If you are like me, you look forward to sunshine and warmer temperatures.  The summer season is upon us and is always a bright spot given our winters in Chicagoland. The summer season is notably different this year given disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, but I am hopeful that the most extreme “stay at home” orders will soon be behind us. One thing is for sure, once swimming pools can reopen, they will be in high demand.

Pools are a huge perk, but if they are not properly maintained they can also be a huge pain for community associations and management. Board of Directors and property managers need to be aware of the risks they pose, ensure that your Association has rules and regulations associated with the use of a pool and meets to discuss your specific swimming pool protocols. 

Some questions to consider for your next board meeting agenda are:

•          How are we keeping our pool clean, maintained and equipped?  

•          How are we keeping children safe?

•          Do we hire a lifeguard?

  • Tressler Tip: Illinois law does not require an association to hire lifeguards. However, Illinois public health codes govern swimming pool standards and the rules address lifeguards, which are only required when an association allows “persons under the age of 16” to be in the pool area without a parent, guardian or responsible person over 16.

•          How are you making sure that your residents know that children must be supervised (whether a lifeguard is on duty or not)?

•          Do we allow alcohol or food to be consumed in the pool area?

  • Tressler Tip: The risk of a pool-related accident greatly increases when alcohol is allowed. 

•          Do we have an adequate enclosure of the pool and pool areas?

  • Tressler Tip: The Private Swimming Pool Enclosure Act requires that new outdoor swimming pools be enclosed by a fence, wall, or other effective permanent barriers of 42 inches or greater height. 
  • Tressler Tip: The Act does not apply to above ground pools with a height of 42 inches or more or to Jacuzzis.

Each community association is different and the above are only suggestions.  Boards need to evaluate their needs and create rules and regulations suited to such. I also remind your communities that rules are only as good as their enforcement. Your Association should have a compliance plan and ensure that residents are supplied with a copy of the Rules and that they are posted in the swimming pool area.

Tressler LLP can help you navigate this process and advise accordingly.  We have an HOA team ready to help assist you to have a memorable, fun and safe swimming season. I am available for phone conferences, video meetings and review of policies/practices. I can assist whether it is constructing a new pool, making improvements to an existing policy or pool area or just assessing risks and changes to the law.

For more information about this article, contact Tressler attorney Matthew O’Malley at