Q. At a shiva I recently attended, the davening was carried out in the backyard, next to a swimming pool that is usually heated and also serves some times as a mikva for men. The pool was covered. Was that permitted?
A. Chassam Soffer (O.H. 1: 18) debates about a mikva of hot water in someones house and covered with wooden boards, if the room is to be considered as a bath house and prohibited for learning Torah and reciting brochos therein.
He argues that maybe, since it is only used from time to time, kept clean, and without any foul smells, it is not considered a bath house. However, he quotes Rabenu Manoach, that since one does not place there a mezuza, it seems to be treated as a bath house, and prohibited for learning Torah and reciting brochos.
Nevertheless, Taz (84: 2) and Mogen Avrohom (45) mention that after all women do recite a brocho when they immerse in a mikva (Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 200).
On question 1058 regarding the many hotels everywhere where balconies face the beach or a swimming pool. If early in the morning, when no one is out yet, if there is a problem davening or saying brochos facing an area where usually people are improperly dressed, we wrote: “Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that a beach or a swimming pool area that is empty does not qualify as a bathhouse. Therefore, when no improperly clothed individuals are present, one is allowed to recite brochos, daven or learn Torah in them or facing them.”
See also questions 1075 and 1076 regarding clothing needed for reading Shema and davening in a beach or while swimming in a lake. See question 2389 on a Sukka built on top of a swimming pool.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a