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6 Do’s and Don’ts For Designing a Pool Therapy Room

6 Do’s and Don’ts For Designing a Pool Therapy Room

Therapy pools are commonly implemented into many types of facilities: senior living communities, physical therapy clinics, hospitals, sports medicine facilities and team athletic training facilities.  The final product typically ends up being the crown jewel of the facility, but there are a lot of details required in order to get there.  One of the key pieces to having a great pool room is ensuring the design is optimized for your patients and staff.


Dos & Don’ts of Hydrotherapy Pool Room Design

There are many ways that pool room and mechanical pit design can impact your project, not only in costs, but in user satisfaction for years to come.

Programming the Space

Make sure there is a defined path from the hydrotherapy pool to the changing area and rinse showers.  Ensure there is adequate drainage for dripping water along this path.

Perimeter Drainage

When designing drainage around a HydroWorx pool, consider how the pool will be used.  The 2000 and 1200 Series pools have movable floors that come up to the deck height.  Users can enter and exit these pools from any side, so a perimeter slot or trench drain is very good here.  The 750 and 3500 Series pools have a fixed stair for entry.  One area drain per side of these pools, with more along the main travel paths, is appropriate for these pools.  Often users of Plunge pools (especially polar) will sit on the deck and soak their lower extremities.  If they just got out of a treadmill pool, they will drip water wherever they sit.  Therefore, we recommend trench or slot drains around plunge pools.

Rinse Showers/Changing rooms

Often, when hydrotherapy is being added to an existing facility, changing and shower facilities may not be conveniently located.  Adding a rinse shower to the pool room wall, with appropriate drainage, can lead to happier users, as well as better water quality in the pool.  Likewise, a small unisex changing area adjacent to the pool room will provide a comfortable experience for your users so they don’t have to travel far in their swim clothing.

Economize Mechanical Pit Space

It seems that mechanical spaces are often first to suffer when space and cost reductions are required.  It is important to understand that whoever maintains the pool water will need access to the brominator almost daily, and the filter monthly.  Understanding this access will help avoid mechanical spaces that are hard to navigate, or placing equipment that needs frequent service in hard to reach areas.

Economize Pool Room Space

When multiple HydroWorx pools are installed in a hydrotherapy room, there are efficiencies in the pool room of which we can take advantage.  For example, some clearance space can overlap when putting two plunge pools next to each other, allowing for installations in tighter spaces.  Obviously, ADA requirements and building code requirements still need to be considered.  Minimum deck size is often governed by local codes.  Also, when specific clear space is required, it can often be utilized for extremity tanks, storage of underwater exercise equipment (buoyancy vests, underwater barbells, etc.), or any other item that can be moved in the event major service is needed.


It is critical to consider a pool-specific dehumidification unit for the pool room and mechanical pit.  There is nothing worse than putting a nice hydrotherapy pool in a room with a great view, and having the windows covered in condensation.  Also, dehumidifying the mechanical pit extends the life of the equipment and cuts down on service and maintenance costs.

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Please remember to contact HydroWorx’s design specialists when beginning to design your hydrotherapy space.  We can help with conceptualizing the space through 3D renderings.  We also offer constructability reviews and progress set reviews, as well as specification reviews and contractor pricing reviews.

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