Anatomy of a Pool

The Anatomy of a Swimming Pool


Pool construction is an intricate process that usually takes a matter of a few weeks to complete. And once the process is over, you’ll have a beautiful swimming pool that is built to last for years and years. But what goes into making a swimming pool the strong and lasting structure that it is, capable of containing tens of thousands of gallons of water? Here is a look at the “anatomy” of an in-ground swimming pool.

Walls and floor

Of course the first thing to enter your mind when you think of swimming pool anatomy is probably the outer concrete structure. A typical pool’s walls and floor are made up of three things:

  1. structural steel for reinforcement, comprised of vertically and horizontally laid steel rebar.
  2. concrete that is a minimum of six inches thick, comprised of a mixture of sand and cement called gunite (which is applied through a hose with highly pressurized air).
  3. interior finish consisting of plaster (a mixture of cement and marble sand), pebbles, tiling, or glass.


The surrounding deck of a pool is part of the overall pool structure, as well. A pool deck is usually at least four inches thick. Coping is the decorative stone, tile, or brick masonry that finishes off the pool’s edge, and it will typically complement the pool’s overall design in terms of materials used. Beyond the coping, the deck can be finished in any number of ways to suit your particular taste and home landscaping style.

Water pump system

Of course, an in-ground swimming pool has a water pump system, which is laid down just after the structural steel is set. This allows for water to be pumped out of your pool, filtered, and then pumped back into your pool. Water is sucked out using skimmers and main lines; filtered by means of a pump and filter; and pumped back into your pool via the return jets.

  • Skimmers house those baskets positioned at the edges of your pool, and they suck water into your filtration system. The baskets inside them catch leaves, bugs, and debris so that these things don’t enter the filtration system. Skimmers pull water into your filtration system from the top of the pool.
  • Main vents on the floor of your pool pull water into your filtration system from the bottom of the pool.
  • The pump component of your pool’s filtration system is responsible for moving the water throughout the pool’s water filtration system.
  • The filter component is responsible for filtering and cleaning the water so that it can be pumped back into your pool.
  • Return jets on the walls of your pool pump filtered water back into your pool and circulate the water so that the pool’s skimmers and main vents can eventually pull that water back into the filtration system.