Tysons, VA

Labor Day is almost here — and the end of pool season.

While swimming in the pool or lounging nearby are popular summer activities, the coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on swimsuit season, unless you have a private pool or know someone who does.

Fairfax County didn’t allow public indoor and outdoor swimming pools to reopen until mid-June only for lap swimming, diving, exercise and instruction.

Then when Phase 3 guidelines went into effect on July 1, public pools could allow up to 75% occupancy with 10 feet of physical distance between users who are not from the same household. Public hot tubs, spas, saunas and spray pools are still closed though.

“This guidance applies to all community pools, including those operated by apartment and condominium complexes, recreation centers, homeowner’s associations and swim clubs,” according to Fairfax County’s website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they don’t have evidence that the novel coronavirus can be spread in the water.

“Plus, proper operation of public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds (such as at an apartment complex or owned by a community) and disinfection of the water (with chlorine or bromine) should inactivate the virus,” according to the CDC.

When we asked readers in June how they felt about using public pools, roughly 40% said they wouldn’t because of COVID-19 concerns, while 36% said they would.

With Labor Day soon marking the unofficial end to summer, we want to know if you have been to the pool. Let us know in the poll below and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo by Toni Cuenca/Unsplash

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

I have heard from so many clients and friends that would have otherwise drew a hard no in the sand about having a pool in their backyard, that the pandemic has changed their opinion on that.

Many are now considering either installing a pool or moving to a home that has a pool existing. I don’t blame them — with the run on blow up pools from Amazon and Target, you’d think we’d have a shortage on water now, not toilet paper!

If you’re thinking of building a pool, here are some basic concepts to think about:

Town of Vienna

  • Don’t forget that 25% lot coverage which applies to the deck of the pool, HOWEVER, coping/surrounding walkways of under 5 ft from the edge of the pool will not be counted towards the lot coverage
  • Pools must be at least 10 ft from any side or rear lot line, and is measured from the edge of the actual pool; also must be at least 20 ft from any alley line
  • Can only be in the rear yard
  • A permit is required through the Town

Fairfax County: Vienna and McLean

  • Require a building permit, plumbing permit and electrical permit
  • Pool can be in rear or side yards, and lots that are over 36,000 sq. ft. can even have the pool in the front yard
  • Mechanical pool equipment must be contained within 10 ft of width, and at least 5 ft from any lot line
  • If you have well and septic, you’ll need at least 20′ from them for the pool

What do you think about having a pool now? With these blistering heat days, coupled with 45 minute times slots at the public pools, would you consider installing a pool now?

Now, the age old question of resale value.

Most people think if you have a pool, it’s a deal breaker for many people. I think maybe that’s true, but you’ll also find a group of buyers who want the pool. And honestly, if the pool is old and needs work, it might be cheaper to just fill it in than deal with upkeep. I’ve told clients before, you build a pool to enjoy it, not to sell the house. It’s not like a kitchen renovation where you’re adding value. Someone else will come in and love the pool too.

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Updated 6/22/2020 — Corrects the date for when the swimming pools reopened.

Now that Northern Virginia has entered the second reopening phase, Fairfax County is now allowing public swimming with some restrictions.

The county allowed indoor and outdoor swimming pools to open on Friday, June 12, only for lap swimming, diving, exercise and instruction.

Public pools, including ones in communities, cannot open right now for recreational use. Currently, hot tubs, spas, saunas, splash pads, spray pools and interactive features are still closed.

People who operate public aquatic venues can find a list of safety recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some of the suggestions include disinfecting frequently touched areas, ensuring there’s proper ventilation and encouraging swimmers to social distance.

“There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, or water playgrounds. Additionally, proper operation of these aquatic venues and disinfection of the water (with chlorine or bromine) should inactivate the virus,” according to the CDC.

The CDC notes that decisions for whether or how to open the facilities “should be made locally” with input from local health officials.

Fairfax County’s restrictions on public swimming include:

  • limiting pool lanes to three people spaced 10 feet apart
  • limiting diving areas to three people spaced 10 feet apart
  • limiting water classes so participants can stay 10 feet apart
  • cleaning and disinfecting shared equipment after each use

How do you feel about using public pools?

Photo by Marcus Ng on Unsplash

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