Strathbogie Shire Council

Tel: 1800 065 993

Pools & Spas

The Building Regulations 1994 introduced a requirement that all swimming pools and spas installed before April 1991 must be provided with suitable barriers to prevent unsupervised children entering the pool area. This was to be undertaken before July 1997.

Pools and Spasswimming pool safety

Regulation 702 of the Building Regulations 2006 applies to swimming pools and spas capable of containing a depth of water of more than 300mm and constructed or approved before 8 April 1991.

The definition of swimming pool includes any excavation or structure containing water and used primarily for swimming, wading, paddling or the like, including a bathing or wading pool or spa. This will include in-ground and above-ground pools, spas, hot tubs, jacuzzis, and indoor pools. Bird baths, fish ponds, fountains and dams, or the like, would not be included.

Barriers

All pools should now have barriers. Property owners with a pool or spa with no barrier or inadequate barriers are required to immediately meet the standards of the regulations. A building permit is required for new pool fencing.

In addition, from 1 July 2002, any door or gate opening to the area containing a pre-1991 pool or spa must be fitted with a self-closing device. The device must be located not less than 1.5 metres above the ground, or the internal floor level, measured from the must return the door or gate to its fully closed position without any manual force.

The above applies regardless of the level of compliance before the amendment — even where Council or another adviser has agreed that barriers complied.

Maintenance

The Regulations require that all pool barriers (old and new pools) must be maintained to operate effectively at all times. This means that:

  • all existing components of the barrier (eg, hinges, self-closers) must function as intended;
  • no objects (including plants) must be located near a barrier which could reduce its effectiveness — even if on an adjoining allotment; and
  • no doors or gates to the pool area are to be left open

Penalties for non-compliance

Failure to comply with these regulations may result in an on-the-spot fine of $220 or a penalty up to $5,000 through the courts. In addition to the land owner, tenants and even visitors to a pool are now responsible to meet requirements.

Council Pool Safety Barrier Inspectionswimming pool safety2

Council's conducts regular random inspections, checking that pool and spa owners are meeting their obligations relating to installation and of effective safety barriers. Strict enforcement policies are now in place where Council will fine and in some cases prosecute owners if they do not comply with these safety regulations.

Pool safety regulations have now been in place for more than 20 years.

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