The Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW) and Swimming Pool Regulations are the primary legislation governing swimming pools in New South Wales.
A swimming pool is defined as a structure that can be filled with 300mm of water or more and is used for swimming or other water activities. Pools include:
- concrete and fiberglass swimming pools
- inflatable swimming pools
- temporary or wading pools
- above-ground pools and spas.
The Act requires that all swimming pools and/or spa pools be registered in a State-wide pool register and that they meet certain safety requirements. These safety requirements are outlined in the Australian Standards for Swimming Pool Safety (AS1926).
Under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW) 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 fence or safety barrier. This legislation provides that owners may be fined if the pool fence or other appropriate child resistant barrier does not meet the legal requirements. Pool fences must be maintained in a good state of repair as an effective and safe barrier restricting access to the pool.
Swimming Pool Registration
Pool owners must register their swimming pool and/or spa pool in a State-wide pool register. Penalties will apply for failing to register.
Registrations are free of charge at Swimming Pool Registrations.
Pool owners may also contact Council for assistance in registering their pool.
Selling or Leasing a Property with a Pool
From 29 April 2016, a pool owner must obtain a swimming pool certificate of compliance or a relevant occupation certificate before they can sell or lease their property.
All contracts for sale that are exchanged after 29 April 2016 must have either a swimming pool certificate of compliance or a certificate of non-compliance.
Vendors are now able to transfer the obligation of obtaining a certificate of compliance to the purchaser. The transfer of obligation will be realised through the attachment of a certificate of non-compliance to the contract for sale.
The buyer will have 90 days from the date of settlement to rectify defects listed in the certificate of non-compliance and obtain a certificate of compliance.
How to obtain a Certificate of Compliance
Pool owners can make a request to either Council or a registered swimming pool inspector for a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance
The inspector will advise if the pool complies with the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW) or if any work is needed to comply.
Upon completion of works, a certificate will be issued stating that the swimming pool or spa complies with the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW)
For further information or to request an inspection, please contact Council on 02 9911 3555 or email@example.com.
Swimming Pool Inspections
Pool owners can request a swimming pool inspection at any time regardless of whether they intend on selling or leasing their property, either from Council or a registered swimming pool inspector.
You can find a private certifier through NSW Fair Trading or the Swimming Pool Register.
Pools must be enclosed by a child-resistant barrier that separates the pool from residential buildings and adjoining properties.
Fines may apply if barriers and gates are not kept in good condition.
Internal fences and gates
Pool fencing and gates must be a minimum of 1.2 metres high, measured from outside the pool enclosure.
Pool boundary fences
If a boundary fence is used to restrict access, it must be at least 1.8 metres high, measured from inside the pool enclosure.
Costs for a dividing fence used as a pool barrier
The cost of constructing, altering, repairing, replacing or maintaining a dividing fence used as a pool barrier rests with the pool owner.
If a pool is located on more than one property that shares a dividing fence, the cost is shared by each owner. According to the Swimming Pools Act 1992, this takes precedence over any provision of the Dividing Fences Act 1991.
Gaps in pool fences or gates must be not greater than 100mm.
Gate hinges with a horizontal (top) surface greater than 10mm are not permitted in the non-climbable zone (NCZ) unless they slope at 60° and the opening between the gate post and stile is less than 10mm.
Non-climbable zone (NCZ)
The NCZ is a designated area around a pool barrier that prevents children from climbing into the pool area.
The NCZ extends 900mm inside, outside and above the fence and gate barrier.
For barriers with openings larger than 10mm, the NCZ extends 300mm inside the barrier.
For boundary fences, the NCZ is located on the pool side of the fence and extends 900mm from the top and outwards from the barrier.
Landscaping, decks, retaining walls, steps, lighting or furniture must not intrude into the NCZ.
Level changes to barrier steps must be made at least 500mm from the barrier.
Warning and CPR signs
A CPR chart and warning notice must be placed in a prominent position facing the pool. Notices must not be placed in landscaped areas.
CPR and warning signs must be well maintained and legible from three metres away.
Demountable, portable and baby pools
Barrier and fence rules apply if a pool structure - including demountable, portable and baby pools - can be filled to a depth greater than 300mm.
Pools less than 300mm in height must be emptied immediately after use and stored where they cannot collect rainwater.
Spa pools must be surrounded by a child-resistant barrier or fitted with a lockable, child-resistant lid. The lid must be locked when the spa is not in use. This option is not available for spa pools used for swimming or plunge pool spas.
Council will assess a lockable lid as an acceptable safety option if:
- the spa is not for swimming, wading, paddling or any other aquatic activity
- the spa does not have swim jets and is not intended for swimming
- the spa is limited to a water surface area of 6.5m², with no dimension greater than 3 metres
- the lid can be installed and locked in place by one person.
Young children must not be able to access an indoor pool without adequate adult supervision.
Areas surrounding the pool, such as a gym or entertainment area, must be separated from the pool by a child-resistant barrier and gate.
Doors must be closed at all times.
Windows must be child-resistant. This usually involves security mesh or a grill fixed permanently over the windows.
Standards for fences and gates apply to the indoor pool area.
- Doors must be side-hung, forming part of the indoor pool barrier.
- Doors must be self-closing and self-latching.
- Doors must open outwards from the pool area.
- Doorknob and latch releases must be on the outside face of the door at least 1500m above the floor.
- A non-climbable zone (NCZ) of 900mm applies to the outside of the door. The NCZ can be positioned no more than 1200mm above the floor.
- Doors must not have pet flaps or other openings.
- Door releases must be manually operated to ensure power failures do not stop the door from being opened.
- Doors must be a minimum of one metre wide.
- Glass viewing inserts are recommended so you can see into the pool area before opening the door.
For any compliance or general pool enquiries, please contact Council on 02 9911 3555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.