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Hot tubs, pools & ponds

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new AB building code

New Alberta Building Code

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A new Alberta Building Code is in effect. Please review the changes.

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Information |  New Alberta Building Code

A new Alberta Building Code is in effect. Please review the changes.
 


​​Outdoor hot tubs, swimming pools and ponds.

Need help? Chat with us. We can help guide you through your home improvement project and assist you with:

  • Determining what permits you might require.
  • Offering solutions or alternatives.
  • Transitioning you smoothly through the application process.

When is a permit required?


Typically, any hot tub, pool, pond, or similar project does not require a permit if it is shallower than 0.6m (2’-0”).

In most situations, your project will only require a building safety approval (building permit) and an electrical permit. If your design or location does not meet land use bylaw specifications you will also require planning approval (development permit).

How to apply


Step 1: Review the application checklist

Use the Pool, hot tub and pond permit checklist to determine the application and drawing requirements for your project.

Step 2: Prepare your application

To help you design your project, see the building code and City bylaw information section.

Fees

Planning Approval - Development Permit (prior to ​construction)​​ ​ ​ ​ ​
​Use​ ​Permit fee ​Advertising fee ​Development Completion Inspection ​Total
Proposed land use bylaw relaxation for a hot tub, pool, or pond
​$384 ​$32 ​$163 ​​$579
See the planning applications fee schedule​ for a complete list of planning application fees.

Building Safety Approval - Building Permit
​Use ​Permit fee Safety Codes Council Fee (4%) ​Total
New Hot Tub
$202
​$8.08​ ​​$210.08​​
​New Pool ​$202 ​​$8.08​ $210.08​​
​New Pond ​$202 ​​$8.08​ ​$210.08​​
​Renovation to an existing hot tub, pool, or pond ​$202 ​​$8.08​ ​$210.08​​​
See the building permit fee schedule for a complete list of building permt application fees.


Step 3: Apply

Apply online

To apply in person, complete the home improvement application and visit the planning services centre with the documents from the checklist in step 1. To skip the line, book an appointment online.

Building code and bylaw information


Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the work being carried out conforms to any restrictive covenants, caveats or other restrictions that are registered on the land title.

Illustrations of codes and bylaws

Sample drawings for building permits and development permits for hot tubs and swimming pools.

Note: you will also have to provide a copy of the manufacturer’s installation specifications.




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Location of hot tubs and swimming pools

Hot tubs and swimming pools are required to be 1.2 m from side and rear property lines and may not be located in the actual front setback without a development permit.

There can be no wires over a hot tub, unless it is covered by an overhead structure. Any existing overhead wiring is required to be clear of any hot tub or swimming pool 5.0 m vertically and 5.0 m horizontally.

Hot tub distance from property lines
Hot tub distance from property lines

Hot tubs located on a deck/patio

If a hot tub is supported by a structure that elevates the floor of the hot tub above grade, such as a deck or patio, an engineer’s stamp is required, regardless of the height of the structure.

Hot tubs located in a gazebo

If you’re putting your hot tub in a gazebo that is more than 10 m2, or if the height of the gazebo floor is more than 0.6 m above ground level, the gazebo must have its own approved building permit.

If you plan to enclose a hot tub in a covered structure, such as a gazebo, accessory residential building rules will apply. Any covered structure over 10 m2 in floor area will require a building permit. Any covered structure with a finished floor 0.6 m or more above grade will require an approved development permit.

Building code requirements for swimming pools and hot tubs

As per Alberta Building Code, the water depth of a hot tub should not exceed 1.2 m measured from the hot tub floor to the water surface. The depth of water to a seat or bench in a whirlpool must not exceed 0.6 m.

Please review locking covers and fence and gate requirements for pool and hot tub building code standards. Please note that all permanently installed hot tubs and swimming pools must be wired by a qualified electrical contractor.

Please contact the Technical Assistance Centre for Code-related inquiries about:

  • Building
  • Plumbing
  • Gas
  • Electrical
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning
  • Construction methods
  • Building safety
  • Fire regulations

For all other inquiries (i.e. Land Use Bylaw), please contact our Planning Services Centre.

Locking covers for hot tub

Division B 7.2.2.1 of the 2014 Alberta Building Code

A fence and gate are not required for a single family dwelling, outdoor hot tub provided:

  1. The hot tub includes a cover that:
    • has been designed and constructed in conformance with ASTM F 1346, “Safety Covers and Labeling Requirements for All Covers for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs,” and
    • is provided with lockable devices to prevent access to the water by unauthorized persons.

Fence and gate requirements

Division B 7.2.2.1 of the 2014 Alberta Building Code

  1. The entire area of an outdoor swimming pool must be protected by a fence, building wall or enclosure to prevent unauthorized access, and its height above grade must be a minimum of:
    • 1.8 m for a private swimming pool; and
    • 2.4 m for all other swimming pools

      A fence is not required for a swimming pool / hot tub if it:
    • is provided with a cover that has been designed and constructed in conformance with ASTM F 1346, “Safety Covers and Labeling Requirements for All Covers for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs,” and
    • is provided with lockable devices to prevent access to the water by unauthorized persons.
  2. Access through a fence shall be protected by a gate that is:
    • the same height as the fence;
    • equipped with a self-closing device;
    • equipped with a self-latching device installed at least 1.5 m above grade inside the gate; and
    • lockable.
  3. The fence and gate shall be constructed:
    • so that all horizontal and diagonal support boards face the swimming pool side so the fence cannot be easily climbed, and
    • to prevent objects greater than 100 mm from passing through the fence boards.
  4. Barbed wire cannot be used on or as a fence or gate.
  5. Electric fencing and/or gates are not permitted.
  6. A fence is not required around any portion of an above-ground outdoor private swimming pool if the top of the pool’s outside wall is at least 1.8 m above grade and is constructed so that the only access point is through a gate.

Inspection information


All inspections for residential construction, electrical, plumbing and gas fireplace installation permits can be booked online using our 311 app or calgary.ca/311online. When choosing the service type, scroll down to Inspection and choose your project. You will need to provide your permit number, address and contact information.

Generally, your project will require a rough-in and a final inspection for each building and trade permit pulled, though additional inspections may be required. You can contact 311 on the morning of your inspection to find out if it will be in the morning or afternoon.

The inspection process is dynamic and an inspection outcome depends on the chosen construction method and site conditions at time of inspection. The information provided is not intended as an exhaustive list but a generalized outline of the inspection process.

Inspections for building permits

Final inspection

Hot tubs:

  • The hot tub must be ready to use.
  • A cover constructed in conformance with ASTM F1346 and the lockable device must be installed

Pools:

  • The pool must be ready to use.
  • Complete the fence and gates or cover constructed conformance with ASTM F1346 with the lockable device must be installed. See fence and gate requirements​.

Inspections for electrical permits

Please visit Inspections for the required tasks that must be completed prior to rough-in and final inspection of your project.

Call before you dig

Always call Alberta One Call before you dig: 1-800-242-3447. For more information or to submit a locate request, visit Alberta One-Call.

Disclaimer: This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically.

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