Our ASA Pool Position Statement on Compressive (Strength) Values of Pool Shotcrete states pool and shotcrete contractors have a responsibility to provide a pool structure that not only meets certain design specifications, but also meets basic durability values expected with shotcrete applications. The American Shotcrete Association’s (ASA) Pool and Recreational Shotcrete Committee and ASA Board of Direction have reaffirmed a 4000-psi minimum for in-place compressive strength pool concrete.
As a saltwater pool has a higher chloride content than fresh water you may want to consider using the requirements of ACI 350 (Code Requirements for Environmental Engineering Concrete Structures) where Table 4.2.2 – Requirements for Special Exposure Conditions has this requirement:
“For corrosion protection of reinforcement in concrete exposed to chlorides in tanks containing brackish water and concrete exposed to deicing chemicals, seawater, or spray from seawater – maximum water-cementitious. Materials ratio, by weight is 0.40 with a minimum 28-day compressive strength of 5000 psi.”
In summary the minimum 28-day compressive strength should be no less than 4000 psi, but for enhanced durability you may consider 5000 psi as required by ACI 350. You may find more guidance in our ASA Pool Position Statement “Watertight Shotcrete for Swimming Pools” at www.Shotcrete.org/Resources.