If you’re thinking about buying or building a swimming pool or spa, it’s important to know that you may need certain approvals and/or safety measures. The best way to find out is to talk to a building surveyor.
Just because you can buy a pool from Bunnings, Kmart or any other professional pool supplier, does not automatically mean your pool will comply with all legal requirements.
Swimming pools and spas are divided into categories by their size and depth.
Category 1 – Low Risk Pool
This is a relocatable, temporary swimming pool (such as a small blow up kids’ pool). It can be more than 300mm deep but the total area must be less than 9m2. This type of pool does not need approval, but must be behind a proper pool fence.
Category 2 – Low Risk Pool
This is a permanent pool or spa pool (not in a landslip hazard area) with a maximum area of 18m2. This type of pool can be up on a deck or other supporting structure, but the structure must be able to support a full pool or spa. A fence or barrier must be approved by a building surveyor, before the pool can be used. Work associated with the pool and access barrier must be performed by a licensed builder.
Please note that a pool or spa lid is not a compliant barrier.
Category 3 – Medium Risk Pool
This is a permanent pool or spa pool over 18 square metres in area. Before installing pools in this category you must hire a building surveyor to get formal approval.
All pools (that can be filled deeper than 30cm) must be protected by barriers which meet the Australian Standards. Before you build or install a pool, you should talk to a building surveyor about the specific pool fencing needs.
Remember: the cost of installing a fence to comply with the Australian Standards can be more than the cost of the pool itself.