Swimming Pools

What Is a Swimming Pool

A swimming pool is a structure capable of being filled with 300mm of water or more and is used for swimming and other water activities and includes:

  • Concrete and fibreglass swimming pools,
  • Swim spas,
  • Inflatable swimming pools,
  • Temporary or wading pools,
  • Above ground pools and spas.

The definition of a swimming pool is available from the NSW Swimming Pool Act 1992.

Register Your Pool or Spa

Owners of backyard swimming pools and spas must register their pool and/or spa on the free  NSW Government's Swimming Pool Register.

All pools or spas (in ground, portable or inflatable) with a depth of 300mm or more must be registered.

Fence Your Pool

The Swimming Pool Act 1992 stipulates that every swimming pool and swim spa (both outdoor and indoor) that are situated, on premises on which a residential building, a moveable dwelling or tourist and visitor accommodation is located requires a compliant child-resistant barrier.

Failure to do so could result in fines or even worse the loss of a life.

The requirements for child-resistant barriers vary depending on when the pool was built and where the pool is located.

For further information, please contact Council's Duty Certifier.

Fence Your Spa or Swim Spa

The Swimming Pool Act 1992 stipulates that any spa capable of holding water to a depth greater than 300mm must be covered and secured by a lockable child-safe structure such as a door, lid, grill or mesh and a CPR chart must be installed.

A spa that is also used for swimming purposes such as a swim spa must be fenced even if it has a lockable covers or lids because it is defined as a swimming pool under the relevant legislation.

For further information, please contact Council's Duty Certifier.

Approval to Install a Pool or Spa

Some small portable swimming pools and spas may be installed without approval if compliant with the development standards listed in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development) Codes 2008.

If the pool or spa is not exempt development the prior approval of Council by way of a Development Consent and Construction Certificate or alternatively a Complying Development Certificate from Council or an Accredited Certifier is required.

For further information, please call Council's Duty Certifier.

Fence Your Pool Under Construction

Swimming Pools under construction that have the means to hold water to depth greater than 300mm are required to have:

  • A temporary child resistant barrier that complies with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and the Swimming Pool Act 1992;
  • The temporary fence must be secured in a way that it cannot be removed without the use of a tool (screwdriver, spanner, wrench, shovel, cutting implement or the like);
  • The temporary fence must include a self-closing operating pool gate that opens away from the pool enclosure;
  • Display a sign in a prominent position in the immediate vicinity of the swimming pool that states; “This swimming pool is not to be occupied or used until a Relevant Occupation Certificate is issued”. 

Signs are available for purchase from Council.

Selling a Property With A Pool, Spa or Swim Spa

If you are selling a house with a pool or spa, the contract for the sale of land must have one of the following attached:

  • A valid Certificate of Compliance, or
  • A Certificate of Non-Compliance, or
  • A Relevant Occupation Certificate and a Certificate of Registration.

A Certificate of Compliance is valid for three years and is evidence that the swimming pool met the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act 1992 and the Swimming Pools Regulation 2018 at the time of inspection.

A Certificate of Non-Compliance is valid for one year and is evidence that the swimming pool did not meet the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act 1992 and the Swimming Pools Regulation 2018 at the time of inspection.

If the defects to the swimming pool barrier are not deemed a significant risk at the time of inspection the owner of the property may choose to sell their property with a Certificate of Non-Compliance (at the owners request). This means the new owners of the property have 90 days after settlement to ensure the pool barrier is made compliant and contact Council for a re-inspection.

A Relevant Occupation Certificate is valid for three years and is issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and authorises the use of the swimming pool.

Leasing a Property With a Pool, Spa or Swim Spa

The owner of a swimming pool, spa or swim spa must obtain a Certificate of Compliance from Council or an Accredited Certifier prior to leasing the property. The Certificate of Compliance certifies that the swimming pool or spa barrier complied with the relevant standard at the time of inspection and is valid for three (3) years.

An Occupation Certificate issued within the past three (3) years may act as a Certificate of Compliance.

A Certificate of Non-Compliance must not be used if the property is being leased and a residential tenancy agreement is proposed to be entered into for the property.

Tourist and Visitor Accommodation With a Pool, Spa or Swim Spa

The Swimming Pool Act 1992 stipulates that Council must inspect swimming pools and spas associated with tourist and visitor accommodation, and multi-occupancy developments at a maximum of three-year intervals. These premises include: 

  • Backpacker’s accommodation,
  • Short term holiday rentals (such as Airbnb),
  • Bed and Breakfast accommodation,
  • Farm stay accommodation,
  • Hotel or Motel accommodation,
  • Serviced apartments.

Owners of the above properties with a swimming or spa pool must contact Council or an Accredited Certifier to organise a swimming pool barrier inspection and have a valid Certificate of Compliance at all times.

Obtaining a Certificate of Compliance

A Certificate of Compliance can be obtained from Council using the form below. Please note that fees in accordance with Councils current adopted fees and charges are payable at the time the application is lodged. Any reinspection/s required due to defects of the swimming pool barrier will require the payment of additional fees prior to the reinspection.

Once Council has received your application, a Council Officer will contact you to arrange a suitable time to inspect your swimming pool, spa or swim spa barrier.

View: Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance Application

Australian Standards That My Pool Barrier Must Comply With

The requirements for child-resistant barriers vary depending on when the pool was built and where the pool is located.

There are three different Australian Standards that apply in NSW:

  • AS 1926 - 1986; Fences and gates for private swimming pools; which applies to pools constructed prior to 30 August 2008;
  • AS 1926.1 – 2007; Swimming pool safety, Part 1 safety barriers for swimming pools; which applies to pools constructed between 1 September 2008 to 30 April 2013;
  • AS 1926.1 – 2012; Swimming pool safety, Part 1 safety barriers for swimming pools; which applies to pools constructed after 1 May 2013.

A copy of the above relevant standard is available for viewing at Council Civic Centre, Elizabeth St, Moss Vale.

Note: If the swimming pool barrier is modified, altered or rebuilt, the work must be completed in accordance with the current Swimming Pools Act 1992, Swimming Pools Regulation 2018 and Australian Standard AS 1926.1-2012 and any previous exemptions cease.

The NSW Swimming Pools Register also contains useful compliance checklists for owners for each of the above standards.

CPR Signage

In case of an emergency the Swimming Pools Act 1992 requires a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) sign displayed near your pool and/or spa.

The sign must be in good condition and able to be read easily from a distance of 3 metres.

From 1 September 2019, new CPR signs came into effect. From this time, all new pools must use the updated signage. Owners of existing pools are not required to update their signage unless the pool is substantially altered or re-built.

A Guide to CPR

Signs are available for purchase from Council. 

Removing a Pool or Spa

Some small portable swimming pools and spas may be removed without approval if compliant with the development standards listed in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development) Codes 2008.

Generally, if you are proposing to remove or demolish a pool or spa the prior approval of Council or an Accredited Certifier is required if an initial approval to build or install the pool or spa was needed.

For more information, please call Council's Duty Certifier.

Useful Resources

Further information may be obtained from Council's Duty Certifier between 8:30am and 4:00pm, Monday to Friday on (02) 48 680 888 or alternatively see one of the following resources: