What is the Right Swimming Pool Depth?

A lot of questions go into a pool’s design. How big should it be? What’s the best shape to fit in with the rest of the backyard? How should I design the garden and porch around the pool, or vice versa? But there’s one question that’s so obvious that you may not give it as much thought as it deserves: how deep should the pool be? Depth can vary from 3 feet to over 9 feet. Here is a quick look at different swimming pool depth options.

Up To 3 Feet

If you have children, then you’ll definitely want a shallow area where they will be able to stand up and keep their heads above water. After all, it’s a lot easier to learn how to swim when you can safely stop and stand up at any time.

3 Feet to 4 Feet

While kids may need a particularly shallow area, adults interested in water activities need around a foot more of water to fully enjoy themselves. Swimmers need at least 3.5’ in order to engage in every kind of stroke, and if you plan to do any sort of sport like water polo or volleyball, 4’ is generally recommended.

4 Feet to 9 Feet

If you or anyone else who uses the pool intends to jump in, then you need a certain depth in order to have enough water to absorb the impact. Teens and adults in particular need a greater depth to safely jump in.

9 Feet and Above

For as much water as you need to jump safely, diving head-first demands even more if you want to avoid injuring yourself. If all you want is a basic diving board just a foot or so above the water, you’ll still need nine feet of water below you.

Mixing And Matching

It’s entirely possible to get a pool which is only one depth throughout its entire length, but if you intend to use a pool for more than kind of activity (and most people do), you’ll need to get a sloping pool with a deep and a shallow end.

The classic design goes from 3.5’ at one end to something around 5-9’ at the other, but one nice thing about getting your own pool is the ability to customize it however you want. You could go with a flat-bottomed pool with an even 4’ depth, or you could get one that’s shallow at both ends and deep in the center. You can even get a pool with a dog leg at one end to keep the shallow and deep ends that much further removed. Just remember that the bigger the difference between depths, the longer the slope between them needs to be.

The question of swimming pool depth is all about what you want to use it for. But whether you want to dive, to swim, or to give your kids something to do after school, you should remember that when it’s your pool, all that matters is what you and your family will use it for.

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