FAQs: Residential Swimming Pools


Do I need a permit to install a pool?

You must obtain permits for the installation of a swimming pool. The permits you will need are outlined in our Pools, Spas & Hot Tubs publication.

What are the fence requirements for a private swimming pool?

The top of the fence or barrier to be at least 48 inches above finished ground level and it must be non-climable. The specific requirements which must be met when constructing a fence for pool enclosure are outlined in our Pools, Spas & Hot Tubs publication.


What are the requirements for the location of a private swimming pool?

The location of a private swimming pool is regulated by the Zoning Ordinance,  Section 10-104 (Accessory Uses and Structures), paragraph 12.

  • In-ground swimming pools may be located in the rear and side yards of any lot. On lots over 36,000 square feet, pools may be located in front of the dwelling, however the pool must be placed outside the minimum required front yard..
  • If an above-ground pool is less than 7 feet in height, it may be located in any rear or side yard.
  • Swimming pools which cover a large percentage of the yard may be restricted; call the Zoning Permit Review Branch at 703-222-1082, TTY 711, for more information.

Also, check with your homeowners association for additional regulations on private swimming pools. 
 

Can I empty my swimming pool water into the sanitary sewer?

No. In general, pool water from seasonal cleaning that is appropriately treated is acceptable for direct discharge to the storm drainage system as long as specific precautions are taken. More information can be found in the Proper Discharge of Swimming Pool Water brochure or by contacting the Stormwater Planning Division at 703-324-5500, TTY 711. Commercial swimming pool operators should contact the Health Department at 703-246-2300, TTY 711. It is recommended that backwash water be discharged to the sanitary sewer unless the pool operator can demonstrate a practical method for de-chlorinating..


What is the proper way to discharge swimming pool water on your property?

Swimming pool water can have a negative effect on the environment and on your neighbor’s property.  Before pumping water from a swimming pool, the water should not contain any chlorine, the pH should be neutral and the discharged water should not go into your neighbor's yard. More information can be found on the Proper Discharge of Swimming Pool Water website or by contacting the Stormwater Planning Division at 703-324-5500, TTY 711. Commercial swimming pool operators should contact the Health Department at 703-246-2300, TTY 711.


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