The City of Aiken Building Inspection Division will be making personal visits to local residents regarding any unfenced pools this week.
With many families trying to stay at home this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, the city has seen a surge of purchases for above-ground pools by residents that violate the city's ordinance requiring them to be fenced in.
The violation can be an "attractive nuisance" to children who can be drawn to a stranger's pool and risk injury or drowning, said Karl Odenthal with the city's code enforcement department.
Unsupervised and under-supervised children in swimming pools lead to numerous drownings every year across the United States, Odenthal said.
The ordinance specifies that all "private swimming pools, hot tubs and spas containing water more than 24 inches in depth shall be completely surrounded by a fence or barrier not less than 48 inches in height above the finished ground level measured on the side of the barrier away from the pool."
The ultimate solution to fix the violation is to construct a lockable fence around the pool area to keep non-owners out.
"(Having a fence) it's about controlling access to the pool," Odenthal said. "The pool can be more controlled than one that's out in the open."
Residents should also have knowledge about general pool safety overall, Odenthal said.
"If you have children, you want to be sure that they are swimming with supervision," Odenthal said. "You want to have some rescue measure available, whether it's a pole kids can grab onto or a life preserver."
Parents should also have basic knowledge of CPR, Odenthal suggested, and also talk to their children about pool safety.
Residents who violate the fenced-in pool ordinance will be given a verbal warning and up to 14 days to correct the issue, said Teddy Umsted with the city's Code Enforcement department.
If residents are unable to construct a fence during the 14-day period, they will need to take down their pool immediately until the issue is resolved. If the pool is not taken down, a $1,087 fine can be enacted. Jail time is a possibility if the issue remains unsolved.
If the violation remains unresolved, a contractor may be utilized to correct the violation.
Upon resolving the issue, residents can call the city's Building Inspection Division for an inspection. For more information, residents can call the office at 803-642-7675.