Swimming pools are a fantastic way to enjoy your days in our hot summer months. However, as many people are aware, pools can be dangerous, particularly to young children. The Inverell Shire Council wants you to enjoy your pool and be safe in doing so.
New swimming pool legislation and changes that affect you
If you have a backyard swimming pool, you need to be aware of changes to NSW laws to help boost safety. These include:
- 29 April 2013 - 29 October 2013: Owners of backyard swimming pools must register their details at www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au
- From 29 October 2013: Council inspection programs for private pools will start, developed in consultation with the community.
- From 29 April 2014: Mandatory inspections to be carried out by councils of all tourist, visitor and multi-occupancy developments, and pools associated with property for sale and lease.
For more details please visit the Division of Local Government's page on Swimming Pools and Spas. For any further questions, please contact Council's Assistant Building Surveyor on (02) 6728 8241.
In NSW the Swimming Pools Act 1992 requires that all swimming pools have an appropriate child resistant barrier that restricts access between the residence and the swimming pool.
A swimming pool is defined by the Swimming Pools Act 1992 as:
Any excavation, structure or vessel:
(a) Capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300mm or more, and;
(b) Solely used, designed, manufactured or adapted to be used for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling or any other human aquatic activity, and includes a spa pool, but does not include a spa bath, anything that is situated in a bathroom or any other circumstance declared by the regulations not be a swimming pool.
Installation of a Swimming Pool
The installation of a swimming pool requires the consent of Council or an Accredited Certifier. This consent may be via the following:
- Complying Development Certificate (CDC). This type of approval applies in some circumstances.
- Development Consent (DC) & Construction Certificate (CC). These approvals are applicable when unable to be a CDC.
DC’s must be issued by Council, however CDC’s or CC’s can be issued by either Council or an Accredited Certifier. Please contact Council’s Planning and Development Division for information on what application will be applicable to you.
BASIX (Building Sustainability Index) Certificates are generated via an on-line energy efficiency assessment tool. Any new swimming pool to be installed which has a capacity in excess of 40,000L must have a BASIX Certificate. For further information on BASIX Certificates go to: www.basix.nsw.gov.au/information
As there are different fencing requirements for swimming pools depending on when and where the pool was installed, three checklists have been provided below. Pool owners are asked to complete the checklist that applies to their property and swimming pool. If you don’t know when your pool was built, contact Council’s Planning and Development Division
For each question in the appropriate checklist answer “yes” or “no” as to whether your pool fence meets the specific requirement. If you answer “no” to any of these questions your pool may be in breach of the legislation and unsafe. Please contact Council if you have any concerns.
- Home pool safety checklist - All pools installed after 1 August 1990 excluding pools on very small properties (less than 230 m2), large properties (greater than 2 hectares) and waterfront properties.
- Home pool safety checklist - small properties - All pools installed on very small properties (less than 230 m2); and all pools installed before 1 August 1990 excluding pools on large properties (greater than 2 hectares) and pools on waterfront properties.
Home pool safety checklist - large properties and waterfront properties - All pools on large properties (area greater than 2 hectares); and all pools on waterfront properties regardless of when they were installed.
Australian Standard AS: 1926.1 – 2007, Swimming Pool Safety Part 1: safety barriers for swimming pools.
The Swimming Pools Act 1992 currently calls up this Australian Standard in relation to pool safety and fencing requirements. A copy of the standard is available to be viewed at Council’s administration building (located at 144 Otho Street, Inverell), or alternatively a copy can be purchased at www.saiglobal.com/shop/
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
CPR flow charts (signs) are required within the pool area and need to be clearly visible and legible from a distance of 3m. Council has CPR flow charts/signs which can be purchased from the Inverell Shire Council Administration Centre located at 144 Otho Street, Inverell. A CPR fact sheet can also be found below:
Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate
You can apply to Council for a certificate which certifies that a swimming pool complies with the relevant requirements of the Swimming Pools Act 1992. An application form for a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate can be found below.