What is a swimming pool?
All portable, inflatable, spa, aboveground and inground pools that are capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300mm or more are classed as swimming pools and are required to be fenced in accordance with the NSW Swimming Pool Act 1992.
What do I need to do if installing a pool?
The construction of a pool (including inflatable) is considered a development, so you MUST lodge an application with Council and gain consent before installation.
Your application when lodged will be assessed and determined by Council, after approval notification your pool will be recorded on Council's Swimming Pool Register.
Note - If the swimming pool capacity exceeds 40,000 litres a BASIX Certificate must be accompanied with the application.
How high must the fence be?
In accordance with the Australian Standards for Fences and Gates for Private Swimming Pools (AS 1926.1 2007), the major requirements are that the ground clearance of the fence is not to exceed 100mm and fence and gate height be not less than 1.2 metres (1.8 metres if a boundary fence) and/or your house wall. Pool gates should be mounted so as to swing away from the pool area and be fitted with a self-closing device with the latch at a height of 1.5m.
Further requirements regarding pickets, rails and fencing materials can be obtained from the AS 1926.1 2007 for Fences and Gates for Private Swimming Pools or by contacting Council.
In NSW, an average of 11 children under five years of age drown annually, with a further 62 children being admitted to hospital each year for near drowning. Children under five years of age are at greatest risk, with approximately 70% of drowning deaths occurring in swimming pools.
Pool fencing gives added protection by preventing access to the pool area. However, inadequate pool fencing continues to be a major contributing factor in the rate of drowning among children under five years of age.
Council is responsible for ensuring that all privately owned swimming pools comply with the Swimming Pools Act. Failure to do so by the owner can result in financial penalties and/or court action.
Over the next 12 months Council will be conducting random backyard pool inspections to ensure compliance.