How deep do I make my pool?
Setting water depths in domestic pools is a tricky subject. The dangers of diving into shallow water are a huge risk. Similarly deep water poses a drowning risk to young kids and poor swimmers. Public access pools have been re-designed in the last 20 years to have shallow water external step entries with graduated step drops of 200mm to enter the pool shallow ends with depths generally set at between 900 – 1100mm. Deep end water depths are rarely more than 1800mm. This has resulted in the practice of diving into pools being banned. Many diving pools with water depths of less than 4m have been de-commissioned as unsafe. The reduction in pool water depth has been brought about to reduce drowning and increase the usable area people can use within pools. Its seems an oxy – moron but people don’t swim in pools. They get wet and cool off. This is not withstanding the lap swimming times early in the morning etc. at 50m pools etc.
The take away on pool depth
So when it comes to the average backyard pool depth there a few basic golden rules:
- Don’t allow anyone to dive in your pool
- People will primarily stand and sit within the pool.
- Increase the usable area (the water depth between waist and shoulder depth for teenagers ( often the primary pool users))
I advise that you build a pool with a shallow end water depth of 1.0 – 1.2m and a deep end water depth of 1.6 – 1.8m. This will allow for usable and manageable water depths as well as a smooth elongated transition zone with a steady floor gradient between the shallow and the deep end.