***Update: This standard has been revised. NSF/ANSI 50-2017: Equipment for Swimming Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs and Other Recreational Water Facilities is now available on the ANSI Webstore. You can also read about the revision in this post: NSF/ANSI 50-2017: Equipment and Chemicals for Swimming Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs, and Other Recreational Water Facilities.
Pools are as synonymous with summer as the beach, barbecues, vacation, and the hot sun. In the United States, approximately 16 percent of all homes have a pool, a distribution that results from the pool market varying in accordance with certain influences over time. Almost half of the current pools in the nation today were installed during a 14-year period beginning in 1991, in a major construction spike that ended only with the recession and correlated with a major dip in new housing construction. Since this time, however, housing construction and pool installations have had a substantial comeback, and the demand for new pools has grown substantially.
Swimming pools are ultimately venues for recreation, but their installation and maintenance, in the pursuit of creating what is essentially an artificial body of water, is subject to an assortment of codes, regulations, and standards that strive to assure reliability and limit hazards with their components and systems. Voluntary consensus standards focused on or applicable to swimming pools and other recreational water facilities, such as spas and hot tubs, are developed and published by NSF International, ASTM International, the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP), the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), as well as other organizations.
NSF/ANSI 50-2016a: Equipment for Swimming Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs and Other Recreational Water Facilities covers the materials, components, products, equipment, and systems that relate to public and residential recreational water facility operation. As there a multitude of options in these categories, the standard focuses on a wide range of interests, addressing issues such as swimming pool treatment chemicals, corrosion, filters, barriers, recessed automatic surface skimmers, and heaters, just to name a few.
NSF/ANSI 50-2016a has undergone several changes that differentiate it from the previous edition of the standard. These alterations include:
- Changes to the skimmer performance test procedure.
- Change of turbidity tolerance.
- The upper limit of challenge organisms was removed.
- Language was added to specify that the Hydrostatic pressure test in Section 11.3 should be performed on the same sample as the test in Section 11.2.
- Updated requirements for pump voltage.
- Modified test procedure for automated controllers.
- Column titles updated for consistency.
- Discrepancies corrected.
- 4 oxidation reduction potential (ORP) sensors are now required.
As previously alluded to, swimming pools are subject to an assortment of standards and codes, which provide integral guidance on the many materials and processes incorporated into their end use. NSF/ANSI 50-2016a is important to the operation of swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and other recreational water facilities, but there are many other pool-focused standards that remain key to their reliability. Many of these are actually referenced in the NSF/ANSI 50-2016a standard, and include:
IAPMO/ANSI Z124.7-2013: Prefabricated Plastic Spa Shells
ASTM F1346-91(2018): Standard Performance Specification for Safety Covers and Labeling Requirements for All Covers for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs
ASTM F2208-08(2014): Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms
ASTM F2387-04(2012): Standard Specification for Manufactured Safety Vacuum Release Systems (SVRS) for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs
ASTM G154-16: Standard Practice for Operating Fluorescent Ultraviolet (UV) Lamp Apparatus for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials
NFPA 70-2017: NFPA 70 National Electrical Code, 2017 edition