When summer rolls around many Chicagoans can be found at any one of the 33 beaches along the shores of freshwater Lake Michigan. There may not be any waves but the vast blue waters can rival any Florida or California beach. Illinois’s natural water vistas are rivaled only by its swimming pools. The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) based in Alexandria, Virginia noted a total of 131,586 in-ground pools in Illinois, according to 2011 statistics. Those figures have likely increased over the last year; add in 302,314 hot tubs and you have a very impressive amount of recreational water requiring maintenance and monitoring.
A Must-Have Amenity
A swimming pool is considered a must-have amenity for luxury condominium properties in Chicagoland. Pools create an atmosphere and an ambiance for any property. They are often a backdrop for social and recreational events and meetings. Beach lovers frequently favor pools for a refreshing swim—minus sand and harsh salt water—followed by a relaxing soak in the spa. Pool exercise classes, or water aerobics, are another great source of recreation, and hot tubs offer therapeutic relief for a host of ailments, as well as an enjoyable relaxation experience. When family and guests come to visit, an on-site pool offers a convenient recreational outlet for all ages. Even a non-swimmer can enjoy a barbecue or cocktail party when the setting includes a lush pool landscape decorated for the event.
Above-ground pools are a possible alternative to a traditional pool for residential homes, but not an optimal choice for condominium properties or public facilities, partly because they're not nearly as durable as in-ground models, and because they may also prove difficult to modify for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Indoor pools are seen most often within facilities with health clubs and gyms, and/or limited outdoor property. Indoor pools should pose no more of a challenge to modify for ADA requirements than outdoor pools. New construction will not be awarded a certificate of occupancy without meeting all ADA requirements, and any non-compliant facilities may face direct legal action by the state, and civil lawsuits from individuals.
Accessibility & Safety Issues
New ADA guidelines for swimming pools were issued in March of 2011. Requirements apply to existing and new pools, wading pools, and spas (in-ground and portable) and deal with accessibility for all people to include ramps and lifts.