Pool Safety: Bylaws and Above Ground Pool Fencing Requirements

There are many benefits to having a fence around your backyard pool, with safety always being first and foremost. There is a bylaw in Ottawa and other cities across Canada that requires homeowners to have a fence enclosing their in-ground and above ground pool, hot tub or a pond that has a water depth equal to or greater than 24 inches. The City of Ottawa’s Pool Enclosure By-Law requires that all privately owned bodies of water meeting this criteria be protected with a fence, which safeguards against accidents by making the body of water inaccessible to small children.

Every pool fence enclosure in Ottawa must be at least five feet in height and have links no greater than 1.5 inches. Luckily, above ground pool fencing comes in several different styles and finishes that will not only keep your pool contained and safe, it will also add an extra element of style to your backyard oasis.

Although a chain link fence will not necessarily make for the most elegant structure to have around your pool, it will fulfill the City’s bylaw. Providing the fence meets the required measurements, it will serve its purpose, without costing too much. If you choose to place a wooden fence around your pool or hot tub, then you can rest assured that this type of fence will be timeless, and easy to personalize with various materials and finishing options. It’s also important to note that the pool fence must have vertical board construction and the opening at the bottom must be no greater than four inches.

In recent years, vinyl or PVC fences have become a top choice for backyards and above-ground pool fencing. This has been influenced by the sleek style, durability and low maintenance required. The initial cost for a vinyl/PVC fence is a bit higher than other choices; however, it is well worth the investment in the long run. With increased popularity over the years, vinyl/PVC above ground pool fencing has become an acceptable type of pool fence for your yard, providing it meets the bylaw requirements and it’s installed properly.

Not only will a pool fence keep your own children from going in or around your pool area, it will also keep other neighbourhood kids away from danger too. With the added bonus of enhancing the appearance of your backyard pool area, above-ground pool fencing is beneficial in more than one way. Just ensure that you know the laws surrounding a backyard pool, and the requirements when installing a fence. With this information you’ll be on your way to having the perfect backyard space to safely enjoy.