Pool and Spa Safety

Pool and Spa Safety

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

How much could a cheap pool cost you?

It could cost a life.  A cheap inflatable pool is a great way to keep cool, but they are responsible for one in five pool drownings. 

Do the maths

$69 for the pool...

 

  • $550 fine... if it is not fenced
  • $220 fine... if it is not registered
  • $1,500 fine... if there is no development consent
  • A death if a toddler gets into an unfenced pool and drowns
 

Register your pool or spa

Owners of backyard swimming pools and spas must register their swimming pool and/or spa on the NSW Swimming Pool register. Fines of $220 may be issued for pools or spas that have not been registered. You can avoid being fined by registering your pool free. All pools or spas (in ground, portable or inflatable) with a depth of 30cm or more must be registered.  

Fence your pool or spa

A proper fence with a self closing and latching gate is the best way to stop toddlers wandering into danger. 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. 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.

Swim spa

A swim spa has to be fenced because it is defined as a swimming pool under the relevant legislation. The swim spa still needs to be fenced off if it has a lockable covers or lids.

Development consent

You need to obtain development consent from Council in order to install a pool or spa that holds 2,000 litres or more of water. Installing a pool without development consent can incur a fine of $1500 apply, including for portable and inflatable pools. 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, spa or swim spa

The owner of a swimming pool, spa or swim spa must obtain a Certificate of Compliance before leasing the property. The Certificate of Compliance certifies that the swimming pool or spa barrier complies with the relevant standard and is valid for 3 years.

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

Selling a property with a swimming pool, spa or swim spa

The owner of a swimming pool, spa or swim spa must obtain a Certificate of Compliance before they can sell their property. The Certificate of Compliance certifies that the swimming pool, spa or swim 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 to inspect your swimming pool, spa or swim spa barrier.

Swimming Pool Fence Certificate of Compliance Application Form

For more details:

Useful resources