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Pool Enclosures

Pool enclosure

Contact(s)

Engineering Services
40 Temperance Street
Bowmanville, ON L1C 3A6
Map this Location
T. 905-623-3379 ext. 2308
F. 905-623-9282
Email: Email Engineering Services


What is required before a swimming pool is installed?

You need to apply for and receive a pool enclosure permit if the depth of your pool is 61 centimetres (24 inches) or over, prior to the construction or excavation for an in ground or above ground swimming pool.

How much will the pool enclosure permit cost?

There is a fee of $75 for a pool enclosure permit in the Municipality of Clarington.

What is required to apply for a pool enclosure permit?

Submit a pool enclosure permit application, with two copies of the following information, to the Building Division located on the third floor of the Municipal Administrative Centre:

  1. A survey or site plan showing the shape, size, and proposed location of the swimming pool on your property. The survey or site plan must include all setbacks from the pool to the property line. Note all easements on your property.
  2. Show details of new fence construction or the existing fence including the location, type of fence, and height of fences on your property.

Pool enclosures

Swimming pools must be enclosed with a safety fence conforming to the fence by-law, amended by By-law 2003-071.

The swimming pool enclosure must be erected prior to the water being placed in the pool.

Every fence must be constructed of vertical boarded wood, solid wood, chain link, masonry, plastic, metal, or other material and construction providing an equivalent degree of safety and acceptable to the building inspector.

Fence height for swimming pool enclosures:

  • Minimum height 1.2 metres (4 feet)
  • Maximum height 2.17 metres (7 feet) in the rear, interior, or exterior side yard and a maximum of 1.2 metres (4 feet) in the front yard

Note: For corner lots and sight triangles, please contact the Planning Department for proper information.

Maximum distance between the finished grade and the bottom of the fence or gate must not exceed 100 centimetres (4 inches).

Where can I put my pool on my property?

Generally, a private swimming pool must be located a minimum of 1.2 metres (4 feet) from the side or rear lot line to the wall of the pool. Pools are not permitted inside or within 3 metres of an Environmental Protection (EP) zone.

A pool may not be located within a required sight triangle.

Please contact the Planning Department to confirm what the required setbacks are for your property.

Accessory buildings and pool filters

In the case of an urban interior lot, accessory buildings and structures must be located a minimum of 0.6 metres (2 feet) from an interior side or rear lot line. In the case of an exterior (corner) lot, accessory buildings and structures, excluding a detached garage, must be located a minimum of 1.2 metres (4 feet) from the exterior lot line. Accessory buildings and structures are not permitted inside or within 3.0 metres of an Environmental Protection (EP) zone.

Any building or structure over 10 square metres requires a building permit.

Please contact Planning Services to confirm what the required setbacks are for your property.

Fence designs

Different fence designs or construction may be acceptable, as long as they provide an equivalent degree of protection and structural stability.

Chain link fence - 1.2 metre to 1.8 metre (4 feet to 6 feet)

Must be at least 11-gauge galvanized steel wire or vinyl coated chain link fabric 9 finished wire gauge with a maximum diamond of 3.8 centimetres (1.5 inches).

The gate and terminal post shall be a minimum 4.8 centimetres (1.78 inches) diameter and embedded in the ground to a depth of 90 centimetres (36 inches) in 20 centimetres (8 inches) diameter of concrete. Intermediate post may be 3.8 centimetres (1.5 inches) diameter. The gate frame must be a minimum of 3.2 centimetres (1.25 inches).

The top rail must be a minimum 3.2 centimetres (1.25 inches) diameter and the bottom wire shall be 9-gauge galvanized wire threaded through the mesh and looped and fastened to each post. The posts must be a maximum distance of 3 metres (10 feet) apart.

Chain link fence - 1.8 metre to 2.14 metre (6 feet to 7 feet)

Must be at least 9-gauge galvanized steel wire or vinyl coated chain link fabric 9 finished wire gauge with a maximum diamond of 5.0 centimetres (2 inches).

The gate and terminal post shall be a minimum 6.0 centimetres (2.38 inches) diameter spaced and embedded in the ground to a depth of 90 centimetres (36 inches) in 20 centimetres (8 inches) diameter of concrete. Intermediate post may be 4.8 centimetres (1.78 inches) diameter and embedded 1 metre (39 inches) in the ground. The gate frame must be a minimum of 3.2 centimetres (1.25 inches).

The top rail must be a minimum 3.5 centimetres (1.38 inches) diameter and the bottom wire shall be 9-gauge galvanized wire threaded through the mesh and looped and fastened to each post. The posts must be a maximum distance of 3 metres (10 feet) apart.

Wood fence

Must use a vertical board not less than 1.9 centimetres by 8.9 centimetres (1 inch by 4 inch nominal size). A 1.9 centimetres by 3.8 centimetres (1 inch by 2 inch nominal size) spacer can be used on existing fences.

The maximum distance between an 8.9 centimetres by 8.9 centimetres (4 inch by 4 inch) post is 2.4 metres (8 feet) and must be embedded to a minimum depth of 90 centimetres (3 feet).

Horizontal top and bottom rail must be a minimum dimension of 3.8 centimetres by 8.9 centimetres (2 inches by 4 inch nominal size).

The climbable distance between the horizontal top and bottom rail must be spaced at a minimum distance of 1.2 metres (4 feet) apart. The vertical board spacing cannot be more than 10.16 centimetres (4 inches) apart. If the climbable distance between the horizontal top and bottom rail is less than 1.2 metres (4 feet) apart then the vertical board spacing cannot be more than 3.8 centimetres (1.5 inches) apart on the outside face of the fence.

Metal picket fence

Vertical pickets shall be spaced not more than 3.8 centimetres (1.5 inches) apart where horizontal rails are less than 1.2 metres (4 feet) apart and not more than 10.16 centimetres (4 inches) apart where horizontal rails are spaced at least 1.2 metres (4 feet) apart.

Horizontal rails must be supported on substantial post not more than 2.4 metres (8 feet) apart and embedded in concrete to a minimum depth of 90 centimetres (3 feet) below grade.

Above ground pool

A fence may not be required where the wall of the above ground pool is more than 1.2 metres (4 feet) above grade and does not facilitate climbing. The access to the pool will require a gate and enclosure (see section 5.10 of the By-law).

Further, pool filters, diving boards, and other accessory buildings and structures may not be located within a required sight triangle.

Please contact the Planning Department to confirm what the required setbacks are for your property.

Gates

Every gate shall be a minimum height of 1.2 metres (4 feet) and be of the same construction equivalent to that required for the fence. Every gate shall be supported on substantial hinges and shall be equipped with self-closing and self-latching devices placed at the top and on the inside of the gate, providing a degree of safety acceptable to the building inspector. Thumb latch is not permitted.

Hot tub

A fence around the hot tub is required, unless the hot tub is enclosed by a substantial, structurally adequate, cover that is permanently attached to it or its supporting structure. The cover must be securely fastened and locked, to prevent access at all times when not in use or when a responsible person is not present or supervising its use.

Temporary fence

A swimming pool enclosure must be erected prior to water being placed in the pool. Since the immediate installation of a permanent fence is often delayed due to the need to complete other work such as concrete decking and landscaping, the use of a temporary fence around the perimeter of the pool is permitted for a period of not more than 30 days (see Section 5.2 (1) of the by-law). The building inspector must approve the construction of the temporary fence.

Registered easement

No construction of pool or accessory buildings is to be located within any registered easement. It is your responsibility to check your survey or your deed to ensure construction does not occur within an easement on your property.

Plumbing

If your pool is connected to a drainage system or to the potable water supply, a building permit will be required for the plumbing.

Grading

Carefully maintain existing grades along property lines and all existing drainage swales (ditches). If you live in a new subdivision, you must ensure that the grading has been finalized and certified (approved) before installing a pool. Please contact our Engineering Department to verify that your lot is certified.

Other approvals that may be required

Central Lake Ontario Conservation (C.L.O.C.)
100 Whiting Avenue, Oshawa
905-579-0994

Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (G.R.C.A.)
2216 County Road 28, Port Hope
905-885-8173

  • A permit may be required from the Conservation Authority if you are digging or filling in an area under, or adjacent, to their jurisdiction.

Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (M.T.O.)
1201 Wilson Avenue
Downsview, Ontario
416-235-5560

  • A permit may be required if your pool is within 150 feet from a King's Highway.

Region of Durham Health Department (septic system)
101 Consumers Drive, Whitby
905-723-3818

  • A permit may be required if the location of your pool is within 5 metres (16 feet 6 inches) of a septic system and/or well on your property or any adjacent property.

It is your responsibility to apply for permits to these outside agencies. If required, submit their permits or approvals to the Building Division prior to the permit being issued.

Inspections

Building Department

Inspection of the pool enclosure is required and it is the responsibility of the owner to call for inspection prior to filling the pool with water. Please call our answering machine at 905-623-7876 to book an inspection.

Electrical Safety Authority

Ontario's Electrical Safety Code requires electrical inspection of all new installations and maintenance work on the pools to ensure that they meet provincial standards.

The licensed contractor or homeowner (who may be completing the electrical work) is responsible to ensure that all the electrical work has a permit and is inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). Please call 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233) to arrange for a permit and an electrical inspection.

Note: This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various Codes and Regulations currently in effect. You are advised to contact the Building Division for assistance, as the Municipality of Clarington accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information.

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