Any properly built and maintained swimming pool is certainly an enjoyable recreation source all on its own. Swimming pools, though, can be made even more fun to use when they're paired with items like slides and especially diving boards. However, some consideration is needed before adding a diving board to any swimming pool. For one, a diving board should never be added to a swimming pool that's too shallow at its deepest part.
Minimum Water Depth
For residential in-ground swimming pools, minimum pool depths for diving boards depend on the type of pool and the length of the board. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) minimum water depths for in-ground pools with diving boards run from 7.5 feet to 9 feet. However, many municipalities set their own rules for minimum water depths for residential in-ground swimming pools. For example, Edina, Minnesota, requires a minimum water depth of 8 feet for an in-ground swimming pool with a diving board.
Diving Board Specifications
The length of a residential in-ground swimming pool's diving board also determines the minimum water depth needed for diving. All individual diving board manufacturers supply recommendations for minimum pool water depths for their equipment. For example, one diving board maker recommends that its 6-foot-long boards have at least 7.5 feet of minimum water depth for safe use. The same diving board maker's 10-foot-long diving board needs at least 8 feet of water beneath it.
Outside of local codes, pool builders normally follow ANSI standards for pool building. ANSI Standard 5-2003 categorizes in-ground swimming pools into different types: 0, I, II, III, IV and V. A Type V pool, for example, must have a minimum diving board depth of 9 feet. Type V in-ground swimming pools can accommodate up to 12-foot-long diving boards. Type I pool diving board depths must be at least 7.5 feet and diving boards can't be any longer than 6 feet.
According to the Diving Board Safety website, above-ground pools are never safe for diving. Never attach diving boards to above-ground pools. According to ANSI, Type 0 in-ground swimming pools should also never have diving boards. Type 0 in-ground pools are only 5.5 feet at their deepest and are too small and too shallow for diving. Lastly, never remove a diving board and use it on another pool without consulting a pool professional first.
- DivingBoardSafety.net: American National Standard for Residential Inground Swimming Pools ANSI/NSPI-5 2003
- City of Edina, Minnesota: Section 450 - Swimming Pools
- DivingBoardSafety.net: Mythbusters - Myth: "It is Safe to Dive Into an Above Ground Pool"
- Par Pool and Spas: General Pool Care Questions "How Big is My Pool?"
- Blue Haven Pools and Spas: ANSI/NSPI-5 2003 Standard for Residential In-Ground Swimming Pools
- PoolCenter.com; Pool Safety: Diving Rules and Diving Board Safety; John Galcius; May 2, 2009
- Marc Green Ph.D.; Diving Accidents in Swimming Pools; Marc Green