Swimming Pool Depth: What To Consider
Your backyard should be your oasis, and what oasis is complete without a luxury swimming pool for you and the family to enjoy? But when it comes to design, it’s easy to obsess over the details. One of those key details is: what is the proper pool depth?
This month at Morehead Pools, we’re going to explore the different things to consider about proper swimming pool depth – starting with a brief word about what the legal swimming pool depth is.
Ultimately, it’s up to you how deep you make your swimming pool, since there are no laws that dictate this. The only legal requirements that come into play are those that set minimum pool depths when you’re having a diving board included, but we’ll talk more about that in our section on diving.
Consider the purpose of the pool
A pool can be so many things: somewhere to relax, somewhere to host parties, somewhere to exercise, or somewhere to play games. So it’s worth thinking about this as you dream up your ideal pool, since depth can play an important part in making these things possible.
Most pools contain two depths with a sloping transition, allowing for a variety of users, but here are some general guidelines based on specific pool purposes:
- Thinking of swimming lengths for exercise? You’ll want the pool depth to be at least 4 feet to avoid injury to hands and feet while carrying out your preferred stroke style.
- Thinking of playing sports? If you want pool volleyball or basketball games, it’s better to have the pool around 3-4 feet deep to allow for some movement and the ability to touch the floor.
- Thinking of using the pool to relax and unwind? Your pool depth can be a lot lower here since you’ll be taking a casual dip – a sun shelf of around 3 to 5 inches in depth is also a great place for lounging in the water.
Safe pool depth for adults
If you know there are going to be no children using your pool – including kids your friends and family might bring with them – then you can look at designing the pool depth specific to your personal heights.
While it may not always be the case, men tend to be taller than women, so it’s a good idea to still have that transition element, meaning adults of varying heights can touch the floor somewhere in the pool. This usually means 3 feet depth in one end and 5 feet depth at the other end – alternatively, if you don’t wish to have a transition built in, opt for 4 feet to suit both needs.
You can always go deeper than this if you are more than 6 feet in height, but keep in mind the other adults who may be using the pool.
Safe pool depth for children
It’s always trickier to design a pool around children as they grow so quickly! You want to make sure there is a safe, enjoyable pool depth for them as toddlers, but they’ll quickly outgrow this (plus, you’ll want to enjoy the pool too).
A shallow end of the pool, anywhere from 2-3 feet deep, will hopefully make for a nice wading and swimming practice area, with 4-5 feet deep at the other end for adults to enjoy. Alternative approaches include an L-shaped pool to create a safe section for kids or a separate smaller and shallower pool for kids to splash around in – though again, you’ve got to think about whether it will still be useful in five years from now.
Can I dive in my pool?
Diving can be a dangerous thing due to the risk of head injuries, but if you’re dreaming of diving into your pool, you’ll need to have a pool depth of about 9 feet to accommodate this. You’ll also want a diving board to do it properly, which means looking at the laws in your state surrounding such an installation. We should also point out that this could impact insurance policies, so be sure to investigate fully before you go ahead.
If simply jumping into the pool is something you can see yourself, your friends, or even the kids doing, then you want to have a pool depth of at least 4 feet. This is so there is enough water to absorb the impact of your jump.
Does the pool depth affect costs?
The design of your pool will always impact the cost somehow. The deeper you need to dig, the more time and effort this will take, whereas the simpler the design, the less it will cost. But that’s not the only way pool depth impacts cost – think about the size and water capacity of your pool when it comes to filling, cleaning, and maintenance, and factor this into your overall running costs.
Ultimately, you want your pool to meet your requirements, and that’s the most important thing. The best way to get the pool of your dreams is to sit down with expert swimming pool designers and discuss what you want from your pool.
Swimming pool design from Morehead Pools
At Morehead Pools, our expert team of pool designers is here to listen to the plans you have for your pool, working with you to create the backyard space you’ve always dreamed of. We’re Master Pools Guild members and operate in Shreveport, Bossier City, LA, and throughout the surrounding areas.
Find out more about recommended pool depths for your pool by contacting us today and arranging your design appointment.