Virginia will begin enforcing the International Swimming Pool & Spa Code in July.

The code has been adopted by local governments in numerous other states, but Virginia is the first to implement the ISPSC statewide.

The ISPSC provides building and health departments a foundation to establish minimum regulations for pools, spas and hot tubs.

“What the local jurisdictions now have is an opportunity to get the best language that can now help their pool codes,” said Carvin DiGiovanni, senior director, technical and standards for the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals.

The ISPSC incorporates or references many of the same standards developed by APSP, the International Code Council and the American National Standards Institute. It’s the only model code that addresses public, commercial and residential pools, spas, hot tubs, waterparks and other aquatic recreations. The document, published by ICC, provides a comprehensive and consistent set of rules to build by.

Builders welcome the statewide adoption of the code because it could help bring uniformity across jurisdictions and even state lines. Washington, D.C., adopted the ISPSC in March.

“It’s the ANSI/APSP standards, which they’ve been building to for years, and they’re comfortable with that,” DiGiovanni said.

The umbrella code covers all aspects of aquatic vessels, including heaters, circulation, pumps, filters, lighting, fencing, decks and more. It meets or exceeds requirements set by the VGBA for suction entrapment safety.

The ISPSC dovetails with some of the most widely used model codes in the country, such as the National Electric Code, and is the only pool and spa standard that correlates with the International Energy Conservation Code.

Virginia adopted the 2012 version. (The ISPSC is updated every three years.)

APSP officials hope to have the code adopted by all 50 states.