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Swimming Pool Zoning Laws and Fencing Requirements Township of Washington, Bergen County

June 11, 2018

Updated as of June 2018


[Amended 5-16-1983 by Ord. No. 83-5]

For purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:


Any natural person, partnership, corporation or other entity.


Any swimming pool, wading pool, stream, plunge or other body of water or portion thereof with a capacity of 750 gallons or more, which is used or is suitable for use for swimming or bathing. This term includes: natural and artificial structures, whether indoors or outdoors; all buildings, structures, premises, beaches and other appurtenances used in connection with a “pool”; and in-ground and aboveground “pools.”


Any fill-and-draw, flow-through and recirculation pool, outdoor and indoor, which is artificially constructed to provide recreational facilities for swimming, bathing or wading and all buildings, equipment and appurtenances thereto. It shall not include naturally or artificially constructed 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 guests of his household.

205-2Permit required.

[Amended 7-16-1974 by Ord. No. 74-15; 5-16-1983 by Ord. No. 83-5]

It shall be unlawful for any person to establish, construct or install any pool in the Township of Washington, in the County of Bergen and State of New Jersey, without first having obtained a permit therefor in the manner hereinafter provided.

Application for permit.


An application for such a permit shall be made in writing by the owner or operator of the pool to the Construction Code Official of the said Township of Washington and shall consist of:


The name and address of the owner of the lands and premises.


The name and address of the owner of the pool.


A plot plan showing property lines of the premises, all existing houses and structures thereon, abutting streets and properties and the location and dimensions of the pool or proposed pool and its abutting structures. All pools hereafter constructed or installed shall be located within the property line in conformance with the Zoning Ordinance[1] and other existing ordinances of the said Township of Washington.


Editor’s Note: See Ch. 245, Zoning.


Plans and specifications for the proposed pool and all auxiliary structures and appurtenances related thereto.


A description of the method of disinfection, treatment and disposal of the water used or to be used by the owner or operator of the pool.


A statement of the maximum number of persons who will be allowed to use the pool at any one time.


The said Construction Code Official shall, within 60 days after receiving a properly executed application for such permit, act upon the application in any of the following ways:


Approve the application as submitted and cause the permit to be issued.


Approve the application subject to such additional sanitary safeguards in respect to the particular premises to be so used as the Health Officer deems that the public health may require and, upon receipt of an amended application providing for the additional sanitary safeguards prescribed, cause the permit to be issued.


Reject the application.


If, in the discretion of the Construction Code Official, it is desirable that the Township Engineer review the pool site for grade or drainage requirements, the applicant shall post with the Township Clerk a cash guaranty in an amount equal to the estimate of the Township Engineer for such review, against which guaranty actual fees shall be charged. Should the actual fees exceed the guaranty, the applicant shall pay any deficiency.

No person shall make changes, alterations or modifications in any pool, if such changes, alterations or modifications are of a nature which may affect the public health, until such plans and specifications therefor shall first have been submitted to and approved by the Construction Code Official. When granting such approval, the Construction Code Official may stipulate such changes, alterations, modifications or conditions as he deems that the public health may require. The granting of the permit shall be made subject to compliance by the applicant with provisions of this subsection.

The permit to be issued hereunder shall be issued and signed by the Construction Code Official, to be issued subject to the provisions of this chapter and such additional sanitary safeguards with respect to the particular premises to be so used as the Construction Code Official deems that the public health may require. The permit shall be made available for inspection at the swimming pool and may be revoked by the Construction Code Official for cause or for violation of the terms of this chapter and the additional sanitary safeguards prescribed by the Construction Code Official in granting the permit.

205-3Construction and maintenance requirements.

Artificial pools shall be so designed and constructed as to facilitate emptying and cleaning and shall be maintained and operated in such manner as to be clean and sanitary at all times. Inlets shall be so located and spaced as to secure satisfactory dispersion of inflowing waters throughout the pool and to permit draining, cleaning and disinfection of the bottom and sides.

All pools hereafter constructed, installed, established or maintained, with the exception of wading and aboveground pools, shall be completely and continuously surrounded by a permanent durable wall, fence or barrier which shall be no more than six feet nor 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, except for doors and gates; provided, however, that if a picket fence is erected or maintained, the horizontal dimension of any gap or opening shall not exceed two and 2 1/2 inches. No fence of any kind or material shall be constructed or maintained which shall contain projections of any kind at any point on the outer surface of said fence. 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, and all gates and doors shall be equipped with self-closing and self-latching devices for keeping the gate or door securely closed at all times when not in actual use. Gates and doors shall be locked when the pool is not in use or is unguarded or unattended; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to require the construction of an additional wall, fence or barrier where, in lieu thereof, the entire premises or a part thereof wherein the pool is contained shall be fully enclosed by a wall, fence or barrier which meets the specifications set forth herein.

Every aboveground pool shall have access limited by either a removable or fenced-in ladder and shall also be emptied when not in use or unattended and covered with a suitable, strong protective covering fastened or locked in place when not in use or unattended. A cover shall be considered to be of sufficient strength and securely fastened or locked in place if, when fastened or locked in place, it will support a minimum dead weight of 200 pounds.

Every pool shall have a ladder in the vicinity of the diving and opposite shallow end of the pool. No ladders are permitted on pool sides. Recessed steps or stairs in the inner walls shall be permitted in lieu of ladders and may also be installed wherever desired.

Pool water depth shall be marked on the inner walls of all pools.

All pools shall be constructed of material that is durable, waterproof and easily cleaned.

[Added 5-16-1983 by Ord. No. 83-5]

205-4Water quality standards.

[Amended 5-16-1983 by Ord. No. 83-5]

The water in all pools shall be of drinking water quality, except for the presence of chemicals normally used for pool purification and maintenance.

205-5Closure of pool.

[Amended 5-16-1983 by Ord. No. 83-5]

Whenever any pool is hazardous to the users thereof for any reason or is in violation of any ordinance of the Township of Washington or any other applicable law, such pool shall be closed according to the following procedures:

The Health Officer and the Construction Code Official of the Township of Washington are each empowered to close such pool immediately upon discovering such condition, by posting a notice to that effect in a prominent location in or about the pool. The officer ordering such closure shall send a written notice to the owner of such closure, specifying the reason or reasons for such closure, within three days of ordering such closure.

Any person aggrieved by such closure may, during any period of closure, appeal to the Board of Health if closed by the Health Officer, or to the Construction Code Board of Appeals if closed by the Construction Code Official. Such appeal shall be perfected by filing a written statement of the reasons for the appeal with the Clerk of the Township of Washington. The filing of an appeal shall not stay or modify the effect of the closure order appealed from.

The Board of Health or the Construction Code Board of Appeals, as the case may be, shall conduct such hearing as it deems appropriate and shall determine the appeal within 14 days of the perfecting of said appeal. If no determination is made within said time, the action of closure shall be deemed affirmed. The Board of Health and the Construction Code Board of Appeals shall have full power to continue or terminate the closure pursuant to such appeal.

Unless sooner terminated by an appeal as hereinabove provided, such closure shall be terminated by the official originally taking such measure, when such official is satisfied that no further hazard or violation exists.

205-6Water supply connection.

There shall be no physical connection between a potable (public or private) water supply system and a pool at a point below the maximum flow line of the pool or to a recirculating or heating system of a pool unless such physical connection is so installed and operated that no pool water can be discharged into such potable water supply system.

205-7Discharges; filtering; reuse of pool water.

The discharge of any wastewater shall in no case cause a nuisance. The drainage waste from any pool shall be discharged into a sand filtering bed, or if not practicable, then with the approval of the Construction Code Official, into a seepage pit or storm sewer if accessible, all as the Construction Code Official shall require and specify.

[Amended 5-16-1983 by Ord. No. 83-5]

Every pool having a capacity in excess of 750 gallons shall have a filter system to be approved by the Construction Code Official.

[Amended 5-16-1983 by Ord. No. 83-5]

All pools not equipped with facilities for recirculation and reuse of the pool water shall be subject to closure by order of the Health Officer during any period of emergency water shortage.

The Construction Code Official may cause any pool subject to this chapter to be inspected for compliance with the plumbing aspects of this chapter and the Plumbing Code of the Township of Washington,[1] and any violations shall be subject to the enforcement procedures of this chapter or the Plumbing Code, as the case may be.

[Amended 5-16-1983 by Ord. No. 83-5]


Editor’s Note: The Township Plumbing Code has been superseded by the Uniform Construction Code Act (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq.) and the regulations.

 205-8Adoption of standards.

[Amended 5-16-1983 by Ord. No. 83-5]

The provisions of the Swimming Pool Code of New Jersey (1970) are hereby adopted and incorporated herein in their entirety with respect to all public pools. In the event that any provision of this chapter conflicts with such code, the code shall govern. Copies of the code shall be filed with such offices and in such numbers as required by law.

205-9Illumination; noise; enforcement.

[Amended 5-16-1983 by Ord. No. 83-5]

No pool shall have artificial illumination which causes an annoyance or disturbance to neighboring residents.

No pool shall be operated in a manner which creates excessive noise or otherwise disturbs or annoys neighboring residents.

The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Health Officer and the Construction Code Official of the Township of Washington. For this purpose, the owner or operator of each pool within the Township of Washington shall allow the Health Officer and the Construction Code Official reasonable access to such pool and its appurtenant area to ensure compliance with the provisions hereof.

205-10Violations and penalties. [1]

Any person or persons, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable as provided in § 1-9 of Chapter 1, General Provisions. Each day a particular violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.


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


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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