Spas & Swimming Pools

Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate

A pool owner must obtain a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate:

  • Before they can sell or lease their property
  • For properties on which there is tourist and visitor accommodation or more than 2 dwellings (required at least once every 3 years

Pool owners can make an application to Council for a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate at any time, regardless of whether they intend on selling or leasing their property.

The Certificate will be valid for 3 years, so long as the fencing remains compliant in that time. 

Contact our Customer Service Team for more details:

 

Pool Fencing

Any swimming pool that is capable of holding water at a depth greater than 300mm must be fenced by law. 

You may require Council approval for pool fence maintenance, alteration or removal. Consent requirements vary depending on the pool or spa's characteristics.

Contact Council prior to starting any work to avoid significant fines.

The Building Regulation requires pool owners are responsible for:

  • The maintenance of pool safety barriers to ensure they are operating effectively at all times
  • Ensuring access gates have a working self-closing/self-latching device
  • Ensuring household objects that could be used for climbing, such as tree branches, pot plants, pool pumps, chairs and BBQs are not within a 900mm radius of the gate or fence
  • Ensuring fences, especially boundary timber paling fences, are still in good repair and are not climbable
  • Ensuring pool gates are locked when not in use

 

Penalties for failure to comply with pool laws

Significant fines and penalties apply for failure to obtain the necessary approvals for your pool or spa and barrier fencing.

  • You may be issued with a penalty, which can range from $500 - $1500
  • Council may seek to recover costs associated with enforcement activities
  • Breaches of building and control legislation may attract penalties of up to $70,000

 

Large Portable Swimming Pools & Spas

Large portable or inflatable pools are defined as:

  • Water height/depth 300mm (30cm) or greater (must be fenced by law)
  • Can be filled with a water capacity greater than 2,000 Litres*

*All pools with a water capacity of 2,000 litres or more require approval by Council or an accredited private certifier.

Pools with a filtration system

If your pool or spa has a filtration system you will need to:

  • Obtain approval from Council
  • Provide a fence/barrier that complies with the requirements of the Swimming Pool Act

Pools or spas on a deck or near a retaining wall

Check with Council if you are installing a pool or spa in the following areas

  • On a deck
  • On a balcony
  • On a suspended floor
  • Near a retaining wall

You may need engineering advice to determine if the structure can safely take the weight of the pool or spa.

 

Online Pool Register

All pool and spa owners are required by law to register their swimming pool and/or spa on the NSW Swimming Pool Register.

The NSW Swimming Pool Register was introduced to help prevent backyard drownings, which claim the lives of 17 Australian toddlers on average each year. Research indicates that by increasing compliance with pool barrier requirements the rate of infant death by drowning could be reduced by up to 41 per cent.

  • All pools and spas that hold 30cm or more water (this includes portable and inflatable pools) must be registered
  • Registration is free
  • Fines of $220 apply for unregistered pools
Details to know before you register your pool or spa
  • Address
  • Property type: private residence, multi-occupancy (eg. units), tourism or visitor accommodation
  • Is the property on the waterfront
  • Is it on land greater than two hectares or less than 230 square metres
  • When it was built: three choices of date range apply. Requirements vary depending on the construction year
  • Has the pool barrier been substantially modified or rebuilt and when that work was done (three choices of date range apply)

Register Your Pool 

More information

NSW Swimming Pool Register Fact Sheet  

Video about the new laws from Royal Life Saving  

 

Quick Link Resources

Children's Hospital at Westmead - provides a Protect your Pool, Protect your Kids video which visually demonstrates the basic pool fencing requirements in the Swimming Pools Act and provides other key water safety messages. Viewers may choose to view part or all of the 25 minute video depending on need. The website also contains other resources on pool safety.

Safewaters - provides further information on fencing backyard pools; frequently asked questions; information in community languages; checklists for pool owners.

Swimsafe - Department of Arts, Sport and Recreation information regarding swimming lessons.

Keep Watch – Home Pool Safety - Royal Life Saving Society information including checklist, fact sheets and other resources

Royal Life Saving Make it Safe – Portable Pool Safety 

NSW Swimming Pool Register Fact Sheet 

Video about the new laws from Royal Life Saving