Sloped Entries

photo of individual using a sloped entrySloped entries must comply with ADAAG accessible route provisions (36 inch minimum width, maximum 1:12 or 8.33% slope), except that the surface does not need to be slip resistant. The slope may be designed as zero grade beach or ramp access. With either design, the maximum slope permitted is 1:12 (8.33%).

In most cases, it is not appropriate to submerge personal wheelchairs and mobility devices in water. Some have batteries, motors, and electrical systems that can be damaged or contaminate the pool. Facilities that use sloped entries are encouraged to provide an aquatic wheelchair designed for access into the water. Persons transfer to the aquatic wheelchair and access the water using it, leaving their personal mobility device on the deck. Operators and facility managers may need to consider storage options for personal mobility devices if deck space is limited.

illlustration of sloped entry ramp

Submerged Depth
Sloped entries must extend to a depth between 24 inches minimum and 30 inches maximum below the stationary water level. This depth is necessary for individuals using the sloped entry to become buoyant. Where the sloped entry has a running slope greater than 1:20 (5%), a landing at both the top and bottom of the ramp is required. At least one landing must be located between 24 and 30 inches below the stationary water level. Landings must be a minimum of 36 inches in width and 60 inches in length. The sloped entry may be a maximum of 30 feet at 1:12 (8.33%) slope before an intermediate landing is required. Adding a solid wall on the side closest to the water can enhance safety.

Sloped entries must have handrails on both sides regardless of the slope. Handrail extensions are required at the top landing but not at the bottom. The clear width between handrails must be between 33 and 38 inches. The handrail height must be between 34 and 38 inches to the top of the gripping surface. This provision does not require the handrails to be below the stationary water level, which could be considered an underwater obstruction. No minimum width is required between handrails provided on sloped entries that serve wave action pools, leisure rivers, sand bottom pools, and other pools where people can enter only in one place. Handrails are required to comply with ADAAG provisions (diameter, non-rotating, and height).