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Swimming Pool Zoning Laws and Fencing Requirements Township of Irvington, Essex County

June 11, 2018

Updated as of June 2018

Article I: Public Swimming Pools


For the purposes of this article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:


The Department of Housing Services.

[Amended 1-13-1981 by Ord. No. MC 2622; 9-28-1982 by Ord. No. MC 2668; 2-13-1985 by Ord. No. MC 2769; 7-14-2009 by Ord. No. MC 3407; 7-1-2014 by Ord. No. MC 3511]


Any major replacement or repair to any portion or unit of any existing swimming pool.


Accepted or acceptable under applicable specifications stated or cited in this article, or accepted as suitable for the proposed use under procedures and powers of administration delegated in this article.


A licensed Health Officer, Sanitary Inspector or any other properly qualified and licensed person who is delegated to function within specified limits as the agent of the administrative authority.


Building or installing a new swimming pool or enlarging an existing swimming pool or any of its facilities.


Designating the site or place of a swimming pool.


To conduct, maintain or otherwise provide facilities for bathing at swimming pools.


Includes fill-and-draw, flow-through and recirculation pools, outdoor and indoor, which are artificially constructed to provide recreational facilities for swimming, bathing or wading, and all buildings, equipment and appurtenances thereto. It shall not include natural outdoor ponds, rivers or lakes, nor baths used for cleansing of the body or practice of the healing arts. It shall not include swimming or wading pools established or maintained upon any premises by any individual for his own or his family’s use or the use of guests of his household.


A shallow pool intended for use by children.

571-2License required to operate; display; operating on suspended license.

Swimming pools shall not be operated by any person until the administrative authority has given formal approval therefor by issuance of an appropriate license. This license or permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous place on the premises where it may be readily observed by all patrons. No person shall operate a pool whose license therefor is suspended.

571-3Application for license.

Licenses to operate a swimming pool shall not be issued until a properly executed application containing information as requested on a form supplied by the administrative authority has been submitted and approved by that body.

571-4Notice of denial.

Persons denied a license to operate a swimming pool shall be notified in writing accordingly by the administrative authority. Such notice shall specify the reason for such action and the remedial action necessary to obtain approval for issuance of such license.

571-5Suspension of license.

The license of any person to operate a swimming pool may be suspended at any time when in the opinion of the administrative authority or its authorized agent such action is necessary to abate a present or threatened menace to public health.

571-6Notification of suspension.

The person whose license to operate a swimming pool has been suspended or his representative in charge of the pool shall, at the time such license is suspended, be informed that the license to operate the pool is suspended, the reason for such action and the remedial action to be taken before the suspension may be lifted. Thereafter and within 24 hours, written notice of suspension containing the same information given at the time a license is suspended shall be forwarded by registered mail to the last known address of the person whose license has been suspended.

571-7Hearings on suspension or denial.

Persons whose licenses to operate a swimming pool have been suspended shall be afforded a hearing before the administrative authority within three days after such suspension, or thereafter at such person’s option, to show cause why the suspension should be lifted. The administrative authority shall, within seven days after such hearing, render a written decision confirming or rescinding the suspension and shall notify the person whose license has been suspended, in writing, of its action and reasons therefor.

Persons whose licenses to operate a swimming pool have been denied shall be afforded a hearing before the administrative authority within seven days after such denial, or thereafter at such person’s option, to show cause why a license should be granted. The administrative authority shall, within seven days after such hearing, render a written decision confirming or rescinding the denial of a license and shall notify the person whose license has been denied, in writing, of its action and reasons therefor.

571-8Monthly operating reports.

Reports of swimming pool operation shall be submitted to the administrative authority or its authorized agent within 10 days after the last day of the preceding month, upon report forms furnished by the administrative authority.

571-9Site location.

The site of all proposed swimming pools shall be such that proper and adequate water supply and waste disposal facilities will be available. In the case of outdoor pools, topography, protection from prevailing winds, the absence of trees in the near vicinity, distance from dusty roads and smoke-producing industries shall be considered in determining the suitability of proposed sites.

571-10General layout of pools.

Swimming pool layout shall be such that bathers leaving the dressing rooms will first have access to toilets and then shower facilities. Exits and entrances shall be located at the shallow end of the pool.

571-11Size of pools.

The swimming pool area shall be proportioned as follows:

Ten square feet shall be provided for each non-swimmer expected to be present at the time of maximum load. Non-swimming sections shall be less than 5 1/2 feet in depth

Twenty-four square feet shall be provided for each swimmer expected to be present at the time of maximum load. Swimming sections shall be greater than 5 1/2 feet in depth.

Three hundred square feet shall be reserved around each diving board or platform provided for diving purposes and such area shall not be included in determining the area of the swimming section.

571-12Depth of water.

The minimum depth of water in the deep portion of a swimming pool shall not be less than six feet. The depth of water reserved for diving purposes shall be as follows:

Height of Diving Board or Platform Minimum Water Depth
(feet) (meters) (feet)
1 to 3 1 7
3 to 5 8
5 to 8 9
8 to 10 3 10

Critical depths of swimming pools are those at both ends and also at change of slope locations of the pool. Such critical depths shall be conspicuously marked in a permanent manner on both the horizontal and vertical surfaces of the pool and shall be visible in or out of the water. Markings at one-foot-depth intervals are considered desirable.

571-14Sand areas.

Sand areas for swimming pools are not recommended. If provided, sand areas shall be separated from the pool and enclosed with a fence having a separate entrance and exit. The exit or return gate shall be provided with a shower and foot wash having continuous circulation. At least six inches of sand shall be provided.

571-15Spectator areas.

A continuous physical separation between the swimming pool walkway and the spectator area shall be provided by means of a suitable railing or partition sufficiently high to prevent the mingling of spectators and bathers.


A complete system of artificial lighting shall be provided for swimming pools operated at night. Arrangement and design of lights shall be such that all parts of the pool and its appurtenances are clearly visible to attendants. Overhead wires shall not be carried across the swimming pool proper. Underwater pool lighting, when provided, shall be designed, installed and grounded so as not to create a hazard to bathers.

571-17Diving board construction; certain devices prohibited.

Diving stands, when provided, shall be rigidly constructed and properly anchored with sufficient bracing to ensure stability under the heaviest possible load. Slides and rope drops shall not be permitted. Fixed platforms and floats shall not be permitted.

571-18Headroom above diving boards.

At least 13 feet of free and unobstructed headroom shall be provided above diving boards and stands.

571-19Height of diving boards above water.

Diving boards or platforms available for use by the general public shall not be more than 10 feet above water level.

571-20Covering for springboards.

Springboards and diving platforms shall be covered with cocoa matting or other nonslip material. The use of canvas for such purposes is prohibited.

571-21Wading pools to be separated from swimming pools.

Wading pools, if constructed adjacent to a swimming pool, shall be separated therefrom by a fence or other partition sufficiently high to prevent waders from entering the swimming pool area.

571-22Water depth of wading pools.

Wading pools shall not be designed or used for swimming or diving. The maximum water depth allowed shall be 18 inches.

571-23Circulation of water in wading pools.

Wading pools may be approved only when used either in conjunction with the regular swimming pool circulation and treatment units or continuously wasted. The entire contents of the wading pool shall be recirculated or wasted within at least one hour.

571-24Separate dressing rooms or bathhouses.

Swimming pool dressing rooms or bathhouses to be used simultaneously by both sexes shall be entirely separated by partitions. Line of sight shall be broken at entrances and exits of such dressing rooms.

571-25Floors of dressing and locker rooms.

Floors of all swimming pool dressing rooms and locker rooms shall be constructed of smooth, finished material impervious to moisture. Wood slats or floors shall not be permitted. Floors shall have sufficient pitch and otherwise be constructed so as to permit proper drainage after washing down. Walk areas used by patrons shall be of nonslip construction.

571-26Walls and partitions of dressing rooms.

Walls and partitions of all swimming pool dressing rooms and bathhouses shall be of smooth, impervious material. If walls of wood or other similar material are used, all cracks and joints shall be filled and the surface kept finished with paint or other sanitary waterproof coating. Partitions shall terminate a sufficient distance above the floor to permit flushing of the entire floor area.

571-27Furniture in dressing rooms; locker construction.

All furniture used in swimming pool dressing rooms shall be of simple character and easily cleaned. Lockers, where provided, shall be properly ventilated and be of vermin proof construction with tight joints.

571-28Ventilation of dressing rooms and bathhouses.

Swimming pool dressing rooms or bathhouses shall be constructed to provide ventilation at floor and ceiling levels.

571-29Required number of showers.

The following minimum number of showers shall be required, based upon the number of lockers, baskets or other clothing storage accommodation provided by the swimming pool:

Lockers or Baskets Male Female
Less than 100 1 1
100 to 200 2 2
200 to 500 3 3
500 to 1,000 4 5
Over 1,000 Add 1 for every 500 lockers in excess of 1,000 Add 1 for every 30

0 lockers in excess of 1,000


Manually operated shower valves shall be provided by swimming pools to ensure a satisfactory mixture of hot and cold water without danger of scalding. Chain pulls shall not be permitted for hot-water showers. Showers shall be fitted with non-removable fixed spray heads. Hot or warm water shall be provided for indoor showers.

571-31Flooring of shower rooms.

Raised curbs or raised sills shall not be permitted between showers and walkways or at the entrance to shower stalls. Shower stall floors located adjacent to walkways shall be depressed below the level of the walkways. Floor drains shall be provided in the shower rooms or stalls and shall be at least twice the cross-sectional area of the outlet pipe. Wood slats or floor material and slopes conducive to slipping shall not be permitted.

571-32Soap for showers.

Suitable soap dispensers readily accessible shall be installed adjacent to each shower. The use of soap cakes shall not be permitted.

571-33Required number of toilets and lavatories.

Swimming pools shall be equipped with the following minimum facilities based upon the number of lockers, baskets or other clothing storage accommodations provided:

Water Closets Urinals Lavatories
Lockers or Baskets Male Female Male Female
Less than 100 1 1 1 1 1
100 to 200 2 2 2 2 2
200 to 500 3 3 2 3 3
500 to 1,000 4 5 3 3 3
Over 1,000 Add 1 for every 500 lockers in excess of 1,000 Add 1 for every 500 lockers in excess of 1,000 Add 1 for every 500 lockers in excess of 1,000 Add 1 for every 500 lockers in excess of 1,000

Toilets required by the preceding section shall be of the flush type and constructed of vitreous china. Urinals shall be constructed so as to prevent splashing. Lavatories shall be of vitreous china and shall be equipped with tamperproof spring valve controls.

571-35Toilet stalls.

Toilet stalls shall be enclosed with noncorrosive partitions. There shall be sufficient space between the floor and walls to permit washing. Doors, when provided, shall swing inward.

571-36Required lifesaving equipment.

Swimming pools shall be equipped with at least two poles or shepherd’s crooks. There shall also be provided at least two life rings at least 14 inches in diameter with a sufficient length of one-quarter-inch manila line firmly attached to each ring. Such equipment shall be properly stored and readily accessible.

571-37First aid equipment and personnel.

A minimum of first aid equipment listed below shall be properly stored and readily available at all times when a swimming pool is open for use:


Aromatic ammonia.


Tincture of iodine or equivalent.


Individually compressed sterile gauze.


Absorbent cotton.


Adhesive tape.


Bandages of various widths.


Rubbing alcohol.


Woolen blankets (two or more).



At least one person capable of administering first aid shall be in attendance at all times when the pool is open for use.


At least one senior lifeguard shall be on duty at every swimming pool at all times who holds, as a minimum, a valid senior lifeguard certificate issued by the American Red Cross, YMCA or other equivalent rating. Other lifeguards required to be present and on duty while the pool is open for business shall be based primarily upon the number of patrons present at any time.

As a guide, there should be at least one lifeguard for every 150 patrons in attendance at a pool. All persons acting as lifeguards shall be capable swimmers proficient in lifesaving and artificial respiration procedures. All lifeguards shall be so identified by distinguishing apparel, emblems or signs.

571-39Personal regulations for pool patrons.

Personal regulations covering admission, bathing and conduct of patrons shall be conspicuously posted and strictly enforced by the swimming pool management and shall include the following:

Showers. All persons using a pool shall be directed to take a cleansing shower in the nude, using warm water and soap, and shall thoroughly rinse off all soapsuds before entering the pool proper. Bathers leaving the pool area shall be required to take a second cleaning shower before reentering.

Skin diseases, etc. Any person showing evidence of skin disease, sore or inflamed eyes, cold, nasal or ear discharges or any communicable disease shall be refused admission.

Excessive sunburn, open blisters, etc. Persons with excessive sunburn, open blisters, cuts or bandages shall be refused admission

Bathing caps. Women and girls shall be required to wear bathing caps.

Animals. No dogs or other animals shall be allowed in the pool area, dressing rooms or other parts of the pool enclosure.

Food, etc. No food or drink shall be used or consumed within the pool enclosure.

Street shoes. Persons in street shoes or other spectators shall not be permitted in the pool area.

Spitting, rowdyness, etc. Unnecessary expectoration, spouting of water, roughness, rowdyism or other conduct affecting the safety and comfort of others shall not be permitted.

571-40Suits and towels.

Bathing suits or towels rented or otherwise furnished by the swimming pool management shall be laundered after each use with soap and hot water, thoroughly rinsed and dried before reuse. Clean suits and towels shall be stored separately from those unlaundered and shall not be issued from the same counter to which used suits or towels are returned.


Swimming pools, when open for use, shall at all times be under the supervision of a competent director who shall be responsible for all phases of pool operation, including the applicable provisions of this article.


All dressing rooms, toilets, showers, the swimming pool proper and its surroundings shall be kept clean and orderly at all times. A suitable disinfectant shall be used daily on floors, walls, mats and the interior portions of dressing rooms. Toilets, lavatories and shower rooms shall be cleaned with soap and water, disinfected daily and kept in good repair. Toilets shall be kept supplied with a sufficient amount of toilet tissue. Lavatories shall be supplied with soap and suitable receptacles for disposal of paper towels. Common towels shall not be permitted.

Article II: Family Swimming Pools


For the purposes of this article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:


Any swimming or bathing pool or tank, whether permanently installed, portable, collapsible or otherwise designed, used and maintained for swimming purposes, having an inside structural depth in excess of 24 inches or a surface area in excess of 100 square feet or a capacity in excess of 1,800 gallons, established or maintained by any person upon any premises as an appurtenance to a residence occupied by not more than three families for use of the occupants of such residence and their guests invited to use it without payment of any fee or other consideration.


All contiguous property of the same ownership.


All family swimming pools, as defined in this section, which are permanently installed.


All family swimming pools, as defined in this section, which are not permanently installed.

571-44Location on lot; use accessory to residence.

[Amended 7-14-1970 by Ord. No. MC 2255]

No family swimming pool shall be constructed, installed or maintained on any lot unless upon such lot there shall be located a residence building or unless such lot is a part of the resident curtilage. Such pool shall be used only as an accessory use incidental to the main use of such premises.

No family swimming pool shall be constructed, installed or maintained:


Nearer to the street line on which such premises front than a line 10 feet to the rear of the building line established by Town ordinances.


Less than three feet from the rear property line.


With less than a one-inch setback on each side line for each one foot of property width. Such side line need not be greater than three feet from each side property line.

571-45License required to operate; term; fees; renewals.

[Amended 1-13-1981 by Ord. No. MC 2622; 8-11-1987 by Ord. No. MC 2834; 12-12-1995 by Ord. No. MC 3027; 12-14-1999 by Ord. No. MC 3134; 8-14-2001 by Ord. No. MC 3176; 10-12-2005 by Ord. No. MC 3306; 12-29-2009 by Ord. No. MC 3413]

No person shall construct, operate or maintain a family swimming pool until a license therefor shall have been issued by the Division of Licensing of the Town, which license shall not be valid for longer than one year from the date of issuance. A new license shall be secured on or before May 1 of each year, which will permit operation or maintenance of such family swimming pool until the following April 30.

All licenses and renewals thereof shall be in writing and shall state the conditions thereof and the term for which the license is granted.



The license fee for the initial license and for each yearly renewal thereof shall, in the case of both permanent and portable family swimming pools, be $98 initially and $52 annually thereafter.


The annual license fee for a swim club shall be $865 initially and $700 annually thereafter.

571-46Building permit required; fees; application; compliance with other regulations.

[Added 7-14-1970 by Ord. No. MC 2255; amended 1-13-1981 by Ord. No. MC 2622[1]]

No person shall install, construct or alter a family swimming pool within the Town without first having obtained a permit from the Department of Housing Services and paid a permit fee as set out in Chapter 240, Construction Code, and Uniform.

All applications for a permit to install a portable family swimming pool shall be made on such forms as may be required by the Department of Housing Services and shall be accompanied by a description giving the size, shape, capacity and materials of construction and the location on the lot.

The Department of Housing Services shall issue a permit for the construction or installation of a family swimming pool, provided the same complies with the provisions of this article, the Building Code, the Plumbing Code[2] and Chapter 650, Zoning, and after payment of the permit fees hereinbefore specified as well as the license fee herein provided.


Editor’s Note: The local Building Code and Plumbing Code were superseded by the adoption of the State Uniform Construction Code Act, L. 1975, c. 217 (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq.).


Editor’s Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

 571-47Revocation of license.

Any license or any renewal thereof granted under this article for the construction, operation or maintenance of a family swimming pool may be revoked by the Municipal Council for failure to comply with rules and regulations promulgated or to be hereafter promulgated pursuant to this article, or with this article, or whenever in the determination of the Council further operation under such license creates a menace to the health, safety or morals of the users of the family swimming pool or to the occupants of the neighboring properties.


All lights for illumination of a family swimming pool in the area devoted to the pool shall be so installed and maintained as to eliminate glare and annoyance to adjoining properties. All such illumination shall be extinguished during those hours when the pool is not in use.

571-49General appearance of surrounding areas.

All areas surrounding a family swimming pool shall be made and kept neat and attractive, and no rubbish, debris, filth or litter shall be permitted to remain or accumulate in or about such pool.

571-50Interference with neighboring properties.

All family swimming pools shall be so located, designed, maintained and operated as not to interfere with the enjoyment of the property rights by owners of properties adjoining the pool or located in the neighborhood.


It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or cause to be made or continued at any family swimming pool any loud, unnecessary or unusual noise which annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others. In the operation of any such pool, the use or permitting the use or operation of any radio, receiving set, musical instrument, phonograph or other machine or device for the producing of sound in such manner as to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of the neighboring inhabitants or at any time with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing of the persons who are in the pool premises shall be unlawful.

571-52Prohibited hours of use.

No family swimming pool shall be used between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on any day of the week.


The Building Inspector, Plumbing Inspector, Health Officer, Sanitarian or any police officer shall have authority to make such inspections of the construction and maintenance of any family swimming pool and surrounding area as are necessary from time to time to ascertain that there is compliance with this article.

No person shall obstruct or interfere with any Building Inspector, Plumbing Inspector, Health Officer, Sanitarian or police officer in the performance of any duties imposed by this article.

571-54Departmental requirements; abatement of nuisances; water supply; discharge systems.

[Added 7-14-1970 by Ord. No. MC 2255]

Enforcement. Every family swimming pool constructed or to be constructed in the Town shall at all times comply with the requirements of the Building, Plumbing, Public Safety and Health Departments, and any hazard or nuisance which may exist or develop in or in consequence of or in connection with any such pool shall be forthwith abated or removed by the owner upon receipt of notice from such authority so requiring.

[Amended 10-14-2015 by Ord. No. MC 3553]

Water supply. Potable water for filling the pool shall be introduced into the pool in such a manner as to have at all times an air gap of at least six inches between the orifice of the filling pipe and the surface of the water in the pool so as to prevent back siphonage. Physical connections between the potable water system and the family swimming pool or its circulating systems shall not be permitted. All connections with potable water lines or waste lines shall be made only by a duly licensed plumber and in accordance with the Plumbing Code.

Discharge systems. Surface drainage of a family swimming pool shall not be permitted where such disposal of wastewater will adversely affect any other properties. No pool drain shall be connected directly to the sanitary sewer system, but shall utilize the storm sewer where available and only upon the written approval of the Town Engineer.

571-55Operating nonconforming pools.

It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct, operate, maintain or manage any family swimming pool without complying with the requirements of this article and the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

571-56Abandonment of pool.

Should the owner abandon any family swimming pool, he shall remove the depression and return the surface of the ground to its original grade and approximately the same condition as before the pool was constructed.

571-57Enclosure; covering.

[Added 7-14-1970 by Ord. No. MC 2255]

Every outdoor permanent family swimming pool shall be enclosed by a fence of durable construction not less than four feet nor more than five feet in height. Such enclosure shall be provided with substantial gates of at least the height of the fence, and such enclosure and gates shall be so designed and constructed as to reasonably prevent any child or person from gaining access. Every gate shall be kept securely locked at all times when the pool is not in use.

In case of a portable family swimming pool, the pool may be covered with a suitable strong covering, such covering to be secured in place when not in use, and any access ladder or steps used in connection with a portable pool shall be removed when the pool is not in use.


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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