As simple as it may sound, this may be one of the more troubling questions you will have to address when designing your swimming pool. This mundane question, if not well thought out before installation, can really compromise the integrity of the swimming pool. Choosing the right depth will allow you to get whatever it is you want to get out of your pool. Some enjoy lounging, others love diving and cannon balls into the deep end. What ever your style, different depths suit different needs. Lets take some time to discuss different activities in relation to different depths of the pool. Hopefully this will help you decide what pool depth is right for you.
Mulitiple depth swimming pools:
Mulitple depth swimming pools are by far the most popular layout we see. This typically consists of a shallow end and a deep end of a swimming pool. This allows the swimmers to utilize the swimming pool in many different ways.
A traditional pool has a shallow end on one side, about 3.5′ deep and eventually drops to 5' or deeper.
Diving: 8'- 12'
A pool that has a diving board requires at least an 8' deep end. Years ago, about 90% of swimming pools that where installed had diving boards. As time went on, the popularity of diving boards had diminished so much, that today we are not even seeing 25% of swimming pools with diving boards installed.
Food for thought:The average swimming pool ranges from 30' - 40' in length. With that being said, the average shallow end is around 3-1/2' deep. To go from a shallow end at 3.5' to the deep end at 8', over such a small distance of the length of the pool. Creates a very steep downward slope, which can also become very slippery. This is very dangerous for anyone who is not good at swimming, in particularly childern and elderly. Lastly, diving can be a extremely dangerous if it is not done properly.
Typically you see 8' - 12' pools are typically laid out in a multiple depth style swimming pool. Where the 8' - 12 ' is the deep end of the swimming pool.
Playing Games and Swimming Laps: 3-1/2' - 6'
Playing games such a basketball, volley ball or even water aerobics could easily be acomplished in about 4' of water. A 4' depth allows for easy mobility with for work outs and game play. This depth also allows them to have free range of motion if you are into swimming laps.
Kiddie play area/ Tanning ledge: 18" - 3-1/2'
Kiddie play areas make it safer and easier to watch your little swimmer in the pool. Just as with water aerobics and game players, children love to have the free range of motion. This allows them to have fun while feeling comfortable in the water. Typically speaking, if you are looking to have an 18" depth of water for your children, your pool builder will need design a "play ledge" or a "tanning ledge." If your little swimmers are a little bit older, you may want to consider to simply extend your shallow end a few feet. Due to the fact that a shallow end is typically 3-1/2" deep.
Lounging: 3.5′ – 4′
When haning out in the water, it is common to want the water to be right around your waist. Obviously height varies from person to person but we do not recommend having a swimming pool shallower than 3.5'.
With all of that information, you can see why there is no simple answer to this question. Only after understanding what you and your family want to do in your pool, will you know what the right depth is.