When you first start thinking about your swimming pool, its depth may not be the most important feature in your mind. You are more likely to consider its shape, how it fits the landscape, and what type of swimming pool you want.
Then, your swimming pool contractor will inevitably touch upon the depth of the pool.
Before you answer this question, you should take into account many factors: your family members and the general use of the swimming pool, how you plan on enjoying it, and how high you want your budget to be.
Here are some things you need to consider before choosing the right depth for your swimming pool.
Who Will Be Using the Swimming Pool?
You should consider the people who will be using the swimming pool and their respective ages.
Toddlers and young children will need a shallower area to feel safe and still enjoy the water.
Children and toddlers need an area that is 2 feet deep. They will be able to play, stand, and splash around while their feet will still touch the bottom of the pool.
Remember that children grow up. If you want to include in your swimming pool design a wading pool, don’t make it too big. Within a few years, your children will be able to swim at the deeper end and the wading pool will likely not be used by anyone.
People with limited swimming skills will feel more confident in a swimming pool where they can stand safely. Think of older people and mobility-impaired friends and family members and how often they will be visiting your swimming pool. To be on the safe side with adults who require shallower waters, your swimming pool should have a minimum depth of 3 feet. People will still be able to lounge and swim while feeling safe knowing that they can always stand on their feet.
Pool Shape for Adults and Children
Many customers with children choose an L-shaped swimming pool. The short end of the L is a wading pool while the longer side is used for swimming. Once the children grow up, the shallow area is used for entering and exiting the swimming pool, thus it never loses its functionality.
What Sort of Swimming Do You Enjoy?
If you want a swimming pool for lounging and relaxing, 4 feet deep is perfectly fine. You have enough depth to swim but also to stand and enjoy spending your time with friends.
If you like swimming laps and exercising in the swimming pool, a maximum depth of 6 feet should be more than enough.
Tanning and resting in and around the swimming pool are truly awesome. You want very shallow waters, however—no more than 1.5 feet for tanning ledges.
For people who enjoy pool games with family and friends, your swimming pool should be around 4 feet deep. People will be able to stand and play ball or catch without having to swim or keep afloat.
Basketball or water polo are great ways to enjoy your swimming pool. Technically speaking, you shouldn’t be standing when playing water polo, so the pool’s depth should be at least 6 feet. If you don’t really care about the rules but still like water sports, you can always make your swimming between 4 and 6 feet deep, depending on what games you enjoy playing.
You can dive into a 4-feet-deep swimming pool as long as you are not jumping from a board. If you want to install a diving board, your swimming pool should be at least 8 feet deep, otherwise you risk a head, neck, or back injury.
How Big Is Your Budget?
The depth of your swimming pool will determine the cost of building and maintaining it.
Deeper swimming pools have more water. You will need stronger pumps to clean larger quantities of water, which increases the initial cost. You will also need more water in the swimming pool. In addition, you will have increased costs in terms of maintenance: more chemicals will be necessary because there will be more water to keep chlorinated and clean. Not to mention that, during construction, your crew will need to dig deeper to install the pool—which also comes with increased costs.
If you have a limited budget, we suggest you consider a swimming pool with an average depth of 3 to 5 feet. That would keep your construction and maintenance costs within budget.
What If You Want a Multi-Depth Swimming Pool?
A multi-depth swimming pool is the best way to please all people. A shallow end is great for toddlers and people who feel safer in shallower waters. You can then give it a gentle slope where the pool gets deeper.
There are various types of multi-depth pools. A sloping one as described is pretty common, but a U-shaped pool—which is deeper in the middle but shallower at both ends—is also possible.
Are There Any Laws Concerning Pool Depth?
If there is a diving board, your pool’s depth must be at least 8 feet deep. Apart from that stipulation, there are no other laws regarding the depth of a pool.