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I plan on installing a pool in our backyard that will go up for the Summer, and then come down between seasons. The borough of Whitehall, where I live, requires one of the following for fencing:

  • 160.5.3.1.1. A chain-link-type fence around the rear of the property or around the pool not exceeding four (4) feet in height.
  • 160.5.3.1.2. A four-to-six-foot-high solid or closed-type fence, provided that such fence is within twelve (12) feet of the pool walls.
  • 160.5.3.2. A pool whose walls are four (4) feet above ground level and which is equipped with an automatic retracting and locking ladder need not be fenced. The ladder must be locked in the closed position when the pool is not in use

Leaving aside the somewhat baffling choice of the first option stating that the fence must be less than four feet tall (when I joked with the lady at the borough office that I was contemplating a 6 inch fence so as to stay within the law, she looked less than pleased), I'm trying to figure out an option that, like the pool, can be put up for a season, and then removed, ideally with minimal impact to the rest of the lawn. I'm contemplating some sort of bollard setup where I can leave holes in the ground, in concrete foundations, and just place the poles down and put up the fence for the season.

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  • A problem with easy to take down fences, is they are easy to take down and get in. Pool fences are required to keep out persons not able to swim when you are not there. To make an easy to remove fence safe enough, it might be cheaper to have a permanent fence and make a lawyer unhappy.
    – crip659
    Sep 2 at 18:48
  • "I plan on installing a pool in our backyard that will go up for the Summer, and then come down between seasons." - So will it require a permit and inspection every year?
    – MonkeyZeus
    Sep 2 at 19:04
  • @MonkeyZeus: The statement I received from the lady in the office (the actual permit guy apparently being out for COVID) is that, for temporary pools, you get the permit once and then it's good for subsequent seasons. There's no actual inspection required, just for the inspector to view the paperwork and issue a permit. Sep 2 at 19:25
  • @MonkeyZeus Requires fencing does not always mean permits/inspections. My township requires fencing around pools. It is on complaints they inspect.
    – crip659
    Sep 2 at 19:27
  • @crip659: Mainly, I just don't want a fence back there for the rest of the year, any more than I want to have fencing all around my back yard. I don't know if the temporary nature of the fence would be an issue for the permit or not. Possibly something I'll be able to ask the inspector week after next when I have my next Friday off to meet during work hours. But I would like to be able to propose how I might do it. Sep 2 at 19:28

3 Answers 3

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It appears that the simplest solution is to have a pool with 4 ft walls and a retracting /locking ladder. Then no fencing is needed.

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  • {nods} That does seem to be the solution much of the neighborhood has taken. Sep 2 at 21:20
  • I've heard pool covers can hold almost 500 pounds...a big fat drunk. I use the term drunk because if you fall into a covered pool... Sep 3 at 4:41
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A chain-link fence is probably the closest to what you'd like. You can take one down and put it back up. Replace the fence ties and any wire rope you use each time. All the other hardware should be good to use over and over, as should the fence mesh itself.

Properly-set fence posts will be at least 2 feet deep and the holes will likely be 6- to 10-inches in diameter at the surface. You can't leave those holes open to the air -- someone may step into one and get injured. Therefore, the biggest problem you have is what to do with the holes.

Any other type of fence is going to leave you with a similar problem -- the dangerous holes, or unsightly poles.

Temporary fencing, like the kind used at construction sites, is setup on above-ground blocks of concrete piers (or similar). If your community will allow that, it might be a better choice.

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The bollard approach (done throughly) will work. But as already answered by @RMDman 160.5.3.2 is probably more convenient and less costly (and less to store in the off-season.) Probably why that's what most of the neighbors do.

To do "bollard-style" right, you'll need tubing in the ground/concrete that the fence posts slip into, and you'll need short fence-posts with a flat cover to keep the ground tubes from filling with crud when the fence posts are not in the holes (unless you want to get fancy and have really deep ground tubes that the fence posts themselves drop down into, and pins to hold them at fence height. Saves storing the fence posts, and you can add hydraulic pistons to push them up when you win the lottery.)

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