Why are pool deep ends disappearing?

I know there was a previous thread on this, but I can’t find it and I don’t think that it really answered the question anyway.

At the end of last season, the local pool – which is a municiple pool – started construction. It just ended about a week ago, and opened to the public this past weekend.

The deep end, which was 10’ deep, is now only 5’ deep. From the previous thread, my understanding is that this is happening all over the country. Back in March I was in a hotel swimming pool and the deep end was just over 6’, but I think it was always that. In October I was in a hotel pool that went to 8’.

When I asked a life guard yesterday, she said it was because “There was an incident. Someone drowned. Not here.” Later in the day I was telling someone else about it, and she said that it was because of that incident last year where someone drowned and no one saw the body for 3 days – a story I still find hard to believe.

So what’s the dope? What was the actual impetus for the change? Does it only affect public pools, or are privately owned pools subject to this as well?

Insurance rates. It cost more to own a pool with a deep end that an adult cannot stand up and have their head above water. Smaller children also stand a better chance of surviving an incident in 5 feet of water because they can sort of hop out of danger. Not finding a body for days is not relevant, since it’s dead when you find it anyway whether it be 3 days or 1 minute.

Also, owning a pool actually makes your house value go down, It’s a luxury that doesn’t pay for itself and can cost the owner huge amounts of money in lawsuits. Unless you just have to have a high dive I don’t see why anyone would really want a deep end pool more than 5 feet; more of a headache/heartache than they are worth.

I found one story about a woman who drowned and whose body was missing for two days. But it seems like there were a lot of problems at that pool – most notably the fact that the water was murky enough that a body could go missing in it.

The article also cites making the pools less expensive as a reason, which I expect is the main one for most pools. If 90% of the pool users would be satisfied with a shallower pool, why incur the additional construction, maintenance, and safety costs of having a deep end?

Link. You only need a deep end if you have a diving board, and diving boards are going away for various reasons.

This doesn’t answer your question, but confirms your observations. “The End Of The Deep End” from 2003.

And this, “Inground Pool With No Deep End Pros & Cons” discussed pros and cons.

Since the cost of water, water heating and water treatment depend (in part) on volume of water, there are certainly incentives to have less water, especially when you don’t need much depth for most pool activities.

Reducing the cost of insurance and risk of drowning may also be substantial.

While there may be a single event as an impetus for some pools taking this measure (clearly leahcim’s cite shows a single event), the US has thousands of individual jurisdictions setting rules and enforcing codes. It’s likely that many people are responding to a general analysis rather than a single event.

As for not finding a body… I can believe it happened, but any pool with water conditions that bad shouldn’t be open to the public in the first place.

There are a lot of good responses here, but this:

probably explains the pool that I was at yesterday. That’s consistent with what people told me. Too bad, because that pool is never murky and has an excellent safety record.

It is if people are still using the pool up until the body is discovered!

Yeah, I don’t want to swim in corpse soup.

That link also says that most people spend about 80% of their time in parts of the pool where they can stand. It doesn’t make much sense to have a deep end if nobody is spending much time in it. You could have more shallow end for the same ground area, and accommodate more people.

This. +1. Agreed. Whatever the term is this week.

When I went to high school in the late 1970s, the swimming pool (which was separate from the “diving pool”) had a maximum depth of 5 feet. Not that this didn’t cause problems of its own; each end was only 3 1/2 feet, which meant (a) even if you wanted to use it for water polo, the goals would have to be 4 1/2 feet high, and (b) under current swimming rules, all races would have to start in the water.

Besides - who uses a diving board? Isn’t that what the roof of your house is for?

Only if you’re a golden god. :stuck_out_tongue:

Just curious:

Can you actually teach taller people to tread water in only 5’ of depth? At 6’5" I think I’d need at least 8’. Seems like being able to tread water is an important element of how not to drown.

In a standard residential sized pool, having a deep end and a shallow end makes for a steep transition. If you dive in at an angle you can easily hit this transition head on at high speed and sustain a spinal injury.

I am 6’4" and I can tread water in shallow pool without touching the bottom. I put my heels on the main drain and my nostrils are 1/2" above water. I would suppose it’s 5’10" or so?

I’m 6’1" and can do it, but sometimes I bump my foot.

I assume it is a liability question. But I don’t see how you can learn to tread water in 5’. But even if the pool has a diving board they won’t let you practice treading water there anyway; you might get conked by a diver. I really prefer swimming in the ocean anyway. Lots of extra buoyancy there.

Most pools are getting rid of the diving board, and if you don’t have a diving board you don’t need a deep end.

When I was a lifeguard, if the water got so murky that we couldn’t see the bottom of the deep end, we closed the pool. (I think people thought it was because something was wrong with the water, and that could have been true, too–but we closed it because we couldn’t see to the bottom so someone could be down there and we wouldn’t know it.)

Unfortunately, this means that a lot of pools won’t let you dive at all, either. Which I guess i can understand. But that is how I prefer to enter the water, and frankly I can dive into water 3 ft. deep without getting near the bottom (when I dive from the side, I mean; I wouldn’t do it from a board).

It probably also saves a lot of the water cost, and less water means lower cost for the chemicals, too.

“Waiter! There is a maggot in my soup!”

So, has anyone been to a pool recently which still had a deep end and a diving board? How about a high dive? I used to love jumping off of the latter…

I’m 6’5" but wasn’t anywhere close to it when I learned how to tread water…I don’t know how tall I was (maybe my mom kept a growth chart?) at 5 years old, maybe around 3.5’??