Public opinion of the drought has been a battleground for the pool industry. Las Vegas's building codes are being affected by the Southern Nevada Water Authority's search for novel ways to cut outdoor water usage.
Working with local authorities, the SNWA has changed building codes for new residential pools to help ease water supply demand throughout Southern Nevada. In accordance with the new regulations, the size of any new residential pool or spa will be restricted to 600 square feet per property. This new initiative will be geared toward single-family homes and will begin this year.
To limit the size of new pools constructed on single-family homes, the Clark County Commission voted 6-0 to revise service regulations for the Las Vegas Valley Water District. Pools larger than 600 square feet are now prohibited from being built by the new regulation.
Participants from the pool industry submitted fresh ideas and solutions that would save up to 30 percent more water than the current 600-square-foot restriction; they sought to avoid its implementation.
Under the proposals presented by pool industry experts, pools would have been permitted to be built in size proportionally to lot size, up to a specific limit. Pool owners would be required to pay an additional $40 to $50 per square foot for exceeding the restriction. Exemptions would apply to homeowners who install an automatic pool cover, which the pool industry claims may reduce evaporation by more than 90 percent. In the end, these proposals would be rejected in favor of the proposal to restrict swimming pool sizes.
Kevin Kraft, president of Ozzie Enterprises, anticipates that the issue will have an immediate impact on the company's pool construction operations. He said that up to ninety-five percent of his projects will be impacted by the new size restrictions.
Joe Vassallo, owner of Paragon Pools in Las Vegas, also met with media to discuss the County Commissioners' decision to restrict residential pools to 600 square feet. They then visited a pool under construction and discussed how the new regulations might affect pool construction.
As a result of the drought, the pool industry has made a desperate and determined attempt to inform the general public and industry professionals that significant changes are required. Multiple businesses will be harmed by the stringent water-saving rules enacted by legislators in response to the drought, a reality that mainstream news outlets have been sluggish to report.
The architectural manager of Aspire Design Studio, Karey Zimmerman, wishes he had received the news sooner. Zimmerman stated that he "knew nothing about the proposed regulation" until very recently, despite the fact that at least ten ongoing projects may require redesign. Given that the home and pool permit clearance procedure can take months, he has valid fears that these renovations won't be completed by the September 1st deadline.
“We have clients that have spent thousands and thousands of dollars in design work and now we’ve got to go back because in many instances these are designed to balance around pools.”, Zimmerman told Las Vegas Review Journal.