When you’re finalizing building a property there are a lot of tasks to juggle, and sign regulations are something you shouldn’t have to worry about. Signs West’s employees have spent 30 years and lots of research understanding your needs when it comes to required signs to pass your inspections. Every once in awhile, properties will want to opt out or change the warning text on their pool signs. The following is a guide to show you what’s required and why changing the warning text is not a great idea:
Which warnings/signs are required in the pool area?
“The warning words “NO DIVING” and the international no diving symbol shall be clearly marked on the pool deck with contrasting colors and letters at least 4 inches high. The warning shall be placed at least every 25 feet or fraction thereof, around the pool where the water depth is 6 feet or less. At least two warnings including the “NO DIVING” and international no diving symbol, shall be provided at the extreme ends of the minimum depth and at the extreme ends of the maximum depth at 6 feet on each side of the pool or on each of the longer dimensional sides of the pool. These warning signs shall be slip-resistant. The warning “NO DIVING” and international no diving symbol on the deck shall be within 24 inches of the water edge and positioned to be read while standing on the deck facing the water. The international no diving symbol consists solely of a diver’s profile in a circle with a 45-degree slash through the diver and may be red and/or black on a light background. ” [Texas Administrative Code, 25 TAC §265.199 (e)(1)]
“If a permanent structure above the pool deck (other than a diving board or diving platform) is within 5 feet of the water surface of a pool and is likely to be used for diving, the international no diving symbol and the warning “NO DIVING” (in contrasting colors and letters at least 4 inches high), shall be permanently affixed to the structure so that such warnings are visible to persons who may attempt to use the structure for diving.” [25 TAC §265.199 (e)(2)]
In short, you must display “NO DIVING” in 4″ letters alongside the international symbol for no diving in the pool area. Additional No Diving signs may be required depending upon construction.
“For pools where no lifeguard service is required, a warning sign shall be placed in plain view and shall state “WARNING-NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” with clearly legible letters at least 4 inches high. In addition, the sign shall also state in letters at least 2 inches high “CHILDREN SHOULD NOT USE POOL WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION”.” [25 TAC §265.199 (f)(1)(C)]
In some cases, our customers want to change the text regarding children on the signs in their pool area. We do not suggest this, because it could potentially result in a failed inspection. Additionally, according the the Fair Housing Act warning text cannot be considered discriminatory in any way.
“Examples of discriminatory text on signs:
No children under 3 years of age allowed in the pool
No child under 18 without a relative over 21
No more than 2 children per adult allowed in the pool area
No Disabled person can use the hot tub without another nondisabled adult present for safety reasons
Disabled persons must use the shallow end of the pool only
Only toilet trained children are allowed in the pool area at any time
Any person wearing a diaper is not permitted in the pool at any time
Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult to use the pool at any time
Children under 6 years of age must use the kiddie pool
Children are not permitted to use the pool during Adult Swim times
Children can only use the NW pool; other pools are for adults only”
Visit fairhousingact.org for detailed explanations of why these rules are considered discriminatory.
Emergency Phone and Directionals
“If the telephone is not readily visible from the pool or spa, the sign inside the pool yard or spa yard shall include a concise description of the location of the telephone.”
Each entry gate and door of a pool yard or spa yard that is locked must have a sign on the exterior of the gate or door or on the exterior of the enclosure fence or wall immediately adjacent to the gate or door, stating the location of the telephone outside of the enclosure and complying with code. [25 TAC §265.199 (j)(4)]
“Regardless of where the telephone is located or whether the gate(s) or door(s) are locked, a sign must be installed inside the pool yard or spa yard in plain view of the pool or spa and state in letters at least 1 inch high: “In case of emergency, call 911″. If the telephone is not readily visible from the pool or spa, the sign inside the pool yard or spa yard shall include a concise description of the location of the telephone.” [25 TAC §265.199 (j)(5)] Most often, this warning text is displayed on the main pool rules sign in the pool area.
Maximum Load Limit
The maximum load limit for a pool is the maximum amount of users allowed in the pool at any given time. This is only required if your pool was constructed after 1999. “Maximum load limits for post-10/01/99 pools and spas. The maximum load limits for a post-10/01/99 pool and spa shall be calculated and posted.” [25 TAC §265.203 (i)]
The maximum number of users to be allowed in a post-10/01/99 pool or spa at one time will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of pool or spa; indoor or outdoor location, surface area, operating characteristics of the water; purification system, quality and clarity of the pool or spa water, etc., the most significant factors are the surface area of the water in the pool or spa and the sanitary and physical condition of the pool or spa water. Based on these factors, pool or spa owners of a post-10/01/99 pool or spa shall reduce the user load if pre-10/01/99 conditions indicate the need. The maximum user load in a post-10/01/99 pool or spa shall be based on the following. [25 TAC §265.184 (n)]
To calculate this number, use the table below.
Maximum Number of Users in Pool at Any Time
Shallow/Instructional or Beginning or Wading Areas
Deep Area (Not Including Diving Area)
Diving Area (per each diving board)
15 sq. ft. water surface area per user
25 sq. ft. water surface area per user
300 sq. ft. water surface area per user
Do I need Spanish signs as well?
“In areas of Texas where a majority of citizens are non-English speaking, in addition to signs in English, signs, and other written warnings required by these standards, may be posted in the predominant language.”
Sign Locations and Visibility
“Signs shall be securely mounted as applicable and readily visible to the pool user from inside the pool enclosure.” [25 TAC §265.199 (f)(1)(A)]