Swimming Pool / Hot Tub / Spa

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To obtain a permit for a swimming pool, hot tub, or spa, the following information must be submitted to the Building Inspection Department for consideration:

  • A completed application (located above).
  • One set of plans (drawn to scale) and specifications. Note: The plan should be no larger than 11 inches by 17 inches (executive-size paper).
  • One site plan (drawn to scale) showing the location of the work being done. Note: Again, the site plan should be no larger than 11 inches by 17 inches (executive-size paper).

Typically, it will take three to five business days to process the permit. These permits are combined permits. The contractor will obtain the permit (to include the electrical and plumbing); the electrician and plumber (the "subcontractors") will validate the permit. The validations may be done over the telephone assuming that the subcontractors are registered with the City.

Site Plan

The site plan should show, or explain, the following:

  • Location of pool, hot tub, or spa with distances shown to the house, to other buildings on the lot, and to the property lines.
  • Location of the fencing around the pool, hot tub, spa, or fountain. (Please note whether the fence is new or existing.)
  • Location of all overhead electrical conductors or location of underground electrical service lines and location of the electric meter.
  • Location of pool equipment.

Plans & Specification Requirements

The plans and specifications should show the following:

  • Pool capacity
  • Turnover rate
  • Type of filter and its capacity
  • Whether there is a recirculation system
  • Section of pool showing depth and construction details
  • If a heater is installed, specifications should be provided. Propane is prohibited

Location of Above-ground Pools, Hot Tubs, & Spas

Above-ground pools, spas, and hot tubs shall be treated as accessory structures for setback purposes. Partially in-ground pools shall be treated for setback purposes as both accessory structures and in-ground pools.

Fence & Gate Requirements

  • Swimming pool barriers shall comply with the requirements set forth in the currently adopted International Building and Residential Codes and in all local code amendments.
  • A temporary fence, complying with requirements 2 and 3 below, is required around all permitted pools, hot tubs, spas, and fountains during construction.
  • Fence must be at least 48 inches in height.
  • No opening in the fence (other than the door or gate) will allow a 4-inch diameter sphere (ball) to pass through. The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier shall be 2 inches. The horizontal members of the fence must be beveled as to restrict climbing if they are facing outward, away from the pool-side of the property.
  • Pedestrian access doors and/or gates shall open outward away from the pool and shall be equipped with self-latching and self-closing devices and be able to accommodate a locking device. Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the gate at least 3 inches below the top of the gate, and the gate and barrier shall have no openings greater than 0.5 inch within 18 inches of the release mechanism.
  • Gates other than pedestrian gates shall be self-latching and must be equipped with lockable hardware or padlocks and shall remain locked at all times when not in use (i.e. gates across driveways).
  • Where a wall of the dwelling serves as part of the barrier, one of the three following conditions must be met:
    • The pool shall be equipped with a powered safety cover.
    • All doors with direct access to the pool through that wall shall be equipped with an alarm which produces an audible warning when the door and its screen (if present) are opened. The alarm shall sound continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds immediately after the door is opened and be capable of being heard throughout the house during normal household activities. The alarm shall automatically reset under all conditions. A deactivation device shall be located at least 54 inches above the threshold of the door.
    • Other means of City of Garland approved protection shall be acceptable as long as the degree of protection afforded is not less than that described above.
  • A motor-powered vehicle gate across a driveway is exempt from the locking requirements.
  • A temporary fence 48 inches in height shall be installed after excavation and maintained until a permanent fence is installed.


Before the pool, hot tub, or spa can legally be used, all inspections must be approved by the Building Inspection Department. The following inspections must be performed:

  • Location and belly steel inspection after excavation but before concrete is poured or before prefabricated pool, hot tub, or spa is placed on site. Temporary fence is inspected at this time.
  • Inspection of electrical grounding, and inspection of completed electrical work on pool, hot tub, or spa. (These are two separate inspections.)
  • Inspection of sewer tie-in (p-trap) and backwash.
  • Inspection of completed pool, hot tub, or spa. The required safety fence and self-closing gates will also be inspected at this time. Additionally, the certification of house-pool protection device installation must be on-site.

In addition to the items shown above, the following are requirements that will apply:

  • A working space 36 inch deep by 30 inch wide must be maintained around existing electrical equipment (meter base, panel box, etc.).
  • It is unlawful to drain the pool, hot tub, or spa upon adjacent or public property. All pools, hot tubs, or spas must be drained into the sanitary sewer through a 3-inch p-trap. Exception: Spas and hot tubs under 750 gallons shall not be required to discharge into a p-trap. Sand filters are required to have a backwash line hard-piped to the p-trap.
  • Backflow preventer is required on all exterior hose bibs.
  • For pools other than single-family, an annual Swimming Pool Operator's permit will be required. Contact the Health Department for this permit at 972-205-3460.

For questions regarding pool information, contact the building inspection department at 972-205-2300.