Requirement To Register
Suppose you live in NSW and have a property
with an indoor or outdoor swimming pool or spa pool located on a site with a residential building, moveable dwelling or tourist and visitor accommodation. In that case, the regulation is that it must be registered on the NSW swimming pool register. The Swimming Pool Act of 1992 also indicates that in strata or community schemes where there is a pool, the lot owners jointly own the pool that is on the common property. In this case, the owner’s corporation or body
corporate is responsible for ensuring that the swimming pool complies with all regulations. This law pertains to structures or vessels, including spa pools and excavations that can be filled with water to a depth greater than 30cm and are used, manufactured or adapted for swimming, wading, paddling or other aquatic activities. To register, you require quite a few documents to complete the registration, so it is essential to prepare before applying. You will require:
a. Name and contact
b. Details of your property.
c. Details about your swimming pool – construction material, length, width and depth etc.
d. Details about the barrier around your pool – construction material and height, spaces between bars, etc.
e. The approximate age of the swimming pool. When and if any work has been conducted on the swimming pool since construction.
You need to be aware of quite a few regulations in relation to pool compliance when you are ensuring your pool is ready for registration. They include:
a. Pool Fencing
The fencing around the pool must be a child-resistant barrier that separates the swimming area from any residential building or place that adjoins the property. Ensure the design, construction and installation of the pool barrier comply with the standards. These include height and distance between uprights. Keep the access gate closed so children cannot enter.
Pool fencing also applies to portable pools and pools that can be inflated and filled with more than 30 cm of water.
For more information on pool compliance, go to the pool safety checklists page on the NSW Government’s Swimming Pool site.
Signage for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, known as CPR, is essential. Display a sign clearly near the pool in case of an emergency. The placement of a CPR sign is a requirement by law, and you can buy these from the council, local pool, St Johns Ambulance, Royal Life Saving or Australian Red cross. Ensure it is in good condition and readable from 3 metres away. The 3-metre rule is one rule that was changed in Sept 2019 when they developed new CPR signs. If your pool has been put in since Sept. 2019, you must have a new sign displayed.
If you have a pool under construction or are renovating an existing pool, your swimming pool must have a sign that says: ‘This swimming pool isn’t to be occupied or used.’ Ensure the sign is always displayed clearly while the pool is under construction or until an occupation certificate is issued.
How To Register
When all the documentation is in place, you can complete the requirements at the NSW Swimming Pool Register. You will need to complete the submission form on the online site above and take note of your submission ID. It can take some time for your registration to be completed; however, you can log into the NSW Swimming Pool Register website and do a Check Property search. If you need assistance, you can pay a fee to the local council to apply on your behalf. Once your property is registered
, you will receive a certificate of registration.
Selling Or Renting A Property With A Pool
When selling a property with a swimming or lap pool, include a certificate of registration from the Swimming Pool Register in the contract of sale along with either a lawful compliance pool certificate, an occupancy certificate that is dated in the last three years or a non-compliance certificate. Not including one of these certificates means the buyer can rescind the contract within 14 days of exchange. Including a certificate of non-compliance means the buyer becomes obligated to obtain a certificate of compliance within 90 days from settlement.
If your rental property has a swimming or spa pool, the tenant or real estate agent needs to provide the renter with a copy of the compliance or occupation certificate. In a rental property, you cannot have a certificate of non-compliance.
A registered swimming pool inspector or someone from your local council can inspect your pool and spa pool barriers and then issue the obligatory certificate of compliance as long as requirements are met. A certificate of compliance will be valid for 3 years.
There are several hazards that can cause incidents for both children and adults. If you are aware of the areas of risk, then you can make every effort to reduce issues.
a. The pool cleaning system
– The cleaning and skimming systems can become trapping hazards. To prevent this, ensure children do not play near the pool outlet, that the pool filtration system on/off switch is clearly labelled and that you have CPR signs mounted.
b. Slipping Hazards
– Be aware that tiles and areas around the pool may become slippery when wet. You can put down a non-slip surface.
– Water and electricity are not two things that go together. A portable electric pump and filtering system can be problematic if it does not have protective housing. Electrical work undertaken needs to be completed by a licensed electrician including any installation to do with the pool, and the switches, power points, etc., should be weather protected. Avoid using extension cords near the pool, and if one must be used, a heavy-duty one is recommended.
In NSW, the local councils are the first port of call for information regarding swimming pools and the NSW swimming pool register. They will inspect a pool or spa pool, issue certificates of compliance and non-compliance, develop and they develop and regularly update a swimming pool barrier inspection program and more. You can also find information regarding all your compliance needs, checklists and swimming pool register application forms online.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What pool safety issues should I consider?
You need to ensure the area is clean and safe. Ensure that the pool gate is always shut and that CPA is displayed. Be aware of any sites that could be dangerous.
2. What do they do with the Pool Register information?
This information helps councils and water safety agencies to target safety information at pool owners.