Swimming pools & Hot tubs

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Decks and patios

Garages and sheds

Landscaping and ponds

Fire pits

Visit a community pool

pools-hottubsBefore taking the plunge, there are many items to think about when you decide to add a pool or hot tub to your property. Before you buy, make sure the type & size you choose is suitable for your property. All pre-manufactured units must be CSA approved (or approved by other applicable authority). Plus, it's important to get the necessary City permits to ensure that requirements are met.

The information on this page is intended for residential properties within Medicine Hat.

Temporary pools need permits, too. Only pools with a water depth of less than 600mm (24") do not require permits (wading pools). For more info, see below: What permits do I need?

I already set up a temporary pool in my yard. What should I do? Call Planning & Development Services at 403.529.8374. Each situation must be looked at individually. You may be required to drain it so it can be checked by a Safety Codes Officer. You may also be required to move it, if it is placed too near a property line, for instance.

What about decorative ponds? Landscaping ponds must be less than 600mm (24") in depth, are considered decorative elements and are not to be used as recreational pools. For guidelines, visit Landscaping and Ponds.

Remember, we are here to help! If you have questions, contact us:
Planning & Development Services
Second floor, City Hall
580 1st Street SE
Medicine Hat, AB  T1A 8E6
Ph. 403.529.8374
pbe@medicinehat.ca

 


A Development Permit (DP) covers the what and where a development may proceed. It approves what type of development is allowed on a particular property, taking into account land use and setback issues of the City's Land Use Bylaw. DPs are issued by the City's Planning staff.

A Building Permit (BP) covers how it is built. It allows the construction/demolition of structures contingent on meeting the requirements of the Alberta Building Code. BPs are issued by the City's Safety Codes Officers.


 

hottub

Hot tub, spa or whirlpool

Exterior or interior

Development Permit not required. However, outdoor placement of hot tubs must be a minimum distance from property lines, and they are not allowed in front yards. For details, contact Planning & Development Services at 403.529.8374, or see the diagram below:

  icon_PDFSetbacks for pools and hot tubs

Building permit required. For safety reasons, exterior hot tubs must be surrounded by a fence, wall or other enclosure, which has specific requirements. It is not allowed to install a hot tub on an existing wooden deck. For specific building requirements, see the Alberta Building Code or contact a Safety Codes Officer.

Electrical permit required (certified electricians only). Specific electrical requirements apply to hot tubs.

Plumbing permit may be required. If hot tub has direct plumbing for filling and/or draining, a plumbing permit is required.

For application forms, see below: How do I obtain permits?

For general safety codes requirements, see:

  icon_PDFHot Tubs and Whirlpools

Make sure there are no overhead wires above a hot tub. See diagram below:

  icon_PDFPools & overhead wires

pools

Exterior swimming pools

Water depth of 600mm (24") or more, permanent or temporary

Development Permit required. Your Development Permit must be approved before you can apply for a Building Permit. 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 Planning & Development Services at 403.529.8374, or see the diagram below:

  icon_PDFSetbacks for pools and hot tubs

Building permit required. For safety reasons, exterior swimming pools must be surrounded by a fence, wall or other enclosure, which has specific requirements. There are many other safety factors which must be considered, making a Building Permit necessary. For specific building requirements, see the Alberta Building Code or contact a Safety Codes Officer.

Electrical permit may be required (certified electricians only). Dependent upon any electrical requirements of the planned pool.

Plumbing permit may be required. (certified plumbers only). Dependent upon any plumbing requirements of the planned pool.

Gas permit may be required. Dependent upon specific heating requirements of the planned pool.

For application forms, see below: How do I obtain permits?

For general safety codes requirements, see:

  icon_PDFPrivate Swimming Pools

For example site plan (required with Building Permit), see diagram below:

  icon_PDFExample site plan - Pool

Make sure there are no overhead wires above a swimming pool. See diagram below:

  icon_PDFPools & overhead wires

 kiddiepool

Wading (kiddie) pools

Less than 600mm (2 ft.) in depth

No permits are required. However:

  Make sure there are no overhead wires above a wading pool. See:   icon_PDFPools & overhead wires
  Make sure children are always supervised around wading pools.
  For hygienic reasons, keep the water clean.
  Take care when filling and draining small pools. See section below: Filling & draining - the right way.

Risks when a permit is not obtained

If you, as a homeowner or contractor, do not have permits for work that has been started or completed, there could be consequences if you do not take action to correct the situation, such as:

  Potential liability to you, the homeowner, in the event of an accident.
  Enforcement action issued by a City inspector.
  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.

NOTE: As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying any penalties, even if you hired a contractor who assured you that permits were not required. Remember, we are here to help! Call Planning and Development Services at 403.529.8374.



You can print the application form(s) you need from the list below, complete it and visit Planning & Development Services. Or just drop by and we will assist you.

A permit fee is payable when you apply. Therefore, applicants will typically pay in person at the counter of Planning & Development Services. The City accepts payments in cash, cheques and debit (not credit cards).

  See Fee Schedule

Contact:
Planning & Development Services
2nd floor, Medicine Hat City Hall
580 1st Street SE
Phone 403.529.8374
pbe@medicinehat.ca

 

icon_PDFDevelopment Permit Application

icon_PDFAccessory Structures Checklist

icon_PDFBuilding Permit Application

icon_PDFSwimming Pool Checklist

icon_PDFElectrical Permit Application (certified electricians only)

icon_PDFPlumbing Permit Application (certified plumbers only)

icon_PDFGas Permit Application (certified gasfitters only)

How long will it take to obtain my permits?

Development Permits: Timelines vary depending on what you require. Learn more >

Building Permits: Typically less than 6 business days, provided that an approved development permit (if required) has been released. Learn more >



There may be utility lines such as electric, gas, sewer, water or telecommunications in proximity to your planned pool or hot tub location. These are major constraints for a planned in-ground pool and may also be a concern for a hot tub or a temporary pool.

When applying for a Building Permit for your project, it is required that you also include utility locate slips. Locates are done free of charge and will be typically provided within a couple of days.

To obtain utility locate slips, contact:

  Alberta One-Call (Electric, Gas, Water, Sewer, Telus) 1.800.242.3447

  Shaw 1-866-344-7429



City inspection is required for swimming pool and hot tub installations in Medicine Hat. Depending on the complexity of the project (at the discretion of the Safety Codes Officer), several inspections may be necessary. A simple placement of an exterior hot tub or temporary pool may only require a final inspection.

To book an inspection, phone 403.529.8208 (24 hours).
OR download the inspection request fax sheet, and fax it to 403.502.8036.

For general inquiries, phone Planning & Development Services at 403.529.8374.

For more information, visit Inspections.



When filling with garden hose:
Keep the end of the hose out of the pool/hot tub water during filling to prevent potentially contaminating the water supply to your house. An alternative is to install a hose bib vacuum breaker (available from any plumbing supply store) to prevent the water from reversing direction.

Watch for overflow: Do not leave your pool/hot tub unattended when filling, or set a timer as a reminder! Overfilling may lead to flooding which could damage your property or your neighbours'. 

Drain to sewer system: Discharge water to the City’s sanitary sewer system by draining, pumping or back washing filters into the floor drain in the basement of residence with a hose. Do not discharge pool/hot tub water to any street, lane, sidewalk, drainage ditch, adjacent property or nearby body of water.

Draining alternatives: If your pool is not large, it can be slowly discharged onto your property, if the water remains within your property until it evaporates or soaks into the ground. Or you may choose to hire a licensed wastewater hauler to have your pool water removed (check local listings).