Legislation for Swimming & Spa Pools

Since 1 January 2017, the key legislation laying down provisions and obligations surrounding residential pools is the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016. This Act repealed the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 and amended the obligations stated under the Building Act 2004. Under the new Act, the following key obligations came into force:

• A new requirement for mandatory inspections of swimming pools every three years;
• Allowing safety covers to be used as barriers for spa pools and hot tubs;
• Indoor pools now require a means of restricting access; and
• Introducing additional enforcement tools for territorial authorities, including Notices to Fix.

This means any portable or inflatable pool that can hold 400mm depth of water or more is required to have a barrier by law that will restrict the entry of children when closed.

Swimming Pool & Spa Pool Safety Checklist

Pool Surroundings
- Non-pool related items and activities — such as clothes lines, play equipment, vegetable gardens, dog kennels and storage areas — should not be located inside the pool areas.

Pool Barriers
- Restricts access to the pool and the immediate pool area.
- At least 1.2m in height, and any object placed on the ground outside (steps, retaining walls, raised gardens etc.) must be 1.2m from the barrier.
- There are no climbable features on the outside of the barrier or overhanging branches to climb.
- Must not have any gaps that exceed 100mm in or under it, including pet doors.
- External movable ladders must be disabled or removed after use.

Pool Gate
- Only opens away from the pool area.
- Self-closes and self-latches unaided from any distance.
- Complies with the same rules as Pool Barriers.
- A gate latch must be in working order.

Spa Pool Covers
- Be capable of supporting 20kg of weight at its centre.
- Workable hold down straps and fasteners to fix the cover in place so there is no opening greater than 100mm.
- Water should not be able to collect on top of the spa pool cover.
- There is a prominently displayed hazard warning notice stating: “WARNING: This spa pool cover must be kept locked except when under adult supervision”.