Swimming Pool Laws
Pool and spa owners are required to register their pools on the NSW Government online register. Penalties apply for failing to register.
All residential pools and spas must comply with the pool safety requirements of the Swimming Pools Act 1992 and Australian Standard 1926. The key requirements are summarised below. Each local authority must ensure that a paper copy or electronic version of AS1926.1 - 2007, the Building Code of Australia and the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Guidline are made available for public inspection at no cost at each public office of the local authority during ordinary business hours.
The Department and each local authority must ensure that the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Guidline is available for viewing on its website.
In addition, from 29 April 2016, a swimming pool owner must obtain a valid swimming pool barrier Compliance Certificate before they can sell or lease their property, which can be obtained from Council.
Should a swimming pool fail to meet the requirements for issue of a compliance certificate, Council will generally issue a swimming pool Direction requiring work to be carried out to bring the barrier to the required standard. This will be accompanied by a certificate of non-compliance which should be provided to your solicitor or conveyancer in the event of sale of your property.
Please note fees and charges apply for this work, including an additional urgency fee for a four day turn around for first inspection. Once free CPR sign will be provided with each application for a compliance certificate.
Swimming Pool Barrier Inspection Program
Council has established an inspection program as required under Section 22B of the Swimming Pools Act 1992. The program sets out inspection priorities, arrangements for payment of fees and the approach to be taken to ensure compliance. For more information please see the links section.
In Australia, drowning is the single most common cause of death due to injury for children under five years of age. About half of these deaths occur in residential swimming pools or spas.
According to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, children who drown in swimming pools often do so because of faulty pool fencing.
To help prevent drowning, the NSW Swimming Pools laws require correct child-safe barriers to be installed around private swimming pools, including inflatable pools that are capable of being filled with 30cm or more of water. Although inflatable and portable pools often hold less water than permanent swimming pools, they present the same drowning hazard.
Home drowning deaths occur all year round and it is your responsibility as a pool owner to ensure that your pool is safe. In addition to safe pool fencing, adults need to supervise children around the pool at all times.
Following are some requirements to prevent home drowning deaths.
Pool Safety Requirements
- A resuscitation chart must be provided within the pool area
- Pool gates must open outwards from the pool area and are required to be self-closing and self-latching. The pool latch mechanism must be 1.5 metres above ground level or have a shield if the mechanism is lower
- Pool fencing must be a minimum height of 1.2 metres above ground level. Boundary fences which form part of the pool safety fence constructed or modified after September 2008 must be 1.8 metres
- Gaps under and within fence/gates must not be greater than 100mm
- There should be no obstructions around the pool fence which could be used as a foothold for a child to climb the pool fence
- Swimming pools and safety fencing should not be installed without prior consent from Council
- Fences and gates require ongoing maintenance to ensure that they remain effective barriers
- Gates should never be left open or propped open
- Items that can be potentially climbable must be kept clear at least 900mm of fences and gates.
Council carries out proactive inspections of backyard swimming pools to ensure compliance with the relevant laws. For copyright reasons Council cannot provide copies of Australian Standards. A copy of Australian Standard 1926 is available to be reviewed at Council's Customer Service at Civic Centre, Dee Why.
In the interest of safety for your family and those visiting your home, please ensure you comply with the swimming pool fencing requirements at all times.
Council also offer a swimming pool barrier advice service. For an upfront fee of $250, you can obtain advice on the necessary requirements, prior to applying for your compliance certificate. To request this service please complete the "Non Mandatory Pool Inspection Request Form"
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a combination of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions that delivers oxygen and artificial blood circulation to a person who is in cardiac arrest. It can be life-saving first aid.
It is a requirement that the correct CPR sign be prominently displayed within the pool enclosure.
Knowing how to administer CPR is an essential skill for anyone who has a backyard swimming pool.