Installing a Swimming Pool, Spa or Hot Tub

A pool is defined as any structure intended for swimming or bathing and containing water 24'' or more.  

Spas and hot tubs are considered pools if water is 24'' deep or more.

Pools are allowed in only side or rear yards if located at least 6' from the the side and rear lot lines.  

A permit is required from the Building Department and when the permit is issued, a licensed electrician must obtain a permit from the City Electrical Department if there is any electrical work to be done.

When filing a permit, a certified plot plan is needed and needs to be drawn at 1'' = 30' scale or larger showing the pool, house, fencing and gate dimensions showing distances from the property lines. For above ground pools, a mortgage plot plan will suffice.

Pools are also required to be enclosed by a fence at least 48'' high with a self latching gate at least 36'' wide. Rail fences are not sufficient to meet this requirement. Salem City Ordinance requires the fence even if the above ground pool has a barrier mounted on the top of the pool.

For further information, refer to the Massachusetts Building Code Appendix M or contact the Building Department at 978-619-5641.

Click here for the ADA Standards for Accessible Design for Swimming Pools.