How to calculate bather load

Updated February 21, 2017

Bather load is a term that refers to the maximum number of swimmers that can safely be in a pool at any one time. The municipality you live in or the venue where you are swimming often determines the limit. There are many different formulas for calculating bather load, from very complex to relatively simple. Some formulas are based on health codes for your area or the specific pool design. If local codes do not specify, you can try a simple formula.

Calculate how many square feet are in the shallow end of the pool by multiplying the length by the width. There is one bather allowed for every 15 feet in 5 feet of water or less.

Calculate how many square feet are in the deep end of the pool. For water over 5 feet deep, there is one bather allowed for every 20 square feet.

Subtract 300 square feet from the total surface area for each diving board.

Calculate the bather load for the entire pool by adding the two totals together. As an example:

Shallow end = 50 * 30 feet = 1500 square feet / 15 = 100 bathers allowed in the shallow end of the pool.

Deep end = 50 * 60 feet = 3000 square feet minus 300 for one diving board = 2700 square feet / 20 = 135 bathers allowed in deep end of pool.

When you add the deep and shallow end totals together you find the bather load is 235.

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