How Deep Does a Pool Have to Be to Have a Slide?

Girl in summer outdoor pool.

Pool slide manufacturers have different specifications for the necessary depth of a pool. How deep your pool must be depends on the size and length of the slide you plan to install and the intended participants. Children-specific slides usually require a shallower depth than slides designed for participants taller than 48 inches. Consult your slide's manufacturer for exact depth specifications.

Minimum Requirements

For sliders shorter than 48 inches, if the distance between the end of the slide and the water, known as the drop, is 3 inches or less, the water depth should be 2 feet. For sliders taller than 48 inches, the pool must be at least 3-feet deep, with some manufacturers requiring 3 1/2 to 4 feet as a minimum.

Other Factors Determining Depth

The speed you're likely to reach on a slide and the height of the slide also influence how deep the landing pool should be. The distance of the drop also plays a role. If your slide has a drop greater than 6 inches and does not decelerate the slider before discharge, the depth of the pool should be the same as is required for a one-meter diving board, or 11 1/2 feet, according to Safe Wise. If the manufacturer specifies otherwise, follow those recommendations. For slides that have a 10 percent or less grade, snake around and slow the speed of the slider at the drop zone, a 3 to 4 foot landing pool is adequate.