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

June 12, 2018

Updated as of June 2018


A water-bearing facility constructed or assembled above or below ground having a depth of more than 1.5 feet or a capacity of more than 100 cubic feet. “Swimming pools” shall include all buildings, structures, equipment and appurtenances thereto.

271-61Swimming pools.

Residential pools shall be installed only on lots containing a residence. All swimming pools shall be installed in accordance with the following standards. Approval of a swimming pool can be issued by the Construction Official, provided that no variances are required.

Construction. All materials used in the construction of swimming pools shall be of durable quality and waterproof, and the pool shall be so designed as to facilitate its filling, emptying, cleaning, disinfecting, filtering and circulating of the water. Pools are to be installed in a workmanship-like manner by competent and experienced person(s). Maximum pool height shall not be more than four feet above the existing median grade at the pool perimeter. Pool equipment for aboveground pools such as decks, platforms, diving boards, slides, awnings, canopies and similar appurtenances are prohibited. Pool ladders (handrails) may exceed four feet, but ladders are to be unfastened and removed by a responsible person when the pool is unattended.

Lighting. No artificial lighting shall be maintained or operated in connection with a swimming pool in such a manner as to be a nuisance or an annoyance to neighboring properties.

Fences and shrubbery. Swimming pools shall be enclosed by a structurally adequate fence a minimum of four feet in height and a maximum of six feet in height and at least four feet back from the pool’s edge, so constructed as to prevent any person or animal from gaining access beneath or through or by ease of climbing said fence, and which shall have a similarly substantial gate or gates of the same height as the fence, with facilities for locking when the pool is unattended. Swimming pool gates shall be closed at all times, except when opened for the purpose of ingress or egress, and shall be fitted with a mechanism for automatically returning to a closed, latched position. When the swimming pool is not in use, gates shall be locked and shall be opened only by key or combination. Shrubbery such as thick foliage evergreen having year-round growth and of a type that, within three years from the date of planting, will form a screen of not less than the height of the fence for private pools and not less than six feet for public pools bordering residential zones. Shrubbery shall be planted along the outer periphery of the fence, except at gates, to screen the fence as well as the swimming pool.

[Amended 1-19-1988 by Ord. No. 1738; 10-18-1988 by Ord. No. 1765]

Location and area. The swimming pool shall not be closer than 10 feet to any side or rear lot lines of the property; provided, however, that no part of any pool shall be constructed within the front yard. Pools shall be constructed in rear yards only, and the water surface shall not exceed 50% of the total area of the rear yard. In the case of corner lots, the pool shall be located in a side yard area set back a minimum of 1.5 times the required front yard setback for the zoning district in which it is located, screened from view from the street, and its water surface shall not exceed 15% of the total area of the lot.

Lifeguard service. All public swimming pools shall provide competent lifeguard service during hours when the pool is in use.

Noise limitations. It shall be the responsibility of the owners of pools to inhibit any unnecessary or unusual noise which may annoy, disturb or otherwise impose or intrude on the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others.

Draining of pool. When emptying a pool, the discharged water shall be disposed of in an approved manner and shall not be diverted to abutting properties.

Licenses and inspections. A license fee in addition to a permit fee shall be required upon approval of an application for a swimming pool. The license fee shall also be payable periodically every three years thereafter upon the inspection and approval of the pool by the Building Department. Inspections made initially during construction or thereafter that reveal violations of this section or of the current BOCA National Building Code Subcode will necessitate discontinuance of use and removal of the pool.

Article I: Public Swimming Pools

[Adopted 12-3-1974 by Ord. No. 1438 as Section 11-2 of the 1974 Revised General Ordinances]


All public swimming pools shall be equipped with chlorinating equipment of acceptable capacity and design which will provide in the water at all times when the public swimming pool is in use a residual of excess chlorine of not less than zero and four-tenths (0.4) parts per million nor more than zero and six-tenths (0.6) parts per million nor an excess residual of chloramine of not less than zero and seven-tenths (0.7) parts per million nor more than one and zero-tenths (1.0) parts per million. No public swimming pool shall have when in use a residual of excess chlorine or chloramine in the water above the maximum or below the minimum above set forth.

243-2Filtration and clarification.

All public swimming pools shall be properly equipped with filtering or clarifying devices in satisfactory operating condition so that the water of such pools shall be continuously and regularly filtered and clarified and kept at all times in a sanitary and safe condition for bathing purposes.

243-3Bacteriological standards.

Not more than fifteen percent (15%) of the samples of water taken from any public swimming pool, when more than twenty (20) samples have been examined, and not more than three samples, when fewer than twenty (20) samples have been examined, shall contain more than two hundred (200) bacteria per cubic centimeter or shall show positive test (confirmed) for Bacillus coli in any of five (5) ten-cubic-centimeter portions of water at times when the pool is in operation. For the purposes of this section, any number of samplings of water on a single day shall be considered as one (1) sample.

243-4Incidental facilities and equipment.

Locker rooms, shower rooms, toilets, runways and all other physical facilities or equipment incident to the operation of any public swimming pool shall be kept in a sanitary condition at all times.

243-5Closing of pools.

Whenever any public swimming pool by reason of mechanical defects, lack of proper supervision or failure to comply with the requirements of this Article is a hazard to public health, the Swimming Pool Inspector is authorized to order such pool to be immediately closed until no further hazard to the public health exists.

243-6Swimming Pool Inspector.

A Swimming Pool Inspector shall be appointed by the Township Committee, whose duty it shall be to enforce the provisions of this Article.

Article II: Private Swimming Pools

[Adopted 12-3-1974 by Ord. No. 1438 as Section 11-3 of the 1974 Revised General Ordinances]


As used in this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:


Includes artificially constructed swimming pools or tanks, whether permanently installed, portable, collapsible or otherwise, having a depth of eighteen (18) inches or greater or a volume in excess of one hundred (100) cubic feet, established or maintained by any individual upon any premises as an appurtenance to a residence occupied by not more than three (3) families for the use of the occupants of the residence and their guests.

243-8Permit required.

It shall be unlawful to establish or construct or alter a private swimming pool without first having obtained a permit. A permit for a private swimming pool shall be issued by the Building Inspector to the owner or agent of any residence property in the township upon compliance with the requirements for private swimming pools as set forth in this Article.

243-9Permit application; fee. [1]

Application for a permit, accompanied by three (3) sets of plans and specifications or proper descriptive brochures, shall be made to the Building Inspector by the owner of the property or his authorized agent. The Building Inspector shall issue a permit for the construction, installation or alteration of the pool if it complies with the following rules and regulations, and provided, further, that it has been approved by the Plumbing Inspector and the Board of Health. A fee as provided in Chapter 123, Fees, for each new pool or alteration to any existing pool shall be charged by the Building Inspector for a permit.


Editor’s Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III.

 243-10Construction and maintenance.

The following regulations shall be complied with in the construction and maintenance of private swimming pools:

Material of construction. All material used in the construction of swimming pools shall be waterproof and easily cleaned. The bottom and side of the pool shall be either white or a light color, except that aluminum paint shall not be used as a finish. Sand or earth bottoms shall not be used.

Water supply. There shall be no physical connection between a potable public or private water supply system and pools or their circulating systems.

Discharge system. All swimming pools shall be provided with not over one (1) two-inch diameter galvanized iron pipe or approved equal drain extending from the pool to either a brook, adequate dry well, storm sewer or sanitary sewer. No pool drain shall be connected directly to the sanitary sewer system.

Disinfection, filtration, recirculation and bacteriological standards. All swimming pools shall be so constructed, installed and maintained as to provide equipment necessary for the chlorination or other disinfection, filtration and recirculation of the pool water so as to comply with approved bacteriological standards as may be promulgated by regulations issued by the Board of Health of the township and the State of New Jersey.

Location. No private swimming pool or wading pool shall be constructed or installed on any lot unless upon said lot shall be located a residence building or unless the lot is part of a residence curtilage.

[Amended 6-17-1975 by Ord. No. 1446]

Lighting. No artificial lighting shall be maintained or operated in connection with a swimming pool in such a manner as to be a nuisance or an annoyance to neighboring properties.

Appearance. All areas surrounding the pond shall be made and kept neat and attractive so as to be in conformity with surrounding property, and no rubbish, debris or litter shall be permitted to remain or accumulate in or about the pool.

Fences. The pool shall be completely surrounded by structurally adequate fencing so as to effectively exclude children or trespassers, except that gates shall be provided which automatically return to a closed, latched position and shall be kept locked when the pool is not in use.

[Amended 6-17-1975 by Ord. No. 1446]

Hours of use. No private swimming pool shall be used by bathers at any hours except during daylight hours.

Enforcement. Every private swimming pool constructed or to be constructed in the township shall at all times comply with the requirements of all health authorities having jurisdiction in the premises, and any nuisance or hazard to health which may exist or develop in or in consequence of or in connection with any swimming pool shall forthwith be abated and removed by the person in possession of the pool upon receipt of notice from the Building Inspector, Health Officer or other designated person so requiring. It shall be unlawful for any person to maintain a private swimming pool which is not in conformity with the requirements of this Article.


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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