The current International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) has no provisions for design of concrete pool shells. Many structural engineers use ACI 350 Code Requirements for Environmental Engineering Concrete Structures for pool structures, especially commercial pools. ACI 350 is based on ACI 318 Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete but has modifications to provide a design for concrete structures that are normally exposed to water, and thus need more crack control for watertightness. ACI 350 also addresses requirements for durability for concrete exposed to liquid so that structures will be expected to be serviceable for at least 50 to 100 yrs. Some engineers feel ACI 350 is overkill for pools and may use ACI 318, or just use their past experience. Generally, use of ACI 350 will require a higher percentage of reinforcing steel, have closer steel spacing and somewhat reduced tension in bars to control cracking. ACI 350’s concrete cover provisions may also be somewhat higher than ACI 318, to provide more corrosion protection of reinforcing. ACI Committee 506 is developing a guide document for construction of shotcrete pools, but does not directly address design. ACI has recently authorized a new technical committee to develop a Code for Design of Pools and Watershapes. However, staffing the committee and then developing a consensus standardized document will take several years.

Regarding the cove of the floor-wall joint, if you have a cove or the bond beam you can use the additional “d” distance for your vertical steel from external loads on the walls though the moment has to be carried in the thinner sections of the floor and wall adjacent to the cove. If you consider the bond beam is a stiffening element for the top of a straight wall acting as a panel between the ends in a rectangular plan pool you may be able to reduce some of the vertical bending stresses. However, that may be hard to quantify for a freeform pool without a more advanced analysis.

Regarding reference books you may find David Billington’s Thin Shell Concrete Shells useful for analysis and design of concrete shells. It is an old book (1982 for 2nd Edition) and may be hard to find but may be helpful. Hopefully ACI’s new Code Committee for Pools will set the standard of practice in the pool industry and be specifically referenced by ISPSC.