Ohio Laws for Backyard Swimming Pools

By Claire Gillespie - Updated March 15, 2018
A swimming pool in the backyard at home

Just as public swimming pools are subject to certain rules and regulations, so are private swimming pools. Wherever you live in Ohio, you need a permit to build a private swimming pool, and different towns and cities have their own guidelines relating to swimming pool placement, fences and lighting. It's important to familiarize yourself with the Ohio private pool laws for your locality before you start the process.

What Is a Private Swimming Pool?

Under Ohio law, a private swimming pool is any indoor or outdoor structure filled with water for swimming, diving or bathing. It must be located at the residential home of up to three families and be used by nobody other than those family members and their nonpaying guests. Some municipalities may have their own definition, such as the city of Dublin, which specifies that the swimming structure must be over 24 inches deep, and includes in that definition in-ground, above-ground and on-ground pools as well as hot tubs and spas.

Swimming Pool Placement

In the village of Baltimore, a private swimming pool can be located only in rear yards and no closer to 10 feet of any property line or easement. In the Jackson township, the pool must be in a rear yard and a minimum of 10 feet to the rear of the residence and must be at least 10 feet from a septic system and wellhead.

Swimming Pool Fences

Every Ohio homeowner who builds a private swimming pool must erect a fence around it to prevent accidental drownings and related injuries. The fence may be constructed around the pool or around the property on which the pool is built. In the Jackson township, an in-ground pool must have a fence around the pool or the property of a minimum height of 60 inches, with a locking gate and/or a warning alarm. If it is an above-ground pool, it must have either a removable or locking ladder to prevent unauthorized access, or a fence with a locking gate at least 60 inches in height. In the village of Baltimore, the minimum height requirement is 40 inches. In the city of Dublin, the required height for all swimming pool fences is 48 inches.

Swimming Pool Lighting

Most municipal governments in Ohio have regulations for private swimming pool lights. For example, in the village of Baltimore, no lights, diving boards or other accessories can project more than 10 feet above the average grade of the pool site, and all lights used for illuminating the pool or surrounding area must be designed, located and installed so the light is not a nuisance to neighboring residents, for example if the pool lights shone directly into the neighbor's bedroom window.

About the Author

Claire is a qualified lawyer and specialized in family law before becoming a full-time writer. She has written for many digital publications, including The Washington Post, Forbes, Vice and HealthCentral.

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