Swimming Pools & Spas
Privately owned swimming pools bring many health and safety risks which can too often lead to incidents involving children who either drown or suffer severe consequences of near drowning.
Whilst a compliant pool area can assist in reducing the number of drownings in backyard pools, it is important that children are always supervised by a responsible adult.
It is a lot less likely for a child to drown if they are taught to swim from an early age, and if all supervising adults are regularly undertaking the appropriate CPR training.
It is a requirement of all types of pools under the act to display a Resuscitation Warning Sign.
The Swimming Pools Act 2018 describes a swimming pool as an excavation, structure or vessel:
- that is capable of being filled with water to a depth of greater than 300 millimetres,
- that is solely or principally used, or that is designed, manufactured or adapted to be solely or principally used for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling of any other human aquatic activity.
A spa pool is classified as a swimming pool by the Act. The definition of a spa includes any excavation, structure or vessel in the nature of a spa pool, flotation tank, tub or the like, but not a spa bath.
From October 2013 under the Swimming Pool Amendment Act 2012, it was made compulsory for all pools & spa’s to be registered. Registering your pool or spa is free and must be completed online at the NSW Pool Register. If you have not yet registered your pool, please register it as soon as possible to avoid possible penalties. Nonregistration of your pool can result in a fine of $220.
The NSW Pool Register also contains educational information and check lists that can be used as a self-assessment tool for your pools.
Swimming Pool Barrier Inspection
Under the swimming pool legislation, a pool barrier inspection can be requested either from Hilltops Council local or a private swimming pool inspector. NSW Fair Trading registers professionals to inspect and certify private swimming pools under NSW swimming pool laws.
Council Pool Inspection Program
Under the Swimming Pool Act 2018 council is required to have a local pool inspection program. The purpose of the inspection program is to identify swimming pools that will be scheduled for inspection under the program.
Inspections under the program are to ensure that the pool barrier effectively restricts access to the swimming pool in accordance with the provisions of the Swimming Pools Act 2018. The inspection results in the issue of a Certificate of Non-Compliance or a Certificate of Compliance from the NSW Swimming Pools Register.
The Swimming Pools Act 2018 and other legislation provides for other pool inspections that are carried out, as required, outside of the Inspection Program schedule.
These inspections include:
- Inspection Requests received by Council,
- Inspections as a result of Council receiving Complaints or information of a non-compliant swimming pool,
- Inspections as a result of a Notice (either under the Swimming Pools Act 2018 or Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979) being received from a Certifier of a non-compliant swimming pool,
- Reinspection of pool barrier under Notice or Direction issued by Council,
- Inspection for section 22 exemptions and reinspection.
Required Council Inspection
If Council receives a concern that a pool barrier maybe non-compliant pool barrier it is the role and responsibility of the Council, as the Regulatory Authority, to inspect the pool barrier and issue Notices to achieve compliance as per the NSW legislation.