Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs

If you have had a hot tub, spa or swimming pool installed, removed, repaired or otherwise serviced by Water World 2062939 ALBERTA LTD., (“Water World Tubs”) between January 2017 and November 2021, it is strongly recommended that you contact us for information regarding the services that you received.

The information on this page will help guide you through adding a swimming pool or hot tub on your residential property. It is important to first obtain the necessary permits, to avoid incurring extra cost to fix deficiencies.

Permit requirements

Hot tub, spa or whirlpool

Development permit

A development permit is not required for an interior or exterior hot tub in a residential district. However, outdoor hot tubs must be a minimum distance from property lines, and they are not allowed in front yards or exterior side yards.

See diagram for examples of placement:

Setbacks for pools and hot tubs


Building permit

A building permit is required for an exterior hot tub more than 24" deep, whether temporary or permanent.

To learn more, see:

Building Permits 

Hot tub safety requirements

Hot tubs (or whirlpools) which have a water depth over 600 mm (24") have specific requirements under the Alberta Building Code.

Hot tub unit

  • Unit must be CSA approved.
  • Water fill valve must have backflow prevention.
  • It is not allowed to install a hot tub on an existing wooden deck.

Fencing

  • Access to the area around any private hot tub (permanent or temporary/seasonal) must be prevented by a minimum 1.8 meter fence, building wall or enclosure.
  • A gate(s) which provide access to the hot tub area must be present, which:
    • Is the same height as the fence
    • Has a self-closing device
    • Has a self-latching device which is minimum 1.5 meters above ground level
    • Is capable of being locked
  • A fence is not necessary around an exterior hot tub for a single family dwelling, provided that:
    • The hot tub does not exceed 2.4 meters (8 feet) across at the widest portion of the water surface, and
    • The hot tub has a cover that has been designed and constructed in conformance with ASTM F1346-91, "Standard Performance Specification for Safety Covers and Labeling Requirements for All Covers for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs" with lockable devices to prevent unauthorized access to the water.

Wastewater

  • Waste water must be discharged to the City's sanitary sewer system, or infiltrated within the yard of the property.

Overhead wiring

  • Any nearby overhead wiring cannot be above a hot tub extending for a 5.0 meter radius in all directions from the edge of a hot tub.

Electrical requirements

  • All electrical work associated with pools and hot tubs must be performed by a certified electrical contractor.
  • Electrical requirements for temporary/seasonal hot tubs will be evaluated on a per-case basis by a Safety Codes Officer.
  • Receptacles cannot be located within 1.5 meters of the inside walls of a hot tub.
  • The following equipment must be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter:
    • Electrical equipment placed in hot tub water, within hot tub walls or within 3.0 meters of the hot tub, and not separated by a fence, wall or other permanent barrier
    • Audio amplifiers connected to speakers in the water
    • Receptacles which are located between 1.5-3.0 meters of the hot tub
    • Receptacles in wet areas of a building associated with the hot tub (locker, change room)

For more information about hot tub safety, contact a Safety Codes Officer.


Trade permits

Trade permits may be required if the proposed project involves specific considerations:

  • Electrical Permit: specific electrical requirements apply to hot tubs.
  • Plumbing Permit: for installing or modifying plumbing systems or any plumbing equipment.

To learn more, see:

Trade Permits

Outdoor swimming pool

Type of poolDevelopment Permit requiredBuilding Permit required
Permanent, more than 24" deep Yes Yes
Temporary/seasonal, more than 24" deep No* Yes
Temporary/seasonal, 24" deep or less No No
Decorative pond, 24" deep or less No† No

*Not allowed in front yard or side yard; setback restrictions apply. See Setbacks diagram below.

†Conditions may apply. For more information, visit Landscaping and Ponds.

Development permit

A development permit is required for a permanent pool more than 24" deep. Planning staff will consider the size of your pool (site coverage) and will advise you on necessary distances from property lines. Depending on your lot, other factors may also be applicable. For more info, contact us.

See diagram for examples of placement:

Setbacks for pools and hot tubs

A development permit must approved before applying for building and trade permits.

To learn more about development permits, visit:

Development Permits


Building permit

A building permit is required for a swimming pool more than 24" deep, whether temporary or permanent, outdoor or indoor. 

To learn more, see:

Building Permits

Pool safety requirements

Swimming pools which have a water depth over 600 mm (24") have specific requirements under the Alberta Building Code.

Fencing

  • Access to the area around any private pool (permanent or temporary/seasonal) must be prevented by a minimum 1.8 meter fence, building wall or enclosure.
  • A gate(s) which provide access to the pool area must be present, which:
    • Is the same height as the fence
    • Has a self-closing device
    • Has a self-latching device which is minimum 1.5 meters above ground level
    • Is capable of being locked

Deck

  • The deck surface must be nonslip when wet.
  • If the deck is 600mm (2 feet) or more above ground level, guards are required
  • Deck and guards may be combined to meet the fencing requirements.

Wastewater

  • Waste water must be discharged to the City's sanitary sewer system.

Overhead wiring

  • Any nearby overhead wiring cannot be above the pool, diving structure, or any other pool structure, or above the area extending 5.0 meters horizontally from the pool edge.

Electrical requirements

  • All electrical work associated with pools and hot tubs must be performed by a certified electrical contractor.
  • Electrical requirements for temporary/seasonal pools (e.g. pumps) will be evaluated on a per-case basis by a Safety Codes Officer.
  • Pumps for permanent pools must have hardwired connection.
  • No electrical receptacles can be located within 3.0 meters of the inside wall of a pool.
  • The following must be bonded together by a copper bonding conductor:
    • Any metal parts of the pool and other non-electrical equipment within 1.5 meters of pool (piping, ladders, diving boards, fences etc.)
    • Non-current carrying metal parts of electrical equipment
  • Bonding conductors cannot be smaller than #6 AWG for a permanent pool or in-ground pool.
  • The following equipment must be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter:
    • Electric pump, if located within 3.0 meters of pool wall
    • Electrical equipment placed in pool water, within pool walls or within 3.0 meters of the pool, and not separated by a fence, wall or other permanent barrier
    • Audio amplifiers connected to speakers in the pool water
    • Receptacles in wet areas of a building associated with the pool (locker, change room)

For more information about pools safety, contact a Safety Codes Officer.


Trade permits

Trade permits may be required if the proposed project involves specific considerations:

  • Electrical Permit: dependent on electrical requirements of the planned pool.
  • Plumbing Permit: dependent on plumbing requirements of the planned pool.
  • Gas Permit: dependent on heating requirements of the planned pool.

To learn more, see:

Trade Permits

How to Apply

Apply for a hot tub

Apply online

ePermit

Please review these user guides before applying with ePermit:

Apply in person

  1. Determine which application(s) you need. You can then download checklists and forms below to complete them, or come in person to Planning & Development Services at City Hall and we will assist you.
  2. Have drawings ready, if required (eg: Site plan, details of hot tub construction)
  3. Have utility locate slips: These show the location of underground and overhead utilities, such as gas and cable lines. See Line Locates below.
  4. Bring all these required documents and apply in person at Planning & Development Services.

Apply for outdoor swimming pool

Apply online: permanent/in-ground pool

To apply online, use one of the following options (do not apply with both):

Web form OR ePermit

Please review this user guide before applying with ePermit.


Apply online: temporary/seasonal pool

ePermit

Please review this user guide before applying with ePermit:


Apply in person: any pool

  1. Determine which application(s) you need. You can then download checklists and forms below to complete them, or come in person to Planning & Development Services at City Hall and we will assist you.
  2. Have drawings ready, if required (eg: Site plan, elevation plan, details of pool construction)
  3. Have utility locate slips: These show the location of underground and overhead utilities, such as gas and cable lines. See Line Locates below.
  4. Bring all these required documents and apply in person at Planning & Development Services.

Payment Methods

Online or phone:

  • Visa or Mastercard

In-person:

  • Debit
  • Cash
  • Cheque
  • Visa or Mastercard

Mail:

  • Cheque

Fees and Charges

How long will it take to approve permits?

  • Development permits: Timelines vary based on application type and the impact to the community.
  • Building permits: Typically 10-15 business days, provided that an approved development permit (if required) has been released.

Line Locates

When planning an outdoor swimming pool or hot tub, it is important to know where utilities are located on your property. Locates are free of charge but require at least three days notice.

You must provide utility locate slips with your application. To obtain line locates, visit:

Line locates

Inspections

Inspections are required for most swimming pool and hot tub installations. At the discretion of the Safety Codes Officer, projects may require rough-in and final inspections, depending on the complexity of the project. A simple placement of an exterior hot tub or temporary pool may only require a final inspection.

Book online

To book an inspection online, use one of the following options (do not apply with both):

Web form OR ePermit

Please review this user guide before booking an inspection with ePermit.


Book by phone

Phone 403-529-8208 (automated inspection request line)

Risks when permits are not obtained

By not obtaining permits for work done on your home, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to potential future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim. There could also be consequences if you do not correct the situation, such as:

  • Enforcement action issued by a Safety Codes Officer.
  • A fine for building without a permit.
  • Having to undo work that has been completed.
  • Future legal and financial issues when selling your property or making an insurance claim.
  • Having to do more work than was originally planned and budgeted, to fix deficiencies.
  • Potential liability to you, the homeowner, in the event of an accident.

As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you that permits were not required.

What if I am not the property owner?

If you are not the owner of the property, then you must get the owner's consent to apply for any changes.

Owner Consent