Ohio Laws for Backyard Swimming Pools

By Crystal Lassen ; Updated June 16, 2017
A swimming pool in the backyard at home

Installing a backyard swimming pool in Ohio can result in fines if the proper codes and regulations are not followed. Rules vary for public pools versus private pools, but there are still permits that must be obtained for private pools before construction begins. Depending on the town and the county, regulations differ, so it's important to contact your local city hall to ensure that all the necessary permits have been purchased.

Building Permit

Apply for a building permit. Fill out an application, and attach several copies of the building plans. The building plans will need to show property lines, all existing nearby structures, such as the home or a shed, and the dimensions from the pool to any nearby established structures. Take these documents to your local business development and permit center, which either has its own location or is found at city hall.

Codes and Regulations

Codes and regulations differ from one town or city to the next. Find out your local building codes, sewer codes and zoning codes by contacting city hall via email or phone. The Ohio State Building Code, the Ohio Administrative Code and National Electric Code also apply (See Resources). These codes outline acceptable types of construction with various materials, such as concrete, aluminum, steel and wood. The codes also cover mechanical and plumbing systems, which are applicable to the function of a swimming pool. A plumbing permit is often required for drainage purposes.

Swimming Pool and Accessories

Each city or town has rules on construction specifics.

For example, in Cincinnati, swimming pools are only allowed in the backyard, and no part of the pool, including the rails, can be higher than 6 feet tall, unless the pool is 4 feet away from the property line, in which case, it could be up to 8 feet tall.

A proper draining system is a must. The system must have the capability to completely drain and dispose of the water.

Pools that have more than 24 inches of water are required to have a fence with a latching gate.

Nonslip treads and handrails are required on stairs and steps.

Excavation Permit

An excavation permit will most likely be required, as the pool area is usually altered either to level the ground or lay sand and/or concrete prior to installation.

Permit Approved

Once the permit has been approved, contact your local department of buildings and inspections or safety and maintenance to request an inspection upon completion of the swimming pool.

About the Author

Crystal Lassen hails from Kansas City, Mo. and has been a book critic since 2008. Her reviews have appeared on the Publisher's Weekly website and are largely concerned with current events. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from The University of Kansas.