Private Swimming Pools & Spas

Enjoying the benefits of a swimming pool in your own backyard can only be realised if all possible safety procedures are followed.  The following contains information to help swimming pool owners achieve peace of mind.

Swimming Pools Regulation 2008

On 1 September 2008 the Swimming Pools Regulation came into effect, replacing the Swimming Pools Regulation 1998.  This new regulation states that "AS1926.1-2007 Swimming Pool Safety Part 1: Safety Barriers for Swimming Pools" is now the standard for all child-resistant barriers surrounding/restricting access to a pool.

NOTE:  You should rely on the Regulation to inform you rather than solely rely on "AS1926.1-2007" as the Regulation excludes/restricts some clauses of "AS1926.1-2007" for pools in NSW.

Spa Pools

Spa pools are covered by legislation and should be separated by a child-resistant pool safety barrier in accordance with Australian Standard AS1926.1-2007.  Alternatively, the spa pool must be covered and secured by a lockable child-safe structure (such as a door, lid, grille or mesh).

Resuscitation & Warning Signs

All pools require a Resuscitation Chart/ Warning Notice to be displayed in a prominent position in the immediate vicinity of the pool.  The following warning statements must be contained within the Resuscitation Sign:

  •  "Young children should be supervised when using this swimming pool"
  • "Pool gates must be kept closed at all times"
  • "Keep articles, objects and structures at least 900mm clear of the pool fence at all times".

The Resuscitation sign:

  •  must be legible from a distance of at least 3 metres
  • must be maintained in a clearly legible condition.

Resuscitation/warning signs can be purchased from most pool supply shops.

Any approved sign erected between 1 September 1995 and 31 August 2008 does not require replacement and may be retained. However, it is recommended that signs more than 3 years old be replaced, due to changes in best practice resuscitation techniques.

Fences & Pool Gates

Yes, you have to fence your pool

Under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 the owner of a swimming pool has the responsibility to ensure that the pool is at all times surrounded by a complying child-resistant pool safety barrier.

Pool safety barriers must be maintained in a good state of repair as an effective and safe barrier restricting access to the pool.

Pool gates

  • Gates must be self-closing and self-latching and must be closed at all times
  • Gates to open outwards from the pool area
  • No double gates are permitted
  • Latch release mechanism to be 1.5-metres above the ground except where a shield is used. If a shield is used the latch is positioned on the pool side near the top of the gate. The shield makes it necessary to reach over the gate to release the latch mechanism
  • Gate width is to be kept to a minimum (no more than 1-metre) to minimise the possibility of the weight of the gate causing the gate to drop with the self-latching mechanism failing


Prefabricated & Inflatable Pools

Prefabricated and inflatable pools capable of being filled with water to a depth 300mm or more may require approval but more importantly, require child-resistant barriers to prevent access to the pool by children.

Pool safety barriers

Swimming pools must be separated from a residential dwelling by a child resistant barrier.

From 1 July 2010, swimming pools located on properties which are waterfront, on land over 2 hectares or on very small properties (230m2 or less) can no longer use the automatic exemptions from the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (Act).

Previously, pools located on the abovementioned properties could use the dwelling as the swimming pool barrier. This required all doors and windows from the dwelling to be made child resistant in accordance with the Australian Standard. Existing exempt properties may continue to use the exemption but only if the barrier is continuously kept compliant with the Australian Standard. If the barrier is found to be non-compliant, the Council may remove the old exemption and require compliance with the current Australian Standard.

For swimming pools constructed or completed before 1 September 2008, the barrier must comply with Australian Standard 1926~1986 'Fences and gates for private swimming pools'.

Swimming pools that commenced construction from 1 September 2008, must have a barrier that complies with Australian Standard 1926.1~2007 'Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools'.

Hard copies of the Australian Standard AS1926.1-2007 "Swimming pool safety, Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools" are available at Council's administration buildings. Please note due to copyright restrictions, copies of the documents are unable to be made.

Fencing requirements

Pool fencing must comply with AS1926.1-2007. Some of the requirements are:

  •  minimum height 1200mm for the fencing between the pool and the house
  • minimum height of 1800mm for boundary fencing
  • minimum 900mm separation between the upper and lower horizontal members to maintain non-climbable zone
  • maximum 100mm gap under the fence
  • maximum 100mm gap in vertical members including any flex in material
  • non-climbable zone extents from the barrier 300mm into pool area and 900mm outside pool area
  • alternative boundary fence design is available where above can not be complied with. See Australian Standard for details


Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance

Step 1.What it is

An inspection of a swimming pool is carried out by an authorised Council officer who determines whether the pool is compliant under the Swimmings Pools Act 1992.  If the pool is considered to meet the requirements, then a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance can be issued.

The Swimming Pool Safety Checklist(to be used as a guide only) is designed to assist pool owners determine whether their pool fence or other barrier complies with the legislation.

Step 2.How long it takes to process

Council aims to provide a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance within five working days from receipt of the application.  An authorised Council office will contact you to arrange a suitable time to inspect the swimming pool.  this period may be longer if Council's building inspectors have difficulty arranging access to the property to carry out the necessary inspection.

Step 3.Who can apply

Under the Swimming Pools Act 1992, the owner of any property on which a swimming pool is situated can apply to Council for a Certificate of Compliance relating to the swimming pool.

Step 4.How to apply

Download and complete a Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance Application Form below.  Return your completed form along with your payment to any of Council's offices listed on the application form.

Online form

Step 5.External resources & further information

The relevant legislative documents for pool safety are:

  •  Swimming Pools Act 1992
  • Swimming Pools Regulations 2008
  • Australian Standard AS1926.1-2007
  • The Building Code of Australia.

NOTE: Refer to the Regulations to inform you of the requirements rather than solely relying on AS1926.1-2007 as the Regulation excludes/restricts some clauses of AS1926.1-2007 for pools in NSW.