///Extended Treads, Stairs, Benches & Seats

Extended Treads, Stairs, Benches & Seats

This policy is to establish a safe, reasonable, and consistent interpretation of the regulations in regard to extended treads, stairs, benches and seats in regulated pools.

For the purpose of this document, standards provided in one section of the regulation shall be deemed to be instructive for other portions of the regulation if those others portions are silent on that subject.

All steps, tread, benches and seats must be compliant with all applicable requirements of the regulations not otherwise addressed by this policy.

Extended treads are steps that have a horizontal tread wider than the standard minimum 12 inches required (NAC 444.128). As steps can have a maximum rise of 10 inches, it follows that an extended tread, being the first step into the pool, may not be deeper than 10 inches, but no shallower than 7 inches.

Any extended tread must be, by definition, part of a stairway to the bottom of the shallow end of the pool. An extended tread must have:

  1. two contrasting lines delineating the ingress and egress routes of the pool separated by at least the width of the stairs, extending from along each stair edge to the pool edge;
  2. a handrail extending down the center of the marked ingress/egress route or at least one at the entry at the edge of the pool, and one at the stairs leading to the bottom of the shallow end of the pool.

All treads must have contrasting edging, and must have slip resistant finish materials whose visual patterns differ from the pool bottom, side walls, and benches / seats.

Benches constructed as a portion or contiguous part of an “extended tread,” stairs or steps:

Any portion of an “extended tread” that does not lead to additional steps leading to the floor of shallow (3 feet) end of the pool, and that is constructed to be a seating or resting area, shall be considered a “bench”. This area must be visually isolated from the pool bottom and the extended tread by:

  1. using 2 inch contrasting edging along the perimeter of the bench;
  2. using finish material on the horizontal surface of the bench that contrasts with the finish of the pool bottom, is slip-resistant, and does not obscure the contrasting 2 inch edge line;
  3. having a visible depth marker (4 inch numbers) along the horizontal edge every 25 feet or at least at the midpoint between stairs;

Benches incorporated as a portion of an extended tread will not be allowed on any pool accessible to children under 14 years of age that are exempt from requirements for a lifeguard.

That portion of a bench, which is a contiguous part of an extended tread, which leads to a step-off for a “seat” between the bench and the bottom of the shallow end of the pool:

  1. must be no less than 12 inches and no more than 24 inches deep as measured at the waterline;
  2. must have a compliant contrasting edge the full length of the bench;
  3. must use finish material on the horizontal surface of the bench that contrasts with the finish of the pool bottom, is slip-resistant, and does not obscure the contrasting 2 inch edge line;

The floor of the pool at the base of the bench may not slope more than one in twelve. Benches and seats do not need handrails.

Sitting Benches constructed not as a portion or contiguous part of an extended tread, stairs or steps:

Sitting benches installed in a pool but not as a portion or contiguous part of an extended tread, stairs or steps, must be:

  1. must be no less than 12 inches and no more than 24 inches deep as measured at the waterline;
  2. must have a compliant contrasting edge the full length of the bench;
  3. must use finish material on the horizontal surface of the bench that contrasts with the finish of the pool bottom, is slip-resistant, and does not obscure the contrasting 2 inch edge line;

As isolated sitting benches are, by definition, not part of steps or stairs, they may not be used as a substitute for required ladders, but may be incorporated in any pool.

NAC 444.128 — Ladders and stairs (NRS 439.200, 444.070)

  1. Stairs or ladders must be provided at the shallow portion of a pool if the vertical distance from the bottom of the pool to the deck or walk is over 2 feet (0.6 meter). Stairs or ladders must be provided at the deep portion of the pool. If the pool is over 30 feet (9.1 meters) wide, such stairs or ladders must be provided at each side of the deep portion of the pool.
  2. A minimum of one ladder must be provided for each 75 feet (22.3 meters) of perimeter and not less than two ladders must be provided at any pool. Where stairs are provided in a pool, one ladder may be deleted for each set of stairs provided.
  3. Pool ladders must be corrosion resistant and must be equipped with slip-resistant treads.
  4. If stepholes are provided, they must be of such design that they may be readily cleaned and must drain into the pool to prevent accumulation of dirt. Stepholes must have a minimum tread of 5 inches (13 centimeters) and a minimum width of 14 inches (36 centimeters).
  5. A side handrail extending up above and returning to the horizontal surface of the pool deck, curb, or coping must be provided at each side of each ladder or set of stepholes. There must be a clearance of not more than 5 inches (13 centimeters) or less than 3 inches (9 centimeters) between the ladder and the pool wall.
  6. Stairs leading into the pool must be of slip-resistant design, have a minimum tread of 12 inches (30 centimeters), and a maximum rise of 10 inches (25 centimeters). The edge of the stair tread must be constructed of a material so colored as to contrast with the color of the stairs and be clearly visible and evident to bathers.
  7. All stairs entering a pool must be recessed into the walls of the pool and a guardrail must be provided in the walkway around the stairwell. An exception to this will permit the construction of steps at the shallow end of the pool. An approved handrail must be provided for each set of stairs.

[Bd. of Health, Public Bathing Places Reg. Art. 14, eff. 5-21-74]—(NAC A 11-1-88)

NAC 444.444 — Specifications of steps and handrails. (NRS 439.200, 444.070) Where required, spa steps and recessed steps must meet the following specifications:

  1. Step treads must have a minimum unobstructed horizontal tread depth of 10 inches (25.40 cm) and a minimum width of 12 inches (30.48 cm). Step treads must have slip-resistant surfaces.
  2. Step risers must not be less than 7 inches (17.78 cm) high nor more than 1 foot (30.48 cm) high. When the bottom tread serves as a bench or seat, the bottom riser must be no more than 1 foot 2 inches (35.56 cm) high. The first and last risers need not be uniform in height, but must comply with the requirements of this subsection. The height of the top riser must be measured from the finished deck. Risers between the first and last risers must be uniform in height.
  3. The horizontal edge of a step, seat or bench tread must be constructed of a material which contrasts with the color of the steps, and must be clearly visible and evident to bathers. The contrasting material on the horizontal edge must be at least 2 inches (5 cm) wide.
  4. The outside edge of handrails placed to assist bathers to leave the spa must be located not more than 1 foot 9 inches (53.34 cm) or less than 1 foot 3 inches (38.10 cm) from a line drawn vertically from the bottom riser, away from the spa wall.
  5. Seats or benches may be provided as part of the steps.

[Bd. of Health, Public Spa Reg. Art. 12 §§ 12.3 & 12.3.1-12.3.9, eff. 11-27-79]—(NAC A 11-2-88)

NAC 444.446 — Recessed treads. (NRS 439.200, 444.070) Recessed treads, when provided, must meet the following specifications:

  1. Stepholes must be:
    1. Uniformly spaced, not more than 1 foot (30.48 cm) nor less than 7 inches (17.48 cm) apart at the centerline.
    2. At least 5 inches (12.70 cm) deep and at least 1 foot (30.48 cm) wide.
  2. Stephole treads must be sloped to drain into the spa to prevent accumulation of dirt.
  3. The vertical distance between the spa coping edge and the uppermost recessed tread must be 1 foot (30.48 cm) or less.
  4. Each set of recessed treads must be provided with two handrails which fully serve all treads and risers.

[Bd. of Health, Public Spa Reg. Art. 12 §§ 12.5-12.5.5, eff. 11-27-79]

NAC 444.448 — Ladders. (NRS 439.200, 444.070) Where required, ladders must meet the following specifications:

  1. Spa ladders must be made entirely of corrosion-resistant materials.
  2. Ladder treads must have slip-resistant surfaces.
  3. Ladder designs must provide two handholds or handrails which fully serve all treads. The outside diameter of handrails must not be more than 1.9 inches (4.83 cm) or less than 1 inch (2.54 cm).
  4. The clearance between a ladder and the spa wall must be not more than 6 inches (15.24 cm) nor less than 3 inches (7.62 cm).

[Bd. of Health, Public Spa Reg. 12 §§ 12.4-12.4.5, eff. 11-27-79]

NAC 444.442 — Steps, ladders, treads and handrails required. (NRS 439.200, 444.070)

  1. Spa steps, ladders or recessed treads must be provided when the spa is more than 2 feet (61 cm) deep.
  2. A spa must be equipped with at least one handrail (or ladder equivalent) for each 50 feet (15.25 m) of perimeter or portion thereof, to designate the point or points of entry and exit.

[Bd. of Health, Public Spa Reg. Art. 12 §§ 12.1 & 12.2, eff. 11-27-79]

NAC 444.432 — Depth. (NRS 439.200, 444.070)

  1. The maximum water depth for a public spa is 4 feet (1.22 m), measured from the waterline. Exceptions may be made by the health authority for spas designed for special purposes such as instruction, treatment and therapy.
  2. The maximum depth for any seat or sitting bench in a public spa is 2 feet (61 cm) measured from the waterline.

[Bd. of Health, Public Spa Reg. Art. 11 §§ 11.2 & 11.3, eff. 11-27-79]

  1. The depth of the water in a pool must be plainly marked in units of feet at or above the water surface on the vertical pool wall at maximum and minimum points and at the points of break between the deep and shallow portions and at intermediate increments of depth, spaced at not more than 25-foot (7.6-meter) intervals.
  2. Depth markers must be in numerals not less than 4 inches (10 centimeters) in height and of a color contrasting with the background. Markers must be on both sides and at the ends of the pool.
  3. The markings must be plainly visible to persons in the pool and to persons about to enter the water.

[Bd. of Health, Public Bathing Places Reg. Art. 12, eff. 5-21-74]—(NAC A 11-1-88)

NAC 444.120 — Slope. (NRS 439.200, 444.070)

  1. Except as otherwise provided in NAC 444.1958, the floor slope in a pool must not be steeper than:
    1. One in 12 in the shallow end; or
    2. One in 3 in the deep end.
  2. The slope must be uniform, and the bottom surface must be smooth but must have a slip-resistant finish.
  3. All portions of the pool bottom must have a definite slope toward the pool drains.
  4. Except as otherwise provided in NAC 444.1958, the depth at the slope break must be 5 feet (1.5 meters). An exception may be made permitting the breakpoint to occur at a minimum of 4 feet 6 inches (1.4 meters) for pools less than 60 feet (18.3 meters).

[Bd. of Health, Public Bathing Places Reg. Art. 10, eff. 5-21-74]—(NAC A 11-1-88)

Phone: (702) 759-0571

Aquatic Health Program Offices are located at the City of Las Vegas Development Services Center

 

Updated on: October 11, 2018

2018-10-11T10:11:54-07:00