Altering Pool Upslope Angles to Improve Deep End Diving Safety, and Related Safe Water Issues

by Kenneth A. Solomon, M. L. Juncosa


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The slope of a swimming pool floor from the point of the first slope change at the deep end wall toward the shallow is examined in terms of relative safety to the diver for three different upslopes. The current standard specifies a maximum slope change of 1 ft. in 2 ft. 6 in. to a water depth of 5 ft. 6 in. (a 2.5:1 slope). A proposed standard specifies that the slope should not exceed 1 ft. in 3 ft. (a 3.0:1 slope). The proposed 3.0:1 slope is less steep than the current standard. The authors also examine a hypothetical slope change to 3.5:1. After preliminary review of relevant literature and limited analyses — both analytical and statistical — the authors have not located or formulated sufficient evidence to indicate which upslope is superior with regard to safety. Consequently, the authors find that water safety could best be enhanced by public educational messages regarding safe diving and other safe practices in and around swimming pools.

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