Check local codes for minimum deck width requirements.

For indoor pools, a minimum deck width of 4’-0” is required while 5’-0” is recommended. CH recommends at least 4’-0” clearance behind diving, although some codes do allow a clearance of 3’-0”.

For outdoor pools, CH specifies a minimum clearance of 10’-0”, although 15’-0” is required at the sunbather area. Greater dimensions may be warranted by programmatic requirements.

Beyond the minimums, the distance between the 50 meter pool and the dive pool should be a minimum of 16’-0” (5 meters), and 20’-0” is preferred. The deck width between the dive pool and the natatorium wall under the diving platforms will be approximately 20’-0” depending upon the stair design.  Side decks must create satisfactory sight lines from the spectator seating.

  • Competition Pool Deck Widths
    • Shallow end of a rectangular pool should be a minimum of 12 ft. from water's edge to second pool.
    • Side of pool deck width should be a minimum of 10 ft. from water's edge to building wall on the side opposite the spectator area.
    • Deck width in front of spectator area should be 17.5 ft. minimum for balcony seating but adequate for proper sight lines to edge of water if deck seating.
    • A raised spectator gallery should not be close enough to the pool edge that a person could jump into the pool from the gallery.
    • The dimensions are to the natatorium wall and include wall-mounted benches.
    • Television and sound broadcast may be considered if the pool is planned for national or international events, which may be televised or broadcast. The broadcasting companies should be consulted as to their requirements.


In New York State, 5’ of unobstructed deck is required around entire perimeter of pool.

  • The pool deck for a therapy / wellness pool should be wide enough for two wheelchairs. There should be enough space on deck for:
    • Wheelchair and walker parking
    • Deck showers
    • Sun lamps
    • Cubbies for towels, shoes, canes
    • Mobile benches
    • Railings around the perimeter of the deck
    • Dry land therapy
    • Family members to watch

St. Louis County Code requires either an “effective barrier” between the pool and spa or 4 ft of deck clearance between the bodies of water (50% of the spa perimeter must have accessible deck). An elevated spa bench is viewed as an “effective barrier” and a variance was granted for Grant’s Farm after their initial code review.


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