Backyard swimming pools are popular in Australia for rest and recreation, but their presence brings a number of health and safety risks.
Swimming pool owners should ensure that appropriate fencing, gates, locks and signs are maintained in the pool area, and that relevant requirements under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 are met. A new pool should not be filled, or an existing pool refilled unless these requirements are met.
When a pool or spa is being constructed or altered, a principal certifying authority (PCA) must supervise all works. The PCA is essentially a building inspector, and is responsible for ensuring that new and altered swimming pools and spas comply with relevant Development Consents and Complying Development Certificates.
The PCA should ensure that all necessary requirements are met before issuing an Occupation Certificate. Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the PCA must report any failure to comply with these requirements to Hurstville City Council.
- issue orders relating to swimming pool safety and Penalty Infringement Notices for offences
- prosecute offences and undertake civil proceedings to enforce orders.
NSW Government Advice
- Safewater NSW - provides further information on: fencing backyard pools; frequently asked questions; information in community languages; checklists for pool owners.
- Swimsafe - Department of Arts, Sport and Recreation information regarding swimming lessons.
- Division of Local Government – provides advice about swimming pool and spa laws and requirements
- Office of Fair Trading – Swimming pool safety guidelines for consumers
- The Royal Lifesaving Society Australia - the largest single organisation dedicated to the teaching of lifesaving and the prevention of drowning.
- Surf Life Saving NSW – provides water safety, first aid and CPR training
- Austswim - Australia’s national organisation for the teaching of swimming and water safety
- St John Ambulance Australia - Australia's leading provider of first aid training, first aid services at public events and supplier of first aid kits and equipment.
- Kid Safe NSW - Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia provide general advice.
- Keep Watch – Home Pool Safety - Royal Life Saving Society information including checklist, fact sheets and other information.