Pool Safety Inspection Tip #7: Pools covered by Safety Laws

Generally a swimming pool is an excavation or structure that is:

  • capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300 millimetres or more and
  • solely or principally used, for swimming, bathing, wading, paddling or some other human aquatic activity despite its current use.

Swimming pools include spa pools, spa baths continually filled with a water depth of more than 300 millimetres and wading pools (other than a portable wading pool). Therefore when purchasing a swimming pool, including aboveground and portable pools, owners should be mindful of their obligations to install a compliant pool fence.

The new laws do not apply to portable pools if they:

  • hold less than 300 millimetres of water and
  • have a volume of less than 2000 litres and
  • have no filtration system.

If a pool meets all of the above three criteria then it is a portable pool, not a swimming pool and does not need to comply with the pool safety laws. However, owners should be mindful of the risks associated with of leaving young children unsupervised around water.

If a pool does not meet one or more of the above criteria it is a swimming pool and you will need to:

  • obtain a building approval before erecting or installing the pool and
  • obtain a certificate from a licensed building certifier stating that the pool complies with the pool safety standard, before filling the pool with more than 300 millimetres of water and
  • ensure the pool is included on the pool safety register by 4 November 2011.

If a portable pool is disassembled and does not hold more than 300 millimetres of water, it does not need to comply with the pool safety standard until it is assembled and filled with more than 300 millimetres of water.

Prior to the introduction of the new pool safety laws on 1 December 2010, the pool safety laws only applied to outdoor pools associated with houses and units (class 1 and 2 buildings—refer to Appendix C of this guideline).

The new pool safety laws apply to a broader range of pools, regardless of when they were constructed, or whether they are new, existing, indoor, outdoor, shared or non-shared. They must meet the new standard by 30 November 2015 or earlier on sale or lease.

The pool safety laws now cover indoor pools and pools associated with hotels, motels, hostels, boarding houses, backpacker accommodation, accommodation for the aged, children or persons with disabilities (class 3 buildings—refer to Appendix  C of this guideline), caretaker dwellings (class 4 buildings—refer to Appendix  C of this guideline) and caravan parks.

If you are in the Gold Coast or Brisbane and have a pool that requires a pool safety inspection or pool safety certificate call Aegis Building Inspections today.  We cover all pools whether residential or commercial, shared or non-shared.  We are the pool inspection experts and deliver fast pool safety certificates.

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