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Temporary pools must have barriers, McHenry City Council decides

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 5:05 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 12:10 a.m. CDT

McHENRY – Starting this pool season, McHenry residents will have to put up a barrier around larger temporary pools.

In a 4-2 vote, the McHenry City Council eliminated its old regulations regarding pools and replaced them with standardized building codes that routinely are updated.

The building codes requires any pool, including the temporary or portable pools that were previously unregulated in McHenry, to be surrounded by a barrier at least 4 feet high. Owners of temporary pools now will also have to get a permit from the city. The permit will have a one-time cost of $30 as long as there are no changes.

Alderman Jeffrey Schaefer questioned whether the barrier requirement might be “overburdensome” to residents, adding that he thought it might “be tough for a lot of people” to meet the requirement.

Alderman Geoffrey Blake agreed, adding that he could see the reasoning if the pool sat there all summer.

“All it takes is one incident,” Blake said. “I think it’s better to be safe.” The barrier is designed to keep children from accidentally falling into the pools. The regulations are becoming more common in area communities, according to council documents.

The requirement does not affect kiddie pools, which usually hold less than 24 inches of water, Alderman Geri Condon added. The city will work with stores that sell pools to notify potential buyers about the new rules.

The Community Development Committee had started looking at its pool regulations because it had received a lot of calls, said Condon, who is the chairwoman of the committee.

Because the council eliminated its previous regulations, the provision that required circulation systems also was eliminated. Alderman Andrew Glab raised concerns about that and the possibility of algae building up and making pools smell.

The Community Development Committee will take a look at that issue in a separate ordinance, the council decided.

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