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Swimming Pool Zoning Laws and Fencing Requirements Borough of Wharton, Morris County

June 12, 2018

Updated as of June 2018

277-1Establishment of code.

A code to regulate the construction, use and maintenance of private swimming pools, for reasons of health and safety, in the Borough is hereby established.

On or after May 9, 1972, no private swimming pool shall be constructed, altered, used or maintained within the Borough except as herein provided.


As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:


Any structure intended for swimming or recreational bathing that contains water over 24 inches deep. This includes in-ground, above ground, and on- ground swimming pools and hot tubs or spas.


Permit required. A permit is required to construct, alter, or use a swimming pool.

Application. Application for a permit shall be made in writing to the Borough accompanied by two sets of plans and two sets of specifications, which shall meet all requirements of this chapter, the zoning chapter (Chapter 165, Article XI) and building and electrical codes.

Plans and specifications. The following shall be included:


Dimensions of the pool with side elevation; all in- ground pools shall require sealed engineering blueprints.


A plot plan showing the entire lot on which the proposed pool is to be constructed, including the distance from the property lines and all structures on the lot.

77-4Location and construction.



No private swimming pool shall be constructed on any lot unless:


Upon the lot shall be located a residence dwelling as defined in the zoning chapter (Chapter 165, Article XI), unless the lot shall be located immediately adjacent to the owner’s residence.


The distance from any side and rear lot line to the inside face of the closest pool wall shall not be less than 10 feet.


The distance from any residence to the inside face of the closest pool wall shall not be less than 10 feet.


No swimming pools shall be located in the front of any residential dwelling.


See also § 165-94D, Swimming pools and tennis courts.

Construction. The following shall apply:


The manufacturer’s instructions should be followed in the construction and maintenance of all pools, providing they do not conflict with any applicable Borough ordinances.


There shall be no connection between a drinkable water supply system below the maximum waterline or to a recirculating or heating system of any pool.


All filtering systems shall have sufficient capacity to filter the entire pool water contents within 12 hours or less.


No private pool drain shall be connected into the sanitary sewer system.


Pool water may not be discharged over any area that shall cause a nuisance to any other property, either public or private.

277-5Fencing and ladders.

In-ground swimming pools shall be completely and continuously surrounded by a permanent durable wall, fence or barrier not less than four feet in height above grade, and shall be so constructed as to have no opening mesh, hole or gap larger than two inches in any dimension, provided that, if a picket fence is erected or maintained, the horizontal dimension of any gap or opening shall not exceed 2 1/2 inches. A dwelling house or accessory building may be used as part of such enclosure. All gates used in conjunction with any of the above-described enclosures shall conform to the specifications required above as to height and dimensions of openings, mesh, holes or gaps in the case of fences. Gates and doors shall be locked when the pool is not in use or is unguarded or unattended.

On-ground or aboveground swimming pools shall be enclosed by a durable wall, barrier or fence as described in the preceding subsection.

277-6Filtration, disinfection and bacteriological standards.

All in- ground swimming pools shall be properly equipped with the necessary filtering devices and disinfection so that the water of these pools shall be so maintained as to comply with the physical, chemical and bacteriological standards of the American Public Health Association and the New Jersey State Department of Health.

A swimming pool test kit, for the control of acid-alkaline (pH) and pool sterilization, shall be required and shall be used as often as is necessary to comply with the preceding subsection.

277-7Electrical equipment and general regulations.

Electrical equipment. The following shall apply:


No overhead live electrical wires shall cross any swimming pool.


Lights used to illuminate any swimming pool shall be so arranged and shaded as to reflect light away from the adjoining premises. No unshielded lights shall be permitted.


All electrical equipment shall comply with the National Electric Code.

General regulations. The following additional rules shall apply:


Any person now owning or maintaining any in-ground swimming pool which substantially complies with the requirements of this chapter may be exempted from the strict requirements thereof until such time as he may substantially alter, remove, replace or rebuild the pool.


“Substantial compliance” may be at the discretion of the Building Inspector or Sanitary Inspector, whose determination shall be based upon consideration of health, safety and nuisance previously described.


The provisions of this chapter shall be subject to any applicable regulation hereafter provided by any other ordinance of the Borough.


A variance from this chapter may be obtained at the discretion of the Board of Adjustment.


The Building Inspector and Sanitary Inspector shall have the right to inspect all private swimming pools at all reasonable hours, and it shall be their duty to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

277-9Violations and penalties.

Whenever any private swimming pool is in violation of this chapter or detrimental to health or safety as indicated, its permit will be suspended for a period of 48 hours. At the time of suspension, the owner, agent or other individual in control of use of the pool is to receive, in writing, a list of the violations cited by the above-mentioned Borough officials. If the violations are not abated within 48 hours from receipt of the written list, the permit to operate the pool shall be withdrawn, and the owner shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, General Penalty.


For more information on New Jersey pool fencing laws and regulations, or if you are interested in what designs work best around your pool, visit Carl’s at or call 732-504-3372.

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