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Protecting children from the dangers of backyard swimming pools.
Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in very young children across Australia. Tragically, every year a number of children drown in backyard swimming pools. With over 300,000 backyard swimming pools in NSW, swimming pool safety is vital.
Private swimming pool safety is regulated by local councils under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 and Swimming Pool Regulation 2008.Through its Swimming Pool Policy, Leeton Shire Council aims to increase community awareness of the importance of swimming pool safety while enforcing state and national regulations.
All private swimming pools in NSW must be protected by a compliant child safety barrier appropriate to the pool and be registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register. Registration of your pool is free and easy by clicking here, or alternatively contact Leeton Shire Council for help. Significant penalties apply for failing to register your swimming pool and/or not maintaining an effective and compliant child safety barrier.
It is important to note that your swimming pool safety barrier is designed to be child resistant, not child proof and there is no substitute for competent supervision. The ultimate responsibility for child safety in and around private swimming pools lies with the property owner.
Under its adopted Swimming Pool Policy council officers conduct a minimum of 50 mandatory swimming pool safety barrier inspections yearly of existing registered swimming pools on a rolling rotation. You will be notified at least one week in advance if your pool is to be inspected as part of the mandatory program, however inspections may be requested at any time by contacting council. Additionally, those pools located at tourist and visitor accommodation sites will be inspected on a once in every three (3) year basis.
It is important that pool owners regularly maintain their swimming pool safety barrier as conditions in and around the pool area often change affecting the function of the barrier. Defective gate hinges and latches, poorly maintained vegetation close to fences, holes and gapes under fences and house hold objects close to fences such as chairs and barbeques are common causes of barrier non-compliance.
It is recommended that a full self-audit be completed annually, as a minimum, in addition to any inspections carried out by council. Self-audit checklist are available by clicking here, or by contacting Council.
From 29 April 2016 all properties sold with a swimming pool must have either:
A current certificate of compliance; or
A relevant occupation certificate less than 3 years old and a certificate of registration; or
A certificate of non-compliance.
When you buy a property with a non-compliant pool, you will have 90 days from settlement to fix any areas of non-compliance.
From 29 April 2016, properties leased with a pool must have either:
A current certificate of compliance; or
A relevant occupation certificate less than 3 years old and a certificate of registration.
A certificate of compliance may only be issued following a successful inspection being carried out by a Council officer and are valid for a period of 3 years from issue.
Please note: The currency of a swimming pool barrier certificate of compliance does not guarantee the safety and compliance of the barrier, only that the barrier complied with the relevant regulations at the time of inspection.
Generally, the installation of a swimming pool (including second hand pools) requires development consent from council or other certifying authority. In limited circumstances very small portable swimming pools may be exempt from requiring council approval to install however are still required to meet the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act. Please contact Council before installing any portable swimming pool without council approval.
Prior to construction or installing a pool, an applicant must obtain either a Development Consent and associated Construction Certificate, or, a Complying Development Certificate.
A complying development certificate can be issued where the proposed pool complies with the criteria listed within the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.
Applications for swimming pools must generally be accompanied by:
A site plan showing measurements of where the location of the pool is in relation to all other buildings and all boundaries on the property.
Location of the proposed pool pump.
A section through the pool indicating the height of any coping or decking in relation to the ground level or dividing fences to ascertain any privacy issues that may exist.
Structural details and specifications of the swimming pool
A BASIX Certificate where the pool holds greater than 40,000 litres.
All plans are to be legible and to a suitable scale e.g. 1:100.
For further details relating to Development Approvals please visit click here
Inflatable and portable swimming pools pose a unique risk to the community as their dangers are often overlooked and not treated with the same respect given to larger in ground and above ground permanent pools.
The Swimming Pools Act defines a swimming pools as any ‘excavation, structure or vessel that is capable of being filled with water to a depth of greater than 300mm and 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 or any other human aquatic activity’. Any object that meets this definition is regulated by the Swimming Pools Act and required to be surrounded by a compliant swimming pool safety barrier at all times.
Small paddle pools and the like capable of holding water to a maximum depth of less than 300mm are not regulated by the Swimming Pools Act however should never be left unattended while containing water and be fully drained and stored after use.
Portable and inflatable pool should never be located in the front yard directly accessible and viewable from the street.
For further information please contact Council’s Environmental Health and Building Department on (02) 6953 0911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ranger: 0417 259 422
Parks: 0428 970 143
Roads: 0407 468 214
Water/Sewerage: 0428 268 679