Pool and spa requirements

Overview

Pool safety is a priority for Council.

Any swimming pool that has a depth of 300mm or more, irrespective of swimming pool wall height, must have a swimming pool fence.

You must have approval for the construction or erection of any swimming pool/spa capable of containing 2000 litres of water or more. An application can be lodged with Council.

All pools must be registered with the NSW Government.

Register your pool online

Approval to install a swimming pool

To find out whether you need approval to install a pool go to the NSW Government Planning Portal, a free online system that allows people to determine whether proposed works fall under exempt or complying development or whether a DA is required.

Providing your project meets the specific development standards outlined in the State Environmental Planning Policy, approval from Council may not be required.

View the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes)

Safety Compliance Certificate

Pool users should be aware that if there is a death or injury in a pool, legal liability may fall on the person responsible for the pool at the time, even if a safety fence is installed. Council can offer a safety Compliance Certificate check of your swimming pool.

Download a Certificate of Compliance Application for a Swimming Pool(PDF, 183KB)

Swimming pool fencing

Under the Swimming Pools Act, access to spa pools by young children is required to be restricted by a child-resistant barrier or a lockable child-safe structure (such as a lid) when not in actual use. The safe design and construction of spas is also extremely important. 

When installing a swimming pool fence, it must comply with:

  • Australian Standard 1926.1-2012 Swimming Pool Safety – Part 1 Safety barriers for swimming pools.

While fencing may assist in reducing drownings in backyard pools, the most effective way to prevent drowning or near drowning is for children to be adequately supervised by a parent or other responsible adult. 

To assist pool owners to become familiar with their legal responsibilities and pool safety techniques and strategies, the NSW Government's Swimming Pool register website has brochures, checklists and other important information relating to backyard swimming pools.

Contact Council's Building and Construction division on 02 6626 7050 or email lac@byron.nsw.gov.au.

Swimming pool safety fencing requirements

There are more than 3000 swimming pools in Byron Shire, so pool safety is a big community issue. Backyard swimming pools should be recognised as a significant responsibility for the landowner and occupier.

While fencing and barriers may help reduce drowning of young children in swimming pools, there is no protection or safety equipment that can replace adequate supervision of children by a parent or another responsible adult. Research on child drownings in backyard swimming pools indicates that the most common contributing factors are inadequately fenced pools and human error (e.g. people leaving the gate open or fences not being maintained in good condition).

It is the responsibility of the owner/occupier to keep the pool fence in a state of good repair, ensuring all gates providing access to the swimming area are maintained so they are self-closing and self-latching. Pool users and owners should be aware that if there is a death or injury in a pool, legal liability may fall on the person responsible for the pool at the time - even if a safety fence is installed.

In 2013 the NSW Government introduced new laws affecting swimming pools which emphasised owners' responsibilities and improved safety. The new laws resulted in a number of changes to the Swimming Pools Act including:

  • The creation of a state-wide web based swimming pool register
  • Increasing the roles and responsibilities of Council in relation to swimming pool inspections
  • The issue of Compliance Certificates. 

Owners of swimming pools and spas must register their details on the NSW government swimming pool register. Swimming pool registration is free.

Summary of swimming pool laws 2013

As a pool owner, you are responsible for:

  • Ensuring your pool is enclosed and access to it is restricted to children at all times.
  • Ensuring your pool is maintained and that it complies with relevant Australian standards and laws.

The purpose of the new legislation is to emphasise the owner's responsibility to provide a safety barrier, adequate supervision of children and promote the need for regular checks and maintenance of pool safety barriers such as fencing. 

Overview of the Swimming Pool Act

Swimming pool owners in New South Wales are required to register their pools online in a state wide Swimming Pool Register.

Register your pool online. 

If you do not have access to the internet, Council can provide this service for a $10 administration fee.

Swimming pool owners will be required to self-assess and state in the register that, to the best of their knowledge, their pool complies with the applicable standard.

There is a penalty of $220 for owners who fail to register a swimming pool.

Swimming pool owners will be required to provide a valid swimming pool compliance certificate before selling or leasing a property with a pool.