Asking how deep can you build a pool can result in two answers. In this article, we’ll answer the interesting, but not relevant way. This is essentially answering the question of what’s the deepest pool ever built. We’ll also give a more practical answer as to what’s the deepest common depth for a homeowner in their backyard.
Questions To Ask Yourself To Decide Pool Depth
For the question of a backyard, the depth of your pool will likely depend on a few questions. These questions revolve around how you intend to use the pool. A pool is not inherently better because its deeper or more shallow. You should ask yourself these questions and they will ultimately guide you to the proper depth for your new pool.
- Do you want to be able to jump off the side and do a cannonball?
- Would you like to dive into the pool from a diving board?
- Do you want to practice with your scuba equipment?
- Do you have kids and want them to be able to dive for rings with a bit of a challenge?
How Deep Can You Build a Pool?
Based on what exists today, we can safely say the deepest pool we’ve seen is 60 meters or 196 feet deep. That’s the depth of Deep Dive Dubai, a purpose built scuba diving pool with 3.7 million gallons of water. That would be the extreme answer to what is possible. In most backyards, this would not be possible.
What Pool Depths Are Common In Backyards?
Your pool is a custom creation, so there is flexibility in what you can build. Within reason, you can choose for your pool to be as deep or as shallow as you prefer. However, in different regions of the country, there are different typical depths. We have served homeowners in three different regions: Arizona, New England and Texas.
In Arizona, for example, most pools are a maximum of 5 feet deep. These “play pools” are meant for volleyball and other pool games, but are not meant for diving or jumping off the side. More often than not they are used for standing around in the water in the desert heat simply as an escape from the oppressive temperature!
In New England, it’s more common to build a pool that’s 8 feet deep at the deep end. It’s not uncommon to see a pool go to 9 feet, but it’s rare to see a pool much deeper than that. The pools in New England are built on larger lots and people tend to build bigger pools. The culture of a diving pool is more prevalent, too.
In Texas, pools are roughly 5 or 6 feet deep. This region is the Goldilocks of pool depth, not too deep, not too deep. You won’t be diving in head first, but you can jump in the pool without a large safety concern.
Engineering + Construction Challenges with Deep Pools
There are engineering challenges and construction challenges with deep pools. The engineering challenges are dependent on the force against the wall. Pools are engineered empty, that is, without any water. This is the point at which there is a maximum force pushing on the pool wall from the earth toward the pool. The deeper the pool, the greater the force and this causes the pool walls to need to be thicker and to contain more steel reinforcement.
During construction it is also a challenge to build a deep pool. Safe excavations need to be benched. That is not leaving large walls of earth during construction. This means there will need to be additional formwork during construction as well as additional excavation time and additional backfill time after the structure is in place. All of these engineering and construction considerations increase the price of a pool.
References For How Deep Can You Build a Pool
If you want to build a deep pool, assume you’ll need a longer pool to safely get down to depth. When building a deep pool or even if you want to add a diving board to the pool, this requires a specific dimensional requirement for the pool. You can see that requirement in the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code.