Depth Signage

.6 metre pool depth sign 

Patrons take pool depth into account in many of the decisions they make when visiting a pool or aquatic centre. Depth markings and signage indicate where swimmers can perform activities such as dive starts or where parents can gauge where their child can safely swim. 

But what is the correct depth signage required for a swimming pool? 

According to the Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Operation, Management and Maintenance of Aquatic Facilities (Section 2.12), depth markings around a pool must:

  • be of a permanent nature and in a colour contrasting with the background
  • be installed around the water body at intervals not exceeding 7.5 metres
  • be readily visible to persons entering the water body
  • indicate maximum and minimum water depths
  • be displayed at all major deviations in shape for irregularly-shaped water bodies
  • include a pictorial sign where there is a change in floor gradient to indicate a change in floor depth
  • be located as close as practicable to the corners of square/rectangular water bodies, near all designated entry points, and not located directly over stair/step entries

Depth markings should be displayed on all horizontal or outer vertical water body surfaces which may enable patron access. This can include the concourse, coping deck, pool hob or header. 

Depth markings must also be displayed on the inside vertical water body surface clearly above the water line in corresponding locations to horizontal depth markers where possible. (Markings are not required on the inside vertical face of a water body where the water level is < 125mm below the concourse, coping deck or header). 

Depth markers must be at least 90mm high, with the height-to-width ratio of each numeral or letter being 3:1.

The Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations (GSPO) – Section 4.3 states:

  • All depth markings should be provided in metric measurements. If used, it is desirable to provide imperial measurements in brackets next to the metric measurements.
  • Depth markings should be in metres, e.g. 0.9m, 1.2m, 1.5m, 1.8m, 2.0m.
  • The depth markings should be in numerals and letters at least 100mm in height.
  • The number and location of depth markings will vary dependent upon the size and configuration of the pool. However, there should always be depth markings at the shallow end and deep end, and additional markings along the length of the pool, as necessary to be visible from all areas inside the pool and the surrounding concourse.

The GSPO provides additional information for shallow and deep water:

Shallow Water

  • In shallow water (1.2m deep or less) - the words SHALLOW WATER and the Shallow Water Sign should be displayed.
  • In water less than 1.8m for ‘wet-deck’ pools or less than 2.0m for pools with surrounding walls greater than 380mm above the water level, Australian Standard ‘No Diving’ signs and the words NO DIVING should be displayed.

Deep Water 

  • In deep water (1.8m deep or more) - the words DEEP WATER and the Deep Water sign should be displayed. 

The illustration below is an example of compliant and best practice signage. 

illustration of swimming pool with depth signage

The correct safety signage and symbols are from AS/NZS 2416.1:2010.

For centre-specific advice, contact our Safe Venues team on (08) 9383 8200. 

To access the full Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations (GSPO) follow the link below!

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