Guide on Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, and Spas

illustration of pool stairsAccessible pool stairs are designed to provide assistance with balance and support from a standing position when moving from the pool deck into the water and out. ADAAG provisions for stairs include the requirement that all steps have uniform riser heights and uniform tread widths of not less than 11 inches, measured from riser to riser. Additionally, open risers are not permitted. Other stairs or steps provided in the pool are not required to meet these guidelines.

Handrails
Pool stairs must have handrails with a minimum width between the rails of 20 inches and a maximum of 24 inches. The 20- to 24-inch width for the accessible pool stairs is intended to provide support for individuals with disabilities who are ambulatory. Handrail extensions are required on the top landing of the stairs but are not required at the bottom landing. Handrails on pool stairs must comply with ADAAG provisions. The top of the handrail gripping surface must be a minimum of 34 inches and a maximum of 38 inches above the stair nosing. If handrails are mounted on walls, the clear space between the handrail and wall must be 1.5 inches.