlorine gas is used. Chlorinating devices shall be located safely in housing properly vented as may be approved by the Board of Health. Comparators for measuring residual chlorine and pH shall also be provided. Solution tanks or crocks each having 48 hours’ storage capacity shall be required if hypochlorite feeders are proposed.
Sanitary sewage waste and filter backwash shall be disposed of without creating nuisance or sources of foulness.
The installation of individual sewage disposal systems or other means of private sewage disposal shall not be approved if a sanitary sewer is available within 500 feet.
The discharge of filter-backwash water into the waters of the state shall not be permitted unless adequate treatment of such waste waters shall first be provided in such a manner as to meet the requirements of the State Department of Health.
Plumbing. The installation, maintenance, repair and control of plumbing facilities and the installation of pool equipment shall comply and be applicable with the current ordinance and regulating provisions of the Board of Health.
Dressing rooms or bathhouses to be used simultaneously by both sexes shall be entirely separated by partitions. The line of sight shall be broken at entrances and exits of dressing rooms.
Floors of all dressing and locker rooms shall be constructed of smooth-finished material impervious to moisture. Wood slats or floors shall not be permitted. Floors shall have sufficient pitch or otherwise be constructed as to permit proper drainage after washing down. Walk areas used by patrons shall be of nonslip construction.
Dressing rooms or bathhouses shall be so constructed to provide ventilation at floor and ceiling levels.
The minimum number of showers is to be determined by the Board of Health based upon the number of lockers, baskets or other clothing storage accommodations provided.
Swimming pools shall be equipped with the minimum number of toilets and lavatories to be determined by the Board of Health based upon the number of lockers, baskets or other clothing storage accommodations provided.
In regard to emergency and rescue equipment, compliance with the rules and regulations of the State Department of Health and P.L. 1946, c. 172, as set forth as N.J.S.A. 26:4A-1, 26:4A-2 and 26:4A-3, is required.
Editor’s Note: Former N.J.S.A. 26:4A-1, 26:4A-2 and 26:4A-3 were repealed by L. 1991, c. 135, § 5.
Requirements for supervision and maintenance are included in the above § 256-17.
All chemical and bacteriological analysis of swimming pool waters shall be made in accordance with procedures set forth in the current edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Sewage, published jointly by the American Public Health Association and the American Water Works Association.
The standard test for coliform group shall consist of the presumptive and coliform tests, the latter being required when presumptive evidence of coliform organisms is indicated.
The standard test for total bacteria shall consist of the 37º C. standard agar plate count
Swimming pool operators shall have pool water samples analyzed by a laboratory approved by the Board of Health unless otherwise directed by the Board of Health or its authorized agent.
Reports of all analyses shall be forwarded to the Board of Health or its authorized agent within 48 hours after completion.
Frequency. Samples shall be collected at least once weekly at both ends of pool during a heavy period of bathing load.
Disinfectants. All samples of swimming pool water shall be collected in bottles containing sodium thiosulfate. In freeing samples of chlorine, the procedure given in Standard Methods will be followed.
Bacterial quality standards.
General. For the purpose of this chapter, the bacterial quality of swimming pool waters shall be judged on the basis of plate count and coliform densities as hereinafter prescribed.
Standard portion. A standard portion shall consist of 10 milliliters.
Standard sample. A standard sample of pool water shall consist of five standard portions.
Standard sampling. For the purpose of this chapter, a standard sampling shall consist of the 10 standard portions obtained from two samples taken from the pool in accordance with § 256-19C.
Maximum coliform densities. Of all 10 standard portions obtained from a standard sampling, not more than one portion shall show the presence of the coliform group at any time.
Maximum plate counts. The plate count of a sample taken at either end of the pool shall not exceed 250 bacteria per milliliter at any time
Chemical quality. Free chlorine residuals and pH values shall be determined not less than four times during any day that the pool is in operation. Free chlorine residuals and pH values shall be maintained within ranges indicated below:
|pH||Free Chlorine Residual
(parts per million)
|7.0 – 7.6||0.4 – 0.6|
|8.0 – 8.4||2.0 – 5.0|
Physical quality. The water of a pool when in use shall be sufficiently clear to permit a black disk, six inches in diameter, superimposed upon a white field, placed at the bottom of the deepest end of the pool, to be clearly visible from the pool sidewalk, at all distances up to 10 yards, measured in a horizontal distance from the projection of the disk onto the pool surface.
Before commencing the installation of any swimming pool plumbing for any swimming, bathing, public, semipublic or private swimming pool, a permit authorizing such work shall be obtained from the Plumbing Inspector. No permit will be issued for a public or semipublic swimming pool until written approval has been obtained from the State Department of Health.
The issuance of a permit, based upon submitted plans and specifications, shall not prevent the State Department of Health or the Board of Health thereafter requiring the corrections of errors in said plans and specifications or from preventing construction operations being carried on thereunder, when in violation of this chapter or any other pertinent ordinance or from revoking any approval when issued in error.
All pools and the bathing houses used in connection therewith shall at all times be kept in a neat and clean condition to the satisfaction of the Board of Health.
Nuisance defined. A swimming pool constructed, altered or operated in violation of the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared a nuisance and detrimental to public health.
[Added 7-24-1984 by Ord. No. 852]
113-1. Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
One as defined in the definition of “swimming pool” and which is removable for storage and which rests upon the ground level without excavation required, except for the purpose of leveling the earth upon which it rests.
A structure capable of containing water for the recreational use of swimming or bathing.
One as defined in the definition of “portable swimming pool” but which is not greater than 15 inches in height and not greater than eight feet in diameter or length. The terms and provisions of this chapter do not apply to a wading pool as so defined herein or a pool entirely constructed within a residential building.
113-2, Application: information required.
113-2.1, Application. An application for a permit to construct a swimming pool as defined in § 113-1 shall be made to the Building Inspector and shall include final plans, specifications and reports as may be required and essentially comprised of the data required in § 113-2.2.
113-2.2, Information required.
A detailed plot plan of the entire property showing existing buildings and proposed pool drawn to scale, with pertinent dimensions and grade elevations shown in figures at pool, building and property lines. The plot plan shall be signed by the owner or his agent or a duly licensed engineer or registered architect or land surveyor of New Jersey.
Pool layout, construction and dimensions, including piping arrangement, pumps and all other pool appurtenances.
Details and specification for water treatment units with operating instructions.
Details of disposal facilities for filter wastewater and provisions for emptying of the pool.
Specifications for construction of the pool.
Fence layout and specifications.
113-3, Issuance of permit. Upon compliance with all provisions of this chapter and upon approval by the Building Inspector of the final plans, specifications and reports, together with the data contained therein, a permit shall be issued for the location and construction so requested upon payment of the fee required by the Building Code of the Borough.
Editor’s Note: See Ch. 132, Construction Codes, Uniform.
113-4, Pool construction. A swimming pool shall not be located and constructed or altered by any person until a building permit for it has been issued by the Building Inspector, and it shall be subject to the following provisions:
113-4.1, In ground swimming pools.
The pool shall be suitably designed and located so as not to become a nuisance or hazard to adjacent property owners or the public.
A swimming pool shall be located behind the front setback line and not closer than 10 feet from either side line or five feet from the rear property line, but in no event shall it be located between the setback line of a residence and a street curb line.
Surface area of the water shall not exceed 50% of the rear yard area. The highest surface water level shall not be higher than 12 inches above the preexisting grade.
The pool area shall be completely enclosed with a chain-link fence or equal of durable construction with self-closing and self-latching gates. The fence shall be not less than four feet in height; except, however, that fencing for swimming pools located solely within the rear yard areas may be to a height of six feet. Every gate of such fence shall be kept securely latched at all times except during ingress and egress. Every gate of such fence shall be kept padlocked at all times when the pool is not in use, whether covered or uncovered. Such fence is required to be erected and maintained as soon as water is placed in the pool opening, whether the pool is completed or not. A temporary fence is permitted for no more than 30 days from the time water is initially introduced to the pool.
Use of the pool is to be for a single private family and the owner’s social guests.
The immediate area surrounding the pool shall be designed to slope away from the pool so that all surface water will drain away from the pool and in such a way that it will not adversely affect the natural existing flow of water across abutting properties.
Swimming pool water shall be filtered and chemically treated. One complete recirculation of the entire volume of pool water through the filter system is required daily during the swimming season. Every private swimming pool shall be equipped with a pressure sand filter, a diatomaceous filter or an approved equal. The filter shall have sufficient capacity to provide a complete recirculation of the pool water in 18 hours or less.
Filters shall be located below ground or in an enclosure not to exceed eight feet in height, suitably screened from adjacent property and not closer than two feet to a property line.
Provision shall be made for drainage of the pool and for backwash water disposal. Effluent may be used upon or in lawns, fields, woods or dry wells, provided that it does not overflow onto property belonging to others or onto the public streets. Water emptied into brooks shall have a minimum one-part-per-million chlorine residual. Permission for the use of the storm sewer or sanitary sewer may be obtained from the Borough Engineer upon written application and approval, provided that the applicant agrees to regulations and recurring charges established by the Public Works Department.
A cross-connection between the pool and public water system shall not be permitted. A fill pipe, if used, shall be a minimum of two pipe diameters above the rim of the pool. A fill line is not required, and the pool may be filled with a hose.
A bathhouse is not required. Any such construction, including a screened enclosure, shall conform to accessory building construction regulations defined and governed by the Building Code and Zoning Ordinance.
Police and health officers shall have the right to inspect the pool area.
No floodlights or lights shall be maintained in such a manner that the source of light is visible from a public street or neighboring property.
All swimming pools shall be constructed having sides and bottom of material impervious to water.
113-4.2, Above ground swimming pools.
An “aboveground pool” shall mean any above-surface-type pool which exceeds either 15 inches in depth or eight feet in diameter or length that is capable of being readily removed from storage. Any pool of less depth or less dimension shall be considered a wading pool and shall not be governed by this chapter.
Every aboveground pool shall comply with the provisions of this chapter, with the exception of § 113-4.1(c) and (f) above.
The greatest dimension of any aboveground pool exclusive of ladders, slides or diving boards shall not exceed 48 inches in height nor 24 feet in length, width or diameter. Aboveground pools will be fenced in accordance with § 113-4.1(d). Pool walls, however, shall be considered adequate fencing where they meet or exceed the height requirements of a fence except that where there is access to a pool from an area other than the ground, such as a deck, stairs or ladder, the area of access shall be fenced or a gate shall be provided which shall be padlocked at all times when the pool is not in use, whether covered or uncovered.
[Amended 9-17-1996 by Ord. No. 1072]
113-5, Appeals. The Zoning Board of Adjustment shall hear an appeal from a denial of a permit sought under the terms and provisions of this chapter and grant relief from the terms thereof in specific cases consistent with health, welfare and public safety. However, when any question of sanitation is involved, relief may be allowed only if the same is also recommended by resolution of the Board of Health and it has been thereby determined and declared that such relief will not be harmful to the public health.