Planning >> Private Swimming Pools & Spas

Private Swimming Pools & Spas

Water safety in and around swimming pools and spas is very important - the death or injury of a child in a backyard swimming pool or spa is a preventable tragedy. 

Every swimming pool owner in New South Wales is required to register their pool on the New South Wales State Governments online register.

Pool Owners who fail to register their pool may face fines.

New Laws from 29 April 2016

In April 2016 new laws were introduced in respect to selling and leasing of properties with a swimming pool. These changes have been introduced to promote the safety of children under the age of five around backyard swimming pools.

The owner of a swimming pool has the responsibility to ensure that the pool is at all times surrounded by a complying child resistant pool safety barrier.

Under the Swimming Pools Act 1992, a swimming pool is defined as any excavation, structure or vessel that can be filled with water to a depth greater than 300 millimetres and is designed for swimming, wading, paddling and the like. This includes a spa pool, but does not include a spa bath or anything within a bathroom. Please note, small portable or inflatable pools need to be approved and fenced like any other pool.

Swimming pool owners are encouraged to undertake a self-assessment of their swimming pool barrier fencing to ensure compliance. You can view a self-assessment checklist at the NSW Government's Swimming Pool Register.

For pools built before 1 August 1990

The means of access from the residential building to the pool must be restricted at all times. The standard for restriction, eg, by complying windows and doors, is set out in the Regulation.


For pools built after 1 August 1990 but before 1 July 2010

The pool must be surrounded by a child-resistant barrier that separates the pool from any residential building situated on the premises and from any place adjoining the premises. Automatic exemptions apply from the four-sided barrier for pools on very small properties (less than 230 square metres), large properties (2 hectares or over) and waterfront properties.


For pools built after 1 July 2010

The amended swimming Pools Act 1992 removes automatic exemptions from the four-sided barrier requirement for new pools on very small properties (less than 230 square metres), large properties (2 hectares or over) and waterfront properties.
All new pools must be separated by a complying barrier from the house and adjoining properties. The general requirement for child– resistant barriers on residential properties is for the pool to be separated by a complying barrier from the house, adjoining properties and public spaces at all times. Direct access from the house to the outdoor pool area is not permitted unless an exemption applies.
 

Exemptions

Local councils may grant exemptions from barrier requirements that are impracticable or unreasonable in particular cases, eg, to provide access for people with disabilities.


Pool Fence & Gate – Maintenance

The owner of the premises on which a child-resistant barrier is situated must ensure that the swimming pool is at all times surrounded by a child-resistant barrier as well as keeping the child-resistant barrier maintained.
NOTE:
Maintenance of the Pool Barrier includes but is not limited to the following:
Consumers should be encouraged to seek the advice and/or services of a Licensed Pool Technician, Builder or Fencing Contractor.


Pool Fence - Location

The Swimming Pool Act 1992 stipulates that an owner may decide where the required child – resistance Barrier is to be located, however, the fencemust separate the pool from any residential building on the premises.
NOTE:
Before owners choose the location of their pool fence they should first check with their local Council to discuss their desired location with them in order to avoid conflicting legislation or additional Local Council Guidelines.


Selling or leasing a property with a swimming pool

From 29 April 2016, a swimming pool owner must obtain a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate before they can sell or lease their property. The Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate ensures all swimming pool barrier fencing complies with the relevant standard. The Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate is valid for three years.

To obtain a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate you will need to fill out the Swimming Pool Inspections Contract (this doubles as the application form) and pay a fee.