Time to Prepare for Pool Season. Really?

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Rules and Regulations for swimming Pools, Douglas County Board of Health.

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A regulation to protect the public health, establishing minimum standards governing the construction, use and maintenance of swimming pools and authorizing the plan review, inspection and permitting of swimming pools and structures, and providing for the administration and enforcement of these regulations.

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The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this regulation:



  1. Design Professional means an Engineer or Architect registered to practice in Georgia, or a pool contractor who is accepted by the Health Department by demonstrating his/her knowledge of swimming pool design.
  2. Fees for Services means a schedule of fees for services adopted and subject to periodic revision by the Cobb County Board of Health under the provisions and authority of O.C.G.A. Annotated, Section 31-3-4 (a) (6). A schedule of fees may be obtained from the Cobb County Health Department.
  3. Health Officer means the executive officer of the Cobb County Board of Health and his or her designated representatives acting on the Board’s behalf for the administration and enforcement of these rules.
  4. Health Department means the Cobb County Board of Health, Cobb County, Georgia.
  5. Natural Bathing Place means a bathing facility or area together with associated buildings, appurtenances and equipment, on artificial or natural ponds, springs, lakes, streams, or other bodies of water where the public is allowed to bathe or swim.
  6. Spray Pool means an artificial pool or area for non-swimmers into which water complying with these regulations is sprayed but is not allowed to pond.
  7. Swimming Pool or Pool means a structure or concrete, masonry or other approved material and finish which is used or designed to be used for bathing, recreation, swimming or other related purpose by humans, together with buildings, appurtenances and equipment required or used in connection therewith. Pools serving two (or less) private residences are excluded from this regulation except those pools described under Approval Required, Section 3.
  8. Training-Special Use Pool means any pool designed to train basic or special swimming skills, the construction of this type pool is to be approved on an individual basis.
  9. Wading-Pool means any pool used or designed to be used exclusively for wading and bathing by children and having a maximum depth of eighteen (18)inches.
  10. Water Amusement Pool means any recreational facility having a water channel, flume, slide, wave pool or other amusement pool in which users may be immersed in the water, whether or not such pool is used for swimming.
  11. Whirlpool Spa and Hot Tub mean pools primarily designed for individual or small group bathing in which treated water is recirculated. These units may employ circulation, tempered water, air induction bubbles or combination thereof.

Approval Required
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  1. It is unlawful to begin construction or to alter, modify or operate a swimming pool or natural bathing place without having applied for and received written approval from the Cobb County Health Department (hereafter known as the Health Department).
  2. Those constructing or operating pools must comply with applicable regulations and codes, including Building Codes, Electrical and Plumbing Codes and must obtain from the appropriate authorities applicable permits and approvals.
  3. All pools proposed to be constructed on premises utilizing individual on-site sewage management systems must be approved by this Department prior to construction.

Construction Approval
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  1. Upon request, the Health Officer shall provide application forms for approval to construct, alter or reconstruct a swimming pool. All applications shall be submitted in duplicate together with a complete set of detailed plans and specifications. Except for pools serving a private residence, all plans must be submitted to the Health Officer at least (10) days prior to the anticipated date for beginning construction.
  2. Plans and Specifications: All drawings, specifications and data shall be prepared by a Design Professional and shall bear the registration stamp of said person. Plans and specifications shall be drawn to scale and shall be accompanied by complete specifications so as to permit a complete review of the plans, and shall include:
    1. A plan and sectional review with all the necessary dimensions of both the pool and surrounding area including bathhouse and equipment room.
    2. Complete site drainage details including diversion ditches for surface run-off.
    3. A piping diagram showing all appurtenances, including treatment facilities in sufficient detail.
    4. Specifications shall contain details of all treatment equipment, including performance characteristics of pumps, chlorinators, chemical feeders, filters, strainers, interceptors and related equipment.
    5. Details of backwash water design and disposal methods.
    6. All swimming pools, including adjacent wading pools, shall be provided with a recirculation and filtration system.
    7. Final plat of entire development to be served by pool(s).
  3. Any additional data required by the Health Officer for the purpose of clarification, anticipated use or to support any changes in design or scope of the project must be submitted prior to issuance of a permit to construct. Maximum bathing load must be stated on the plans.
  4. A permit to construct, alter or modify a pool shall be issued only after a review of the plans and specifications indicates compliance with these regulations.
  5. Payment of the plan review fee shall be remitted with the application to construct and all relevant plan review fees must be paid prior to issuance of a permit to construct.
  6. The owner or agent for the owner may request a preliminary review of the plans by the Health Department without obtaining a permit to construct the pool. A fee may be charged for this consultation service.
  7. All contractors shall have a current business license. The general contractor and subcontractors performing electrical, heating, plumbing work shall have a current license by the appropriate governmental jurisdiction. All work must be inspected and approved by the County Inspection Department prior to final approval by the Health Department.
  8. All piping while exposed shall be water-pressure tested to a minimum of 50 psi for a minimum of 30 minutes and shall be inspected by the Health Department or the contractor must certify in writing that all requirements are in compliance.
  9. If construction is not commenced within one year from the date of approval, the construction permit is invalid and the project must be resubmitted to the Health Department.

Alterations/Modification Approval
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  1. Any alteration or modification shall be in accordance with plans and specifications approved by the Health Department. Changes in an approved project may be made only after written approval and consent of the Health officer.
  2. If alterations or modifications are not commenced within one year from the date of approval, the construction permit is invalid and the project must be resubmitted to the Health Department.

Operational Approval
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  1. Except for pools serving two or less private residences, it shall be unlawful for any person to operate a swimming pool in Cobb County, Georgia, without having applied for and obtained a valid permit issued by the Health Officer. The permit shall be publicly displayed at all times.
  2. Application for Permit to operate a pool shall be made on forms provided by the Health Department. The application shall be prepared in duplicate and the original shall be forwarded to the Health Department and a copy retained by the applicant. Application shall be made at least ten (10) days prior to the anticipated date of opening.
  3. Operational Permits are invalidated by change of ownership, name change, or if the pool is closed for more than one year. Only persons who comply with all provisions of this regulation shall be entitled to receive and retain a permit. An operational permit may be temporarily suspended by the Health Officer upon the violation by the holder of any of the terms of this regulation; or revoked after an opportunity for a hearing by the Health Officer upon serious or repeated violations. The Health Officer may post signs prohibiting use of the pool at any pool deemed to be unsanitary or unsafe. Signs shall be removed only by the Health Department. No person may enter the pool enclosure while the pool is posted.
  4. A yearly fee for services shall be remitted with the application to operate and all pertinent fees must be paid in full prior to each pool’s opening.
  5. Periodically, the Health Officer shall inspect every operating pool located in Cobb County, Georgia. In the event the Health Officer discovers the violation of any item relative to sanitation and safety, he shall make a second inspection after a lapse of time as he deems necessary for the defect to be remedied, and the second inspection shall be used to determine compliance with the requirements of this regulation. Any violation of the same item of this regulation on the second inspection shall be ground for an immediate suspension of the permit to operate a pool.
  6. Pools operating seasonally are required to have their operational approval renewed by undergoing a satisfactory inspection by the Health Department prior to the pool being re-opened.
  7. Each operator shall maintain and make available for on-site inspection a daily record of operating information. The record shall include data on disinfectant levels, pH, maintenance procedures, together with such other data as may be required by the Health Officer.
  8. All instructions necessary for the proper operation and maintenance of equipment and appurtenances must be easily readable and conspicuously posted in the filter or equipment room.

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  1. Finish and Materials: Pools shall be constructed of inert, impervious, enduring, non-toxic materials which will provide a non-slip and easily cleanable surface. The surface shall have no cracks or open joints and the interior corners shall be coved. Rough and abrasive surfaces are not permitted. The surface below the normal water level shall be finished in a very light color.
  2. Shape and Size: Pools shall be constructed of such shape and size as to provide adequate water circulation, bather access and egress and to afford proper operator control. Calculations for determining size of pool and the number and type of associated facilities shall be based on maximum expected bathing loads (see Table 1). Pool proportioning between deep and shallow water shall be in accordance with the anticipated uses of the pool.
  3. Depth
    1. Swimming Pools: Water depths at the shallow end of the swimming area shall be three feet (3′) minimum, with a three feet six inches (3’6″) minimum for racing pools. Depth at the slope break shall be five (5) feet. In the diving well, depth shall be stipulated in Figure 1 of these regulations or the current National Spa and Pool Institute Standards for Public Swimming Pools. Permanent easily readable depth markings indicating in feet (i.e. 5 ft.), and visible from both inside and outside the pool, shall be provided on each interior side of the pool above normal water level and on the deck (a) at the shallow end (b) at the slope break and (c) at the deep end. Life lines with floats shall be installed across the pool along the slope break.
    2. Wading-Pool: Wading pools shall have a maximum depth of not more than eighteen (18) inches.
    3. Spa Pool: Water depth shall be no more than four (4) feet nor less than eighteen (18) inches in any portion of the pool. No seat or bench shall be more than two (2) feet below waterline.
  4. Slope
    1. Swimming Pools: For water depth less than five (5) feet the slope of the pool bottom shall be uniform and shall not exceed one (1) foot in twelve (12) feet. For depths greater than five (5) feet, the slope shall not exceed one (1) foot in three (3) feet. (See Figure 1 of these regulations).
    2. Wading and Spray Pools: Slopes shall not exceed three (3) inches in ten (10) feet nor be less than one (1) inch in ten (10) feet.
    3. Spa Pools: Slope shall not exceed one (1) foot in twelve (12) feet.
  5. Egress/Steps and Ladders: Steps and/or ladders shall be in such number and located as to provide bathers adequate egress from the pool. They shall be of an easily-cleaned impervious material, with a nonslip finish and shall be self-draining. Steps shall have a maximum riser height of 12″ and a minimum tread of 12″. All steps shall have handrails anchored in the bottom step and extended over the coping and anchored in the deck or the leading edge of handrails facilitating stairs and pool entry/exit shall be no more than eighteen inches (18″) plus or minus three inches (+/-3″), horizontally from the vertical plane of the bottom riser (where applicable). For swimming pools, no less than two egresses shall be provided and an additional step or ladder will be required for each additional seventy-five (75) feet of pool perimeter over one hundred-fifty (150) feet. Abrupt breaks in floor level, such as steps, stairs, benches and seats shall be clearly and permanently marked by a dark, continuous or broken line (non-slip tile or non-slip paint) with a width between one and two inches identifying the break. Spa ladders, recessed steps or stairways shall be provided where depth exceeds 24″, and at least one ladder, set of recessed steps or stairway shall be provided for each (fifty) 50 feet of spa pool perimeter or fraction thereof.
  6. Walk Areas and Decks: A walk area or deck no less than four (4) feet in width, as measured from the inside wall of the pool, and with a minimum surface area equal to that of the pool, shall completely surround the pool, except at the deepest end when a diving board is provided; the width shall be at least ten (10) feet. A four (4) feet wide minimum continuous unobstructed deck, which may include the coping, shall be provided around 50% or more of spa pools. The walk area or deck shall be unobstructed in all directions with a minimum vertical clearance of six (6) feet, eight (8) inches, except when ceilings are provided, the minimum height shall be eight (8) feet. Decks and walkways shall be constructed of impervious, durable materials which have a smooth, nonslip, easily maintained finish. Wood is prohibited for use as expansion joints and as a finish material. Deck finish shall be smooth, non-slip, durable easily cleaned and sanitized, and mildew/mold resistant. Deck drainage shall be conducted away from the pool with a minimum pitch of one-quarter (1/4) inch per foot so as not to retain standing water. Floor drains shall be provided as required to adequately accommodate surface drainage and the drainage shall be disposed of in a safe, sanitary manner. A slip resistant coping which provides a hand hold shall extend over the pool edge or over the top of the gutter

Water Quality & Sanitation Standards
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  1. Water Source: Water supplied to the pool shall be clean, clear, free of objectional minerals and meet standards applicable to potable water.
  2. Back-flow Prevention: An atmospheric break (three inches minimum) or an approved backflow prevention device must be provided in all potable water lines. Back-flow prevention must be assured in all plumbing.
  3. Pool Water: A sufficient number of samples may be taken to affirm via bacteriological analysis that the pool water meets the requirements in this regulation. Samples shall be taken while the pool is in use, preferably during the peak bathing load. Additional samples may be required on large pools having high bathing loads. To comply with this requirement, fifteen percent (15%) of the samples shall neither (a) contain more than 200 bacteria per milliliter, as determined by the standard (35 degree C) agar plate count nor (b) show positive test (confirmed test) for coliform organisms in any of the five 10-milliliter portions of a sample – or when the membrane filter test is used more than 1.0 coliform or organism. per 50 mi. All samples shall be collected, dechlorinated and examined in accordance with the procedures outlined in the latest edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater (APHA).
  4. Chemical and Physical Quality for Pool Water: The chemical, physical and bacteriological quality of pool water shall be maintained such that it is sanitary, clean and safe for swimming.
    1. Swimming pools when open or in use shall be continuously disinfected by a chemical which imparts an easily measured free available residual effect. When chlorine is used without a stabilizing chemical such as cyanuric acid and the source of free chlorine is from elemental chlorine or a hypochlorite solution, a free chlorine residual of at least 1.0 ppm at proper ph shall be maintained throughout the pool. If other halogens are used, residuals of equivalent disinfecting strength shall be maintained. Where cyanuric acid is used as a stabilizing agent, a free chlorine residual shall be maintained at a concentration of no less that two parts per million (2ppm) at all times. Every pool shall be supplied with a chemical test kit for the determination of pH, chlorine or bromine residuals, cyanuric acid (if used), total alkalinity, and calcium hardness. The test kit shall be capable of measuring chemical ranges, as detailed in Part 9 Section 4e. The method used in determining the free available chlorine residual shall be such that chloramines or other chlorine compounds that may be present in the pool do not affect the determination.
    2. Other disinfecting materials or method shall be acceptable after they have been adequately demonstrated to provide a satisfactory residual effect which is easily measured and to otherwise be equally as effective under conditions of use as the chlorine concentration required herein, and not be dangerous to public health, create objectionable physiological effects, or impart toxic properties to the water.
    3. The water shall have sufficient clarity at all times so that the grate openings of the main drains are clearly visible when viewed from deck level nearest the main drain.
    4. Chemicals used for algae control and in the control of water quality shall be demonstrated as imparting no toxic properties to the water.
    5. Pool Water Quality
      The chemical operational parameters in swimming pool water shall not exceed the maximum level or be lower than the minimum level given in the following parameters: 

      Parameters Min Ideal Max
      Free Chlorine ppm 1.0 Pool: 1.0 – 3.0
      Spa: 3.0 – 5.0
      Pool: 5.0
      Spa: 10.0
      Combined Chlorine ppm 0 0 0.2
      Bromine ppm 2.0 Pool: 2.0 – 4.0
      Spa: 3.0 – 5.0
      Pool: 4.0
      Spa: 10.0
      pH 7.2 7.4 – 7.6 7.8
      Total Alkalinity as CaCO2 60 80-100 for Calcium Hypochlorite, Lithium Hypochlorite, Sodium Hypochlorite
      100-200 for sodium dichlor, trichlor, chlorine gas and bromine compounds
      Cyanuric Acid ppm 10 30-50 100
      Total dissolved solids, ppm 300 1,000 – 2,000 3,000
      Calcium hardness, ppm CaCO3 150 200 – 400 500 – 1,000+
      Temperature 104 degrees F


  5. Operation and Maintenance: Every pool shall be under the direct close supervision of a trained pool operator competent to operate the pool in full compliance with all requirements hereof relating to pool operation and maintenance.
    1. The operator of each pool open for use shall keep daily records of pool operation including total bather load, peak bather load, volume of fresh water, filter influent and effluent pressure gauge readings, rate of flow meter readings, amount of chemicals used, disinfectant residuals, pH readings, algae control measures taken, alkalinity, maintenance and malfunctioning of equipment including cleaning of filters, and such additional records as may be required. Such records shall be kept available for inspection by the Health Department for a period of at least one year.
    2. Routine daily and weekly operating procedures shall be posted in a location frequented by the operator. Manufacturer’s instructions for operating and maintenance of mechanical and electrical equipment shall be kept on the premises and available for the operator’s use.
    3. Pumps, filters, disinfectant and chemical feeders, flow indicators, gauges and all related parts of the pool water purification system shall be kept in operation whenever the pool is available for use, and at such additional periods as may be necessary to maintain the water in the pool in a clear and disinfected condition.
    4. Floating scum, sputum and debris shall not be allowed to accumulate in the pool. The sides and bottom of pools, decks and other surfaces shall be kept free of slime and algae to prevent unnecessary slipperiness and danger of accidents or drowning, and shall be cleaned as often as necessary to keep in a clean condition.
    5. Where chlorine gas is used, a valve protection hood shall be kept in place on the cylinder except when the cylinder is connected to a chlorinator. A valve stem wrench shall be maintained on chlorine cylinders connected to chlorinators so that the supply can be shut off quickly in emergencies. In case of an emergency due to a chlorine leak, the pool and other potentially affected areas should be evacuated, and the operator should take steps to stop the leak which would include contacting emergency response teams when necessary. Replacement canisters for the chlorine gas mask shall be provided and a record kept of all gas mask usage to insure that the mask will be serviceable when needed. The gas mask, replacement canisters, and record of usage shall be kept in a closed container located outside the chlorinator room. (See Disinfection Equipment and Chemical Feeders for additional requirements.)
    6. Dressing rooms, showers, toilet rooms and fixtures, equipment rooms and equipment concession and spectator areas, and all parts of the pool enclosure shall be kept clean and in good repair. Walls, ceilings and equipment shall be painted as often as necessary to minimize deterioration. The entire pool area shall be maintained in a sanitary condition and free of litter and vermin.
    7. Soap shall be provided at showers and lavatories.
    8. Bathing suits and towels provided by the pool management shall be laundered and sanitized after each use.

Recirculation System
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A water recirculation and treatment system consisting of pumps, piping, filters, water conditioning and disinfection equipment and other accessory equipment shall be provided which will clarify, condition and disinfect the water in accordance with these regulations. A separate recirculation system is required for each pool. The equipment shall be operated continuously on a twenty four (24) hour basis to obtain the minimum required number of four (4) turnovers* per day (12 turnovers* per day-wading pools). The turnover rate for spa pool water shall be (1) turnover every thirty (30) minutes. Twenty percent (20%) of the recirculation flow shall be through the main drain and eighty percent (80%) shall be through the overflow gutters and skimmers. For pressure filter systems utilizing over-the-gutter recirculation, a surge tank shall be provided. The tank shall be designed to provide a minimum balance/surge capacity of one (1) gallon water per square foot of pool surface area.

* Equivalent to the volume of water the pool will hold.



  1. Pumps: Pumps shall be adequate in number and capacity to provide the required pool turnover rate and shall be located to eliminate priming. If the pump or suction piping is located above the pool overflow level, the pump shall be self-priming. Pumps shall supply the recirculation and backwash flows at a dynamic head sufficient to overcome friction losses in the piping, appurtenances and maximum filter head loss. Pump performance curves shall be submitted with the plans.
  2. Filters: Filter(s) provided shall be sized to handle the required recirculation flow. Pressure filter tanks and integral parts shall be constructed of material capable of withstanding continuous anticipated usage and shall withstand a pressure four (4) times the maximum operating pressure of the filter.
  3. Inlets: Adjustable inlets installed flush with wall or floor shall be located in conjunction with the proposed method of recirculation so as to provide effective, uniform circulation of the incoming water throughout the pool and to prevent “dead” spots. The number of inlets shall be calculated based on one inlet per fifteen (15) feet of pool perimeter (ten [101 feet for wading pools). Inlets shall be evenly spaced along the pool perimeter or on the pool floor. Except for wading pools no inlet shall be less than thirty (30) inches below normal water level (twenty-four (24) inches for spa pools).
  4. Outlets: All pools shall be provided with two or more outlets at the deepest point and constructed to completely drain the pool. Outlets must be covered by an acceptable grating, not removable by bathers. The open area of the drain cover (total, less area of gratings) shall be at least four (4) times the cross-sectional area of the drain pipe and sufficient flow area shall be provided so that the full-flow velocity at any part of the grate will not exceed 1 1/2 feet per second. Openings between grate bars shall not exceed 1/2 inch. Multiple outlets shall be constructed in parallel and spaced evenly across the deep end. Pools shall be provided with a hydrostatic relief valve with a minimum size of two (2) inches. A minimum of two hydrostatic relief valves are required on pools with surface areas in excess of 1800 square feet.
  5. Hair and Lint Strainer: A strainer shall be provided on the suction side of the recirculation pump if the pump draws directly from the pool. Secondary pumps on vacuum-filter systems shall be protected by a strainer sized to protect the pump adequately.
  6. Vacuum Cleaning Systems: Except for spa pools, a vacuum system shall be provided for pool cleaning and fittings shall be located so as to allow cleaning the pool with no more than fifty (50) foot hose. A vacuum fitting cover shall be provided.
  7. Flow Meters: An adequately sized flow meter shall be installed on the pool return line to accurately indicate the recirculation rate.
  8. Heaters: Pools equipped with heaters shall have a fixed thermometer in the recirculation line. Adequate valves and piping shall be provided to enable bypassing the heater. Heaters shall have the capability to keep pool water between 70 degrees and 104 degrees Fahrenheit during all normal use periods. Heaters shall be plumbed and valved to facilitate complete removal for repairs without interruption of pool recirculation. Water temperature shall be thermostatically controlled and shall not exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Backwash Waste Line: The backwash waste line shall be no smaller than the size of the pipe exiting the filter for the entire length of the backwash line.
  10. Equipment: All equipment shall be installed to facilitate servicing with minimum effort.

Piping and Hydraulics
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The piping system shall consist of non-toxic materials and be able to withstand a minimum pressure of fifty (50) psi. Piping configuration shall be designed to minimize friction losses. All pipe and manufacturers must be listed in the current “Seal of Approval Listing of Plastic Materials, Pipe Fittings, and Appurtenances for Potable Water Supplies,” National Sanitation Foundation. Pipe installation shall comply with the local plumbing code and these regulations.



  1. Maximum Velocity: velocity shall not exceed ten (10) feet per second in pressure piping nor five (5) feet per second on vacuum lines.
  2. Main Drain Line: The size of the main drain line of pressure filters shall be based on full flow conditions, including a total of five (5) feet of head loss at maximum flow (head loss shall include friction losses of the pipe and fittings and the hair and lint strainer). Negative elevation head shall be included in the losses, but positive elevation head shall not. The main drain line shall be designed and constructed to accommodate 100% of the design flow rate.
  3. Skimmer Lines: The skimmer lines shall be designed and constructed to accommodate 100% of the design flow rate.
  4. Gravity Lines: On vacuum or gravity filters the main drain line shall be sized so that the required flow is obtained, considering the elevation head.
  5. Waste Lines: Pool waste water shall be discharged to an approved subsurface disposal system, settling or separation tanks (for diatomaceous earth removal) or sanitary sewer when specifically authorized. Sewer lines shall be one standard size larger than main drain line(s). There shall be no direct connection between any pool piping and the approved disposal system. Discharge points shall be shown on plans. When backwash subsurface disposal systems are utilized, they shall be sized in accordance with Health Department requirements.
  6. Piping Details: Engineering plans must include complete details of all piping including pertinent elevations. Plastic pipe shall be supported in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
  7. Hydraulic Calculations: Hydraulic calculations shall be performed in the manner required on forms provided by the Health Department and shall be submitted with all plans.

Pressure Sand Filter
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  1. Pressure Sand Filter Capacity: Pressure sand filter shall be based on a filtration rate between fourteen (14) and sixteen (16) gallons per square foot per minute.
  2. Filter Media: Media shall consist of at least a twenty-four (24) inch depth of screened, sharp filter sand or crushed quartz having an effective size of 0.4mm to 0.5mm and a uniformity coefficient of 1.5 to 2.0. Filter media may be supported by at least twelve (I 2) inches of gravel graded to distribute water effectively and uniformly during filtration and backwashing.
  3. Backwash: Facilities shall be provided to backwash filters at a rate of not less than fifteen (15) gallons per minute per square foot of filter area.
  4. Freeboard: A minimum of twelve (12) inches of freeboard shall be provided between the surface of filter media and the overflow troughs (or pipes) of filters to allow adequate expansion of the media during the backwash cycle.
  5. Underdrain: The filter under drain system shall be of corrosion resistant, durable material, designed and constructed to adequately collect water during filtration and to evenly distribute water during backwashing.
  6. Pump: The pump shall be designed to maintain required recirculation flow against the total dynamic head of the system as calculated. Existing pools with an unknown total dynamic head shall be considered to have a minimum of sixty (60) feet of head.
  7. Appurtenances: Each filter tank shall have an access port for inspection and service. Each filter shall have both influent and effluent pressure gauges(minimum face size two (2) inches) and a manual air relief valve. The filter system shall have an in-line backwash sight glass.
  8. Piping-End Valves: The filtering system shall be designed with all valves and piping required to permit filtering to pool; filtering to waste; filter bypass to waste and complete drainage of the system. The piping layout shall accommodate proper maintenance, operation and inspection.

Diatomaceous Earth Filter
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Capacity of all diatomaceous earth filters shall be based on a maximum filtration rate of one (1) gallon per square foot per minute.


  1. Backwashing: Pressure filters shall be backwashed by reverse flow, which may be assisted by agitation and spray wash. A quick-opening valve is also required on the filter discharge line. Pressure filter tanks shall be completely drained by gravity.
  2. Filter Tank and Septa: The filter and all component parts shall be of such material, design and construction to withstand normal continuous use without significant deformation, deterioration, corrosion or wear which would adversely affect filter operation. The filter area shall be determined on the basis of effective filtering surfaces, with no allowance given for areas of impaired filtration – such as broad supports, folds or portions which may bridge the filter elements. Where dissimilar metals are used, provision shall be made to avoid electrolytic corrosion by galvanic action.
  3. Pumps: Pumps shall be designed to maintain required recirculation flow against the total dynamic head as calculated. Existing pools with an unknown total dynamic head shall be considered to have a minimum of fifty (50) feet of head on vacuum systems and ninety (90) feet of head on pressure systems.
  4. Appurtenances: Pressure filters shall be equipped with an air-relief valve; influent and effluent pressure gauges (minimum face size two (2) inches) and a sight glass on the backwash line. A vacuum gauge (minimum face size two (2) inches) shall be provided on the pump suction line for vacuum filter systems.
  5. Piping-and Valves: The filtering systems shall be designed with all valves and piping to permit filtering to pool; precoat recirculation and/or precoat to waste; complete drainage of the system to bypass filter to waste; backwashing to waste. The piping layout shall accommodate proper maintenance, operation and inspection. If precoat recirculation is used in a pressure system an in-line sight glass shall be provided.

Cartridge Filters
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Capacity of cartridge filters shall be based on a maximum filtration rate of (0.375) gallons per square foot per minute.


  1. Pumps: Pumps shall be designed to maintain the required recirculation flow against the total dynamic head as calculated. Existing pools with an unknown total dynamic head shall be considered to have a minimum of fifty (50) feet of head.
  2. Appurtenances: Each filter shall be equipped with an air relief valve and influent and effluent pressure gauges (minimum face size two (2) inches).
  3. Piping and Valves: The filtering system shall be designed with valves and piping to permit filtering to pool; bypass filter to waste; complete drainage of the system and the piping layout shall accommodate proper maintenance, operation and inspection.
  4. Cartridges: Two (2) sets of cartridges per cartridge filter shall be provided so that one set may be cleaned while the filter is in operation. Disposable cartridges will be replaced when the required filtration rate is impaired.

Skimmers – Overflow Gutters
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  1. Skimmers: One skimming device shall be provided for each five hundred (500) square feet of water surface, or fraction thereof, for pools having up to five thousand (5,000) square feet of water surface.
  2. Pools exceeding five thousand (5,000) square feet of water surface area shall be required to have an overflow gutter system.
  3. All skimming devices shall be built into the pool wall and each shall have a minimum weir length of seven (7) inches. Skimmers shall be evenly spaced along the pool perimeter and located to prevent “dead spots” in circulation.
  4. Each skimmer shall be designed for a flow-through rate of at least twenty-five (25) gallons per minute. Additional skimmers shall be provided when the design flow through rate based on the turnover rate of the pool exceeds the manufacturer’s recommendations. If manufacturer’s recommended maximum flow through the skimmers are not available then a maximum 55 gpm per skimmer shall be utilized.
  5. Each skimming device shall be automatically adjustable to variations in water level over the range of at least three (3) inches.
  6. Each skimmer shall be provided with a device to prevent air lock in the recirculation system suction line. Equalizer lines shall be (a) not less than one and a half (I 1/2) inch diameter (b) installed at least one foot below the weir level (c) provided with an equalizer float valve (d) provided with a check valve and (e) provided with a grated opening at the pool wall.
  7. Each skimmer shall be adjustable for balancing recirculation.
  8. A non-corrosive screen shall be provided to trap large solids. It shall be installed to allow ready removal and cleaning.
  9. Overflow Gutters: Overflow gutters shall be constructed of sufficient size to retain normal overflow and the lip of the gutter shall be uniformly level. The gutter invert shall slope uniformly one-half (1/2) per inch per foot to each drain. Spacing between drains shall not exceed ten (10) feet. Minimum drain size shall be two (2) inches in diameter with a minimum three (3) square inch open grate area. Recessed gutters shall be not less than four (4) inches deep and four (4) inches wide, and no part thereof shall be visible from a position directly above the gutter. Open gutters shall be not less than six (6) inches deep and twelve (12) inches wide, and the invert of the gutter shall slope uniformly one (1) to two (2) inches to the drains. Gutter drain lines shall carry the pool overflow to the recirculation system. Where slopes in the gutter drains are less than one-half (1/2) inch per foot, sufficient gutter wash fittings shall be provided to maintain a continuous flow in the gutter.

Disinfection Equipment and Chemical Feeders
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  1. Disinfectant equipment and chemical feeders, hereafter referred to jointly as “equipment”, shall comply with the requirements of NSF Standard 50. The disinfection equipment shall be capable of precisely introducing a sufficient quantity of an approved disinfecting agent to maintain the appropriate recommended guidelines as outlined in Water Quality and Sanitation Standards, Section 4e.
  2. Every pool shall be required to have at least (1) unit of disinfectant agent equipment in compliance with Section 1 above. Additional units may be required to maintain chemical and physical parameters of the pool water.
  3. The pool water shall be continuously disinfected by a disinfecting agent that imparts an easily measured residual. The disinfecting agent used shall be subject to field testing procedures that are simple and accurate. Gaseous chlorine, chlorine compounds, bromine compounds, or other bactericidal agents shall be acceptable when meeting the disinfectant level parameters outlined in Water Quality and Sanitation Standards, Section 4e. Bactericidal agents shall be registered by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  4. Gas Chlorination: Where gas is used, the chlorine, chlorinator and associated equipment shall be housed in an enclosure located at or above ground level. The enclosure must be provided with ducts from the bottom of the enclosure to the atmosphere in an unrestricted area, a chlorine resistant motor driven exhaust fan capable of producing at least one air change per minute, and louvers of good design near the top of the enclosure for admitting fresh air. All chlorine tanks shall be secured by chains or other approved devices. New approved washers shall be used each time a cylinder is connected. Platform scales or other means of gauging available supply must be provided or a full reserve tank of chlorine shall be kept onsite at all times. The enclosure’s ventilation and light switches shall be located outside the enclosure. The enclosure shall have an observation opening to enable inspection of the interior without entry. An approved gas mask, with a current filter, shall be available on-site at all times; shall be located near the chlorine room but shall not be stored therein. Enclosures with at least two side walls open (Chain link, etc.) for natural ventilation need not have additional ventilation. A warning sign shall be posted on all entrances to chlorine room. A chlorine leak detection device shall be provided for the chlorinator room.
  5. When using chemical feeders, it is extremely important that they be installed downstream from the filter and heater. Erosion-type feeders shall be allowed to feed their solution to the suction side of the pump.
  6. If the chemical feeder is equipped with its own pump, it shall be installed so it introduces the gas or solution downstream from the heater and, if possible, at a position lower than the heater outlet fitting.
  7. Chemical feed pumps shall be wired so they cannot operate unless the filter pump is running. If the chlorinator has an independent timer, the filter and chemical feed pump timers shall be interlocked.

Equipment Room
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  1. Pumps, disinfection equipment, filters, appurtenance and other electrical equipment shall be located in a permanent, enclosed equipment room, secure from unauthorized entrance, protected from freezing, and properly drained.
  2. Ventilation and Drainage: Adequate fresh air cross-draft ventilation is required for equipment rooms located above grade. A minimum open area calculated as five (5) percent of the total wall area shall be provided. Stairway access, suitable drainage (sump pump if necessary) and ventilation of fresh make-up air with an exhaust fan capable of one air change every three (3) minutes must be provided for equipment rooms located below grade.
  3. Equipment Clearance: Filter tanks shall be at least eight (8) inches apart and twelve (12) inches from walls and eighteen (18) inches from the ceiling. Clearance between vacuum filters shall be sufficient to allow normal maintenance operations. Space around equipment must permit unobstructed ready access.
  4. Size: Equipment room size shall be determined in accordance with Part 17 (3) above and shall include additional working space adequate to perform routine maintenance and service operations. Unobstructed space shall also be provided for storage of chemicals and auxiliary equipment. Ceilings shall be no less than seven (7) feet from the floor.

Diving Areas
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  1. Dimensions, width, depth and length of the diving area shall be in accordance with anticipated use by divers. (Refer to Construction and Figure 1)
  2. Clearances: Diving boards or platform must be installed no less than ten (10) feet apart and no less than ten (10) feet from any side wall. This distance may be reduced to eight (8) feet for boards set two (2) feet or less above the water. At least fifteen (15) feet of free, unobstructed clearance shall be provided above diving boards and platforms.
  3. Finish: Diving boards and platforms shall be a nonslip finish.

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  1. Artificial lighting shall be provided for all indoor pools, and any outdoor pool to be used at night. Lighting shall be adequate to illuminate the entire swimming pool enclosure without glare.
  2. Lighting in dressing rooms, toilets and equipment rooms and concessions shall comply with the local building code requirements. Pools and deck areas shall be lighted in accordance with the following minimum standards:
    1. Where underwater lighting is used, not less than 0.5 watts shall be employed par square foot of pool area. Where competitive swimming is contemplated underwater lights should not be placed in the end walls of the pool.
    2. Where underwater lighting is used, and night swimming is permitted, area lighting shall be provided for the deck areas and directed toward the deck areas and away from the pool surface insofar as practical in a total capacity of not less than 0.6 watts per square feet of deck area. Where underwater lighting is not employed and night swimming is permitted, area and pool lighting combined shall be provided in an amount of not less than 2 watts per square foot of pool and deck areas.
  3. All electrical components installed in and/or adjacent to a pool shall comply with the requirements of Article 680 of the National Electrical Code (NEC), as published by thenational Fire Protection Association and any state and local codes.
  4. No switches, starters, panel boards or similar electrical equipment shall be located in areas readily accessible to bathers.

Bathing Loads
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  1. Bathing Load: Pool usage shall not exceed the maximum bathing load (i.e.: The number of persons that will be allowed in the pool enclosure at one time). Bathing load shall be calculated on the basis of one person for each ten (10) square feet in that portion of pool surface where the depth is five (5) feet or less, plus one (1) person for each thirty (30) square feet of pool surface in that portion with depth exceeding five (5) feet. The bathing load of the pool shall be posted in a conspicuous location within the pool enclosure. Note: Table 1 Specific minimum standards for swimming pools serving Dwelling/Living Units.
  2. Use Restrictions: The Health Department may set use – restrictions on any pool and may require the owner/operator to post notices in public view. Failure to comply with the use-restrictions is a violation of these regulations.

Sanitary Facilities
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Adequate sanitary facilities (ie: toilets, urinals, lavatories, showers, etc.) enclosed in a bathhouse are required at all pools. In determining the number of units required, the bathing load composition shall be considered as three-fifths (3/5) men and two-fifths (2/5) women.



  1. Individual Sanitary Facilities: If individual private sanitary facilities for all bathers are located within 300 feet of the pool, no additional sanitary facilities will be required. A shower (meeting plumbing code requirements) shall be provided in the pool area if no bathhouse is required. A water fountain is required at all pools.
  2. Facility Size Requirements: Facilities shall be in proportion to the maximum bathing load (See Table 1) based on the number of dwelling living units outside a 300 feet radius measured horizontally from the pool edge. Separate facilities shall be provided for men and women.
    1. Toilets: One toilet shall be provided for each bather increment of sixty (60) men or forty (40) women.*
    2. Urinals: One urinal shall be provided for each sixty (60) men.*
    3. Lavatories: One lavatory shall be provided for each sixty (60) men or women.*
    4. Showers: One shower shall be provided for each forty (40) men or women.* Soap shall be available and showers shall be an integral part of the bathhouse and located for bather use prior to entering the pool area.
    5. Placement: The bathhouse pool configuration shall be such that bathers must pass toilets and showers enroute to the pool.
    6. Floors: Floor shall be smooth, impervious, easily cleanable, light colored, non-slip, shall have a slope of one-quarter (1/4) inch per foot to drain(s) and shall be coved at the wall junction. Hose bibbs with backflow preventors shall be provided for cleaning.
    7. Walls: Partition walls shall terminate at least six (6) inches above the floor or shall be placed on a continuous raised masonry or concrete base at least four (4) inches high.
    8. Water Fountains: A sanitary drinking fountain shall be conveniently accessible to all bathers.
    9. Food: Eating and drinking shall not be permitted within the pool and deck enclosure. Exception may be made to allow food and beverages in the visitor and spectator area or in a similarly separated snack bar area for users, which has been approved by the Health Department. Food and beverages shall only be served in non-breakable containers. Covered garbage containers shall be provided where food and/or beverages are available or allowed.

* Bather increments equaling or exceeding one-half (1/2) the base number will be considered full increments (i.e.: for item b: 90 men = 2 increments, therefore 2 urinals are required.)

Safety Precautions
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  1. A telephone shall be readily available at all times the pool is open. Directions to telephone location must be conspicuously posted. Emergency phone numbers must be posted near the telephone. Life saving and emergency first aid equipment shall be provided at swimming pools mounted in conspicuous places, kept ready for use and maintained in good repair.
  2. A life line shall be provided at or near the break of grade between the shallow and deep portions of a public swimming pool with its portion marked with colored floats at no greater than five (5) foot spacing. Life line shall be 3/4″ minimum diameter and its terminals shall be securely anchored and of corrosion resistant material and of type which will be recessed or have no projection which will constitute a hazard.*
  3. Swimming pools shall be equipped for safety and rescue with one or more light but strong poles (bamboo prohibited), shepherd crook, having a blunt end and which is not less than 16 feet of length for making reaching assists or rescues.*
  4. Every pool shall be equipped with one or more U.S. Coast Guard approved throwing buoys of not more than 24 inches in diameter with 1/4″ line attached at least equal in length to the maximum width of the pool plus ten (10) feet.*
  5. Each pool shall be equipped with a readily available first aid kit.
  6. Dogs and other pets shall not be permitted in swimming pools or on the pool premises.
  7. No bather shall be permitted to enter a swimming pool or swimming pool enclosure unless an attendant is present, except where pools serve restricted clientele only, such as hotels, motels, apartments and condominiums. In such cases where no attendant service is provided, a warning sign shall be placed in clear view and shall state in clearly legible letters at least four inches high “Warning–No Attendant On Duty”.
  8. Easily readable and simply stated rules and safety guidelines for bathers shall be posted conspicuously.
  9. No person suffering from a communicable disease transmissible via water shall use the pool.
  10. Bathers should be required to take a cleansing shower before entering the pool.
  11. Spa pools require a clock which is readily visible to bathers or a maximum 15 minute time switch connected to the air blower.

* These requirements may be waived or modified for spas and other pools where their dimensions do not necessitate these safety measures

Water Amusement Pools
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  1. Finish and Materials: Pools shall be constructed of inert, impervious, enduring, non-toxic materials which will provide a non-slip and easily cleanable surface. The surface shall have no cracks or open joints and shall be finished in a light color and interior corners shall be coved. Rough and abrasive surfaces are not permitted.
  2. Materials Selection and Finishing: The selection of all materials for components and accessories should be such that all parts with external surfaces and edges that may come in contact with the user are assembled, arranged, and/or finished (deburred, polished, etc.) so that they will not constitute a cutting, pinching, puncturing, or abrasion hazard under casual contact and intended use.
  3. Construction: Design and materials used should be in accordance with proper structural engineering practice providing sound, durable structure which will safely sustain all dead and live loads, liquid, hydrostatic and earth pressures involved in each case, throughout the expected life of the structure. The structures shall be water-tight and all surfaces shall be inert, non-toxic, smooth and easily cleaned. Covered flumes, if used, should be designed and/or ventilated to prevent a hazardous concentration of toxic disinfectant fumes under all circumstances of operation.
  4. Curves and Turns: All curves and turns throughout the flume shall be designed in such a manner so that user impact with the walls does not present a hazard and these portions shall be banked so that users are retained safely inside the flume under all foreseeable circumstances of operation.
  5. Flume Clearances: The difference between the side of a flume exit and a pool side wall shall be at least five (5) feet. The distance between sides of adjacent flume exits shall be at least six (6) feet. The distance between flume exits and the opposite side of the pool excluding steps shall be at least twenty (20) feet.
  6. High-Speed Slide: Special provisions shall be made in both flume exit design, pool depth and pool width measured from flume exit to safely accommodate high-speed slides.
  7. Flume Terminus Elevation: Flume shall terminate at a depth of at least six (6) inches below the water surface level.
  8. Depths: The operating water depth of the pool at the end of a flume shall be three (3) feet. This depth shall be maintained in front of the flume for a distance of at least twenty (20) feet, from which point the pool floor may have a constant slope upward to the minimum water depth. These slopes shall be no more than one (1) foot in seven (7) inches.
  9. Decks: Decks along the exit side of the splash pool shall be at least ten (10) feet wide, have slip-resistant, light colored, impervious surfaces and be sloped on quarter (1/4) inch per foot minimum away from the pool to drainage or to deck drains. Decks shall not retain standing water and if deck drains are used, at least one floor drain for every two-hundred (200) square feet of surface shall be provided. Any decks at the entrance to the top of the flume shall be drained as above. Decks along the side opposite the pump reservoir shall be at least four (4) feet wide and have the same slip resistance and drainage requirements as top and pool decks. The pump reservoir area shall be accessible by a three (3) foot minimum width walkway deck for cleaning and maintenance.
  10. Walkways: A four (4) foot minimum width, surfaced walkway steps, or stairway shall be provided between the pool and the top of the flume. These walkways and/or steps shall (1) be well drained (2) not retain standing water and (3) be separated from the flume by a physical barrier, set back far enough from the operating flume so it cannot be contacted by users on the way down the flume.
  11. Pump Reservoirs – Volume: The pump reservoirs shall have sufficient volume to contain at least two (2) minutes of combined flow from all water treatment and flume pumps and/or contain enough water to insure that the lower splash pool will maintain a constant water depth.
  12. Recirculation System: A water recirculation and treatment system consisting of pumps, piping, filters, water conditioning, and disinfection equipment and other accessory equipment shall be provided which will clarify, condition and disinfect the pool volume of water. The equipment shall be operated on a twenty-four (24) hour basis to obtain the minimum required number of twenty-four (24) turnovers per day (one turnover every hour). The pattern of recirculation developed in the pool shall be such that twenty percent (20%) of the flow shall be through the main drain and the remainder through the overflow gutters or skimmers. A surge-free automatic water makeup system shall be provided, constructed so that the water level of the splash pool is maintained at the proper design operating level at all times.
  13. Exceptions may be made to the design of a water amusement pool depending on a registered engineer’s design and approval by the Health Department.

Training – Special Use Pools
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Training – Special Use Pools are pools specifically designed to train basic swimming or other special swimming skills. The design and construction of these pools shall be based on sound public health and engineering principles and shall be approved on an individual basis.

Natural Bathing Places
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  1. Adequate facilities shall be provided and appropriate precautions shall be taken to control bathers’ use of natural bathing places to insure their health and well-being. A permit to operate a natural bathing place must be obtained from the Health Department.
  2. Survey: A sanitary survey shall be made to record characteristics of the water source, possible sources of sewage contamination, industrial wastes, potential hazards and site suitability. A report of this survey shall be submitted to the Health Department along with the permit application.
  3. Bacterial Quality: Bacteriological analyses shall be made of the water and results shall be included in the sanitary survey. Resurvey and analyses may be required as often as deemed necessary by the Health Department. No less than three (3) bacteriological samples shall be collected from the proposed bathing area each of the first three (3) days of each week for three (3) consecutive weeks prior to issuance of the operating permit. The water quality shall meet the current standards for recreational waters as specified by the current rules and regulations of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
  4. Sanitary Facilities: Separate toilet, hand washing and shower facilities shall be provided in accordance with anticipated bathing load. (See Sanitary Facilities.)

New Equipment, Construction and Materials
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The Health officer may grant test or conditional construction permits or conditional licenses for new designs or new equipment proposed for use or installation in new or existing swimming pools if satisfactory proof is submitted that sound engineering and public health principles are complied with in the design or equipment. Performance guarantees may be required. Conditional permit and licenses shall require satisfactory performance in the field for a time period to be established by the Health Officer.

Administration and Enforcement
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  1. Variance: These regulations shall be administered by the Health officer who shall have the authority to grant a variance from the requirements of these regulations as follows:
    1. Where it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Health officer that strict compliance with the standards would result in practical difficulty to or undue hardship upon the property owner due to special conditions or causes.
    2. Where the public or private interest in the granting of the variance is found by the Health Officer to clearly outweigh the interest of the application of uniform rules; and,
    3. Where such alternative measures are provided which in the opinion of the Health Officer will provide adequate public health and safety protection.

    In granting a variance, the Health Officer may attach thereto any conditions which may be deemed advisable so that the purpose of these regulations will be served, and public health, safety and welfare secured.

  2. The administration and enforcement of these rules and regulations shall be as prescribed in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated Chapter 3 1-5.
  3. All regulations and parts of regulations in conflict with this regulation are hereby repealed, and this regulation shall be in full force and effect thirty (30) days after its adoption.
  4. Should any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this regulation be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, the remainder of said regulations shall not be affected thereby.
  5. Should any part of this regulation become outdated, through research in the field or by changes in technology and fail to provide adequate protection to public health and safety, the Health Officer may use official research recommendations, governmental standards, or other official standards, such as those developed by the National Spa and Pool Institute (NSPI), as guidelines when enforcing the provisions of the regulations.

Table 1:Dwelling/Living Units vs. Maximum Bathing Load*
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Swimming Pools with Transient Bathers1

Number of Units3 Bathers/Unit
0 – 100 0.75
101 – 250 0.50
251 – 500 0.15
501 and over 0.05

Swimming Pools with Non-Transient Bathers2

Number of Units3 Bathers/Unit
0 – 100 0.75
101 – 200 0.60
201 – 300 0.40
301 – 500 0.15
501 and over 0.10

1 Motels and hotels, etc. non-residential

2 Apartment complexes, condominiums, subdivision pools and clubs, etc., residential

3 Use of table in calculating the bathing load shall be cumulative.

* Maximum number of bathers allowed inside pool enclosure at any one time.

Figure 1: Minimum Dimensions for Diving Portion of Pools
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Note: L4 is a minimum dimension to allow sufficient length opposite the board. This may of course be lengthened to form the shallow portion of the pool.

* The radius shall be tangent at the point where the radius either meets the wall or the floor and shall be at least equal to, or greater than, the depth of the pool minus the vertical wall depth measured from the waterline minus three inches (3″) to allow draining to the main drain (R minimum = Pool depth – Vertical wall depth – 3″).


Related Diving Equipment Min. Dimensions Min. Width of Pool At:
Max. Board
Length Over
D1 D2 R L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 Pt. A Pt. B Pt. C
10′ 26″ (2/3 Meter) 7′-0″ 8′-6″ 5′-6″ 2′-6″ 8′-0″ 10′-6″ 7′-0″ 7′-0″ 16′-0″ 16′-0″ 18′-0″
12′ 30″ (3/4 Meter) 7′-6″ 9′-0″ 6′-0″ 3′-0″ 9′-0″ 12′-0″ 4′-0″ 28′-0″ 18′-0″ 20′-0″ 20′-0″
16′ 1 Meter 8′-6″ 10′-0″ 7′-0″ 4′-0″ 10′-0″ 15′-0″ 2′-0″ 31′-0″ 20′-0″ 22′-0″ 22′-0″
16′ 3 Meter 11′-0″ 12′-0″ 8′-6″ 6′-0″ 10′-6″ 21′-0″ 0″ 37′-6″ 22′-0″ 24′-0″ 24′-0″

L2, L3 and L4 combined represent the minimum distance from the tip of the board to pool wall opposite diving equipment.

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