Residents Swimming Pool Regulations
Drowning is the major cause of death for Children under the age of 5. 70% of these drownings occur in backyard swimming pools. Whilst supervision is the first line of protection for young children near water, a proper well maintained pool fence provides extra protection by preventing young children from accessing the pool area that can pose a life threatening danger when supervision lapses.
If you no longer have a swimming pool, please Contact Council so we can update our records. Note: simply draining the pool means you still have a pool and fencing requirements still apply.
New Requirements For Pool Owners
From 29 April 2016 properties sold or leased with a spa or pool must have a relevant compliance certificate.
This means that from 29 April 2016:
- Vendors can transfer the obligation of obtaining a certificate of compliance to the purchaser. A certificate of non-compliance must be attached to the contract of sale.
- The buyer of a property with a non-compliant spa or pool has 90 days from the date of settlement to address any barrier noncompliance issues and obtain a certificate of compliance.
- Properties with more than two dwellings are exempt from the requirement to provide a compliant spa or pool barrier on sale or lease as they are already regulated through mandatory three-yearly council inspections.
- The owner of a property with one or two dwellings and a spa or pool must have a certificate of compliance or relevant occupation certificate and a certificate of registration before entering into a lease. These documents are to be provided to the tenant on entering into the new lease.
A relevant occupation certificate means an occupation certificate issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 that is less than three years old and that authorises the use of the swimming pool.
Pool Owners are required to:
- Swimming pool owners are required to register their swimming pools on an online register www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au to be provided by the NSW State Government.
- Swimming Pool owners will be required to self-assess, and state in the register that, to the best of their knowledge, their swimming pool complies with the applicable standard when registering their pool.
- There is a penalty for owners who fail to register a swimming pool (penalty notice amount of $220).
- Swimming pool owners will be required to provide a valid swimming pool compliance certificate before being able to sell or lease a property with a pool.
- Accredited certifiers under the Building Professional Act 2005 may conduct swimming pool inspections initiated by the pool owner.
NSW Swimming Pool Register Information
1. Councils are required to:
- Develop and implement a swimming pool barrier inspection program in consultation with their communities.
- Report annually on the number of pool inspections undertaken and the level of compliance with the requirements.
- Inspect pools associated with tourist and visitor accommodation and multi-occupancy developments at three year intervals.
- At the request of a pool owner, inspect pools prior to sale or lease.
- Issue compliance certificates after an inspection which finds a pool barrier compliant with the requirements of the legislation. Compliance certificates are valid for three years
2. A swimming pool subject to an occupation certificate is exempt from an inspection program for three years from the date of issue of the occupation certificate.
- Councils may inspect any swimming pool that is the subject of a complaint to the council.
- Council powers of entry will be consistent with the Local Government Act 1993.
- Councils may charge a fee for each inspection undertaken (up to a maximum of $150 for the first inspection and $100 for one re-inspection resulting from the first inspection).
Ensuring your pool fence complies with all relevant safety regulations is the responsibility of every pool owner, and proper maintenance of pool fences will drastically reduce the number of child drownings in NSW. Does your pool fence comply? View the downloads section below to find out.
The Swimming Pools Act 1992 outlines fencing requirements and other safety requirements for all pools
Swimming Pools Regulation 2008 refers to the Australian Standard AS1926.1 - 2007 Swimming Pool Safety, Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools, which includes a range of requirements for fencing to meet pool safety standards. In May 2011 the regulations were amended to also include references to the Building Code of Australia (BCA). These new requirements apply to new pools only, and only apply to existing pools if substantial changes are made to the existing fencing.
Contact Council to discuss the Australian Standards.
What About Inflatable Pools?
Inflatable pools are a cheap and inexpensive option and are becoming more popular because of their easy set-up and affordability. Many people believe that these pools don't need pool fencing. By law, inflatable or portable pools that are capable of being filled with 300mm of water or more require a pool fence, which is not supplied with the pools when purchased.
NOTE: even if you don't fill the pool with more than 300mm of water, if it is capable of holding greater than that amount it will require a barrier.
The Sydney Children's Hospital Networks' Top 6 Tips to maintain your Pool Fence
- Regularly check that the gate self closes and self-latches.
- Regularly check and adjust the latching device as needed to ensure it is operating correctly and has not been affected by the ground, fence or latch movement.
- Regularly check fencing panels for correct gaps, rust and wear and tear.
- Regularly check all fence bolts, screws and fasteners to make sure they are tight and in good order. Any loose bolts, screws and fasteners should be tightened or replaced.
- Regularly replace springs and regularly spray self-closing gate hinges, locks and latches with lubricating oil or silicone to help prevent many of the faults relating to self-closing and self-latching gates.
- Make sure trees, shrubs, bbq, pot plants, toys, ladders, chairs, and other objects are not within the 90cm non-climbable zone of the fence and are stored as far away from the fence as possible.
Parents and others responsible for supervising children using swimming pools should know how to administer Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). All pools are required to display the CPR sign near the pool.
The CPR Guideline outlines how to undertake CPR in case of an emergency.
CPR courses are available locally and a refresher course should be undertaken annually.
Keeping your pool clean for the health of all pool users
Keeping the pool clean and well maintained ensures that when the pool is used the risk of illness from poor water quality is reduced. Not maintaining your pool can lead to the production of organisms in the water which may be dangerous to people's health.
The following web pages provide more detailed information on pool safety, installation and maintenance requirements.