• Pool and spa safety

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  • If you have a backyard swimming pool or spa, including an inflatable or portable pool / spa that holds 30cm or more of water, you need to be aware of changes to the law in NSW to improve safety.

    Pool safety - 2015 - small

    Register your pool or spa

    Owners of backyard swimming pools and spas are legally required to register their swimming pool and/or spa on the NSW Swimming Pool register. If you haven't, you can still register your pool. Registration is free. Fines of $220 may be issued for pools or spas that have not been registered. This applies to all pools and spas capable of holding 30cm or more of water, including those that are portable and inflatable. 

    Fence your pool or spa

    Fines of $550 apply if a pool is not completely surrounded by a compliant pool fence. This includes inflatable and portable pools that can be filled with 30cm or more of water. Fences must also have a self-closing and self-latching gate. Spas may be fitted with a child-resistant lockable lid. Self-assessment checklists are available on the NSW Swimming Pool Register to assist with compliance. 

    Development consent

    Pools and spas that hold 2000 litres of water or more also need development consent from Council. Fines of $1500 apply, including for portable and inflatable pools that hold this amount of water. For more information call our Development Services Department on 4732 7991 and speak to the Duty Building Surveyor. 

    Pool and spa compliance

    Council's Swimming Pool and Spa Barrier Inspection Program was developed in consultation with the community. It was adopted in 2013 as a response to changes to state legislation and was designed to prevent drownings. It applies to all pools and spas which hold 30cm or more of water, including those that are portable and inflatable.

    Council officers are contacting pool and spa owners to organise inspections to ensure compliance. Fees apply for inspections. It is $150 for the first inspection and $100 if a second inspection is required. If a pool or spa complies, a Certificate of Compliance will be issued which is valid for 3 years.

    You can also use the checklists available on the Swimming Pool Register website to carry out a self assessment of your swimming pool or spa barrier to assist with compliance before a Council inspection. Royal Life Saving also has a Home Pool Safety Checklist.
    Council is also conducting mandatory inspections of all tourist, visitor and multi-occupancy developments.

    Leasing a property with a swimming pool or spa

    From 29 April 2016 the owner of a swimming pool or spa must obtain a Certificate of Compliance before they can lease their property. The Certificate of Compliance certifies that the swimming pool or spa barrier complies with the relevant standard and is valid for 3 years. This will commence from any new lease agreement signed after 29 April 2016.

    An Occupation Certificate issued within the past 3 years may act as a Certificate of Compliance.

    Selling a property with a swimming pool or spa

    From 29 April 2016 the owner of a swimming pool or spa must obtain a Certificate of Compliance before they can sell their property. The Certificate of Compliance certifies that the swimming pool or spa barrier complies with the relevant standard and is valid for 3 years. A Certificate of Non-Compliance may also be issued. If contracts for sale are exchanged using a Certificate of Non-Compliance the purchaser has 90 days after settlement to bring the barrier into compliance.

    An Occupation Certificate issued within the past 3 years may act as a Certificate of Compliance.

    Obtaining a Certificate of Compliance

    A Certificate Of Compliance can be obtained from Council using the form below. Please note there is a $250 fee payable at the time the application is lodged. This amount includes $100 for a second inspection. If a second inspection is not required this amount will be refunded. Once Council has received your application, a Council Officer will contact you to arrange a suitable time for us to inspect your swimming pool or spa barrier.

    Swimming Pool Fence Certificate of Compliance Application Form (accessible pdf 165KB)

    For more details:

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