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Paddling Pools and Swimming Pools

January 10th, 1993

Myth: European Community bureaucrats are putting paddling pools under threat with a directive which stipulates that pools must be categorised with reference to specific depths. As a consequence of this paddling pools must be no deeper than 12 inches, otherwise they qualify as paddling pools and consequently are obliged to have a full-time lifeguard.

Response: The Commission has not passed any legislation regarding the construction of swimming-pools or the modifying of existing pools to common norms. Similarly the Commission does not have the right to insist upon the presence of a lifeguard for swimming pools, whether for adults or for children.
Nevertheless, in a directive on “construction” projects dated 21.12.1988 (*), certain essential standards will have to be met by prefabricated materials in the construction industry. Therefore it is a possibility that at some point specific norms were introduced for swimming-pools. However this is not part of any priority programme at the moment. Whatever happens, any attempts to categorise will be drawn up specifically so that national, regional and local variations will be safeguarded.

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Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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