Residents of Genoa now have to register their swimming pools with the village and provide adequate fencing around them.
The updated zoning codes regarding pools – covering in-ground as well as large inflatable pools - went into effect last week, according to Village Administrator Kevin Gladden.
And it doesn’t matter if you’ve had your pool for several years, residents still have to pay a one-time $20 fee, he added.
Gladden told council Monday that village employees have begun a sweep to check on existing pools and are spreading the word should any spring up as the summer heat bears down.
The biggest problem centers on the blue inflatable pools popular with a number of people for their easy installation and care, he said.
“Everybody seems to have one of those 30-inch inflatable pools and they are a big part of the problem,” Gladden said. Small children can easily slip into the recreational device, yet not be able to get out, he explained.
The permit and fence regulations are meant to enhance safety.
”Some people say we’ve had these for years without a fence. But tragedies happen in the blink of an eye,” Gladden said.
A two-year-old toddler drowned in nearby Oregon Monday. He slipped away while his grandfather showered, managed to get through a fence and was later found floating in the neighbor’s swimming pool, according to news reports.
Drowning deaths are declining nationwide, but summer weekends remain the dangerous time for drowning accidents, a new study finds.
More than 46 percent of drownings and 57 percent of non-fatal accidents involving pools took place over weekends in June, July and August, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study spanning 2005-09.
Analysis of the swimming pool regulations began some time ago in Genoa.
“We’ve had some of them for years but for some reason they were never really enforced,” Gladden said.
The recent update of the village code this spring allowed council and others to address their concerns.
Gladden note that some of the inflatable pools do have fencing around them that may pass regulations.
He also noted that council did give a break to those residents who own above ground pools with 52 to 54-inch sidewalls.
“Those comply with the regulations and people don’t need a fence for them.”
For now, village employees are collecting information on pools located within corporation limits. Residents receive letters citing the code and are given time to review it. Others can find copies of the code for review at the administration office.
But should you decide to ignore the letters, you could be cited for minor misdemeanor. Violators can be fined up to $100 in municipal court, Gladden said. Continued violations could result in more serious charges.