Aquatics Blog

Pool Capacity

We often get asked about capacity for pools during the planning process.  The challenge we find is there are different meanings for "capacity" depending on who you are talking to.  Sometimes people want to know how many people can fit in the pool, sometimes they want to know how many people they can allow in the gates, and other times they want to know how many people they could accommodate over an entire day. 

The term “Frozen Capacity” refers to the maximum capacity in a facility at one time, which is, understandably, the peak period for the day, whether it is an indoor facility or an outdoor facility.  There does not exist a comprehensive formula but a combination of ratios currently used in the industry and is used to determine bather load and frozen capacity.

The majority of health departments in the U.S. use the following formula for bather load sizing; shallow water = <1500 x water depth: = 1 person/3M², (includes wading pool)

Deep Water = <1500 water depth = 1 person/7.6M²; (each diving board deduct 10M² of water surface of pool area)

Total surface area zones 2286M²  
Wading area 40 mm or less 229M²     10% 1 person/M²1 11 person         1 person /M²
  Shallow area 1.5M or less 1372M²     70% 1 person/2.13M²
Deep area 1.5M or moreIn water surface 685M²     30% 1 person/7.6M²Deduct 28M² from water surface, diving board, drop slide or waterslide
Plus holding capacity at stair to slide   1 person/lineal 300mm of waterslide


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