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Pool Markers: Frequently Asked Questions


Pool markers work as safety devices by communicating details such as the minimum and maximum depth of the pool, whether diving is allowed, the ramp area, the presence of steps and benches, etc. Swimming Pool Markers are like a tool designed to convey crucial pool-related information such as depth, accessibility, safety instructions, and rules. State codes and local laws/ordinances often require such markers. Thus, they significantly reduce the chances of accidents and help create a risk-controlled and compliant facility.


Laws on pool depths differ greatly on a state-to-state basis. A widely recognized Florida Building Code, in its Section 454., states -

- The minimum water depth shall be 3 feet in shallow areas and 4 feet in deep areas.
- Pool markers shall be located on both sides of the pool at the shallow end, slope break, deep-end wall, and deep point.
- Depth markers shall be readable from inside the pool and also from the pool deck.
- The maximum perimeter distance between depth markers is 25 feet.

That said, requirements greatly differ from pool to pool as some pools are built for multiple depths, whereas others are better suited to single depths.


Determining the right pool depth is crucial for the safety of pool users. Where a shallow pool can result in diving injuries, a too-deep pool can present a drowning risk. The height of pool users and the purpose of the pool are important factors to be considered.

For height, most pool owners go with multiple-depth pools with depths ranging between 3-5 feet. When the height variation between pool users is significant, the shorter person’s height should be the depth-determining factor.

Fun, swimming, lounging - your intent behind wanting a pool will also determine how deep it should be. A waist-high depth is enough when the idea is simply fun or lounging. In this case, pool owners prefer a 3.5 to 4 feet deep pool. A swim spa with a depth of 3.5 feet is the answer when you want a pool for swimming. Tanning ledges are typically around 0.75-1.5ft — sufficient to enjoy the pool without submerging.

If the idea is to take swim laps, the recommended pool depth is 4-6 feet.

If the plan is to construct the pool for recreational sports such as volleyball and basketball, the depth of the pool should be uniform and range between 3.5 and 4 feet in a large area. Pools suitable for feet-first jumping in should be at least 4 feet deep, and those safe for diving should have a minimum depth of 8 to 10 feet.

It is advisable to refer to your local laws to determine the correct pool depth.


All state and local building codes have their own requirements for No Diving Pool Markers. For example, as per Chapter 4 of the Florida Building Code, areas of the pool not part of an approved diving bowl shall have dark contrasting tile, 4-inch-high ""NO DIVING"" markings installed along the perimeter of the pool on the top of the pool curb or deck within 2 feet of the pool water with a maximum perimeter distance of 25 feet between markings. A 6-inch tile with a 4-inch or larger red, international "NO DIVING" symbol may be substituted for the "NO DIVING" markings.

It is best to check the recommended standards for swimming pool design and operation in your state, city, or county.


Pool Depth Markers are essential elements of a safe swimming pool facility. These markers alert pool users by indicating the water level and identifying deep and shallow areas. Water depth is often deceptive and in the absence of appropriate markers, one may make the grave mistake of diving into the shallow end or going into the deeper end unaware and unprepared. Thus, pool markers play a crucial role in preventing injuries that can have serious consequences and even be fatal.

Additionally, installing Pool Depth Markers is required by almost all state and local codes. In their absence, the pool owner stands to attract legal action should there be an accident at his facility.


In most cases, they are. Swimming pool laws exist in all states and vary across counties, towns, and cities. In addition to prescribing construction, compliance, and other requirements, many laws also issue clear pool marking specifications. These specifications cover the design aspect of the markings and their placement.

For instance, the FBC requires the use of permanent depth markings with the words "FEET," "FT," "INCHES," and "IN,". The numbers and letters on the markings should be a minimum of 4-inch tall and on a contrasting background. Similarly, different state codes and local laws have different marking requirements. Please check with the relevant authority in your jurisdiction to find accurate information.


Depth markers are covered in Section 409 of the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC). The code requires that -

- Depth markers be placed at the maximum and minimum water depths and at all points of slope change.
- These shall be installed at water depth increments of not more than 2 feet and at spaced intervals of not more than 25 feet.
- The water depth in feet shall be plainly and conspicuously marked either on the vertical pool wall or above the waterline.
- The markers shall indicate the actual water depth with ± 3-inch accuracy.
- When positioned on the vertical pool wall, the markers should be read from the waterside, and the numbers should be visible above the waterline as much as possible.
- Pool depth markers placed on the deck shall be within 18 inches of the water edge and positioned so that they can be read while standing on the deck facing the water.
- Markers shall be distributed uniformly on both sides and both ends of the pool.

You may access the full text of the code here.

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