The minimum size for a lap pool

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The minimum size for a lap pool
Lap pools are used for everything from practice to major competitions. (Gary Faber/Valueline/Getty Images)

Unlike traditional swimming pools which are designed for leisure and water play, lap pools have a design tailored specifically to swimming laps. Sometimes built outdoors and sometimes indoors, a lap pool may come in a variety of sizes depending on the pool owner's needs and the available space.

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Minimum Size

No minimum size exists for a lap pool, though the lap pools found in colleges and recreational facilities tend to range in length from 15 to 50 meters or approximately 45 to 165 feet. The most standard lap pool size, according to Swimming Pool Ideas, is 75 feet, which allows swimmers to complete a full 25-yard lap with each pass. A lap pool can be wide enough to accommodate multiple swimmers in multiple lanes or narrow enough to accommodate only one swimmer, depending on the intended use of the pool.

Pool Depth

The depth of a lap pool may also vary by intended use. A lap pool designed just for swimming laps, for instance, may have a depth of only 3 1/2 feet or a depth range of 3 to 6 feet. A lap pool designed for dual-use as both a lap swimming pool and a diving pool, on the other hand, may range in depth from only 3 1/2 feet to 12 or 15 feet.

Indoor Lap Pools

The advantage of building a lap pool indoors is that the pool can be used all year long for exercise and swim practice. One disadvantage to an indoor lap pool, however, may be limited space. As for the size for your lap pool, you may have to factor in your space limitations for the maximum size of your pool. As long as the lap pool is long enough for you to reach a comfortable stride, you can build your pool to this size.

Minimum Size Testing

Before you incur the expense of installing a lap pool, you should ensure that the size limitations of your lap pool will be a comfortable fit for you. One simple way to do this is to go to a swimming pool and measure out the length of the lap pool that you are thinking about building; measure one end of the pool, and place a person or obstacle in the pool at that point. You can then test the length by swimming laps from the pool's edges to the obstacle and back to determine if the length is enough to suffice as a comfortable lap pool.

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