How to determine your pool depth

If you’re unsure how deep your swimming pool should be, below are a few factors to consider when deciding on the best option.

The purpose of your swimming pool

The first place to start when determining your pool depth is to understand its purpose. Is your pool for play? Are you using it predominantly for swimming laps? Do you have young children?

Recreational Pools

If you are planning to use your pool to play water games, you’ll want to design it with a minimum depth of 1 metre. This will accommodate the needs of both adults and children swimmers. If your pool is solely for adult swimmers, you can afford to go up to 1.8 metres deep.

If you want to install a slide or diving board, your pool depth will need to meet safety requirements.

Lap Pools

Lap pools designed for swimming are required to be much deeper than your standard recreational pool. A depth of 1.2 metres will allow swimmers to swim laps and safely turn without touching the bottom. If you want to be able to dive into the pool, the deepest area needs to be at least 2 metres deep.

Kids Pools

If your pool is going to be predominantly used by young children, a shallower pool is a popular choice. However, it’s important to remember that children grow quickly and a shallow kiddy pool at one depth won’t last long. Instead, you can opt for a multi-depth pool that starts at approximately 0.3 metres and gently slopes to the middle at 2 metres.

Consider a multi-depth pool

EcoOutdoor Kates House Bower Architecture
Bower Architecture and the client collaborated on Kate’s House to marked success

For an all-rounder swimming pool, it’s worth considering a multi-depth one that will accommodate adult, children and various activities. In a similar way to a kids pool, multi-depth pools create a gradual fall, with the deepest part typically in the middle or at one end.

The depths are generally staggered from 0.6 to 1.8 metres. However, you can set your minimum and maximum depths based on your requirements. This makes your swimming pool ideal for teaching children to swim, relaxing or playing in the deeper area of the pool. It can also be beneficial for those who allow their pets to enjoy the fun of swimming.

Establish your budget

Swimming pools are a substantial investment, so it’s not just your pool’s shape and finishes that impact the bottom line.

Deeper pools will cost you more, so it’s worth considering whether you actually need a pool suitable for diving. A deep inground pool will require more excavation and soil removal, as well as more materials to make the shell. You’ll also need more materials such as tiles to finish the pool shell’s interior.

In addition, deeper pools will cost more to fill, require more cleaning and will utilise more chemicals. Over the years, this could add up to an extra few thousand on water and cleaning costs alone. Most swimming pool professionals will help you calculate the volume and capacity of your desired pool, helping you understand how much water your pool requires and the costs involved.

So if you’re not working with an unlimited budget, it’s worth asking yourself if you can justify the splurge of a deep pool, or if one at a more modest depth would suffice.