Swimming pools and spas
On 1 December 2019, the State Government introduced laws to improve swimming pool and spa safety.
These laws introduce new registration, inspection and compliance requirements for property owners. Stonnington residents are now required to register their pool and spa with Council and have their safety barrier inspected once every four years.
The new regulations are in response to a series of coronial investigations, which found that faulty and unsafe pool barriers had contributed to the deaths of children in backyard pools. This aims to bring Victoria in line with New South Wales and Queensland, who already mandate swimming pool and spa regulations and inspections.
What do the new laws apply to?
The new laws apply to swimming pools and spas located in Victoria that are capable of holding more than 300mm (30cm) of water.
- inflatable pools
- above ground pools
- indoor pools
- hot tubs
- bathing or wading pools.
Existing pools and spas must be registered by 1 June 2020.
How to register
To register your pool or spa, complete this application form and then submit online and pay the registration fee of $31.84.
An additional information search fee of $47.24 may be applicable for council to determine the date of construction.
After you register, Council will let you know:
- when the pool or spa was constructed
- its applicable barrier standard
- the date the owners must lodge a Certificate of Compliance with Council
Owners are obliged to have their swimming pool and spa barriers inspected and certified by a registered building surveyor or inspector.
Lodgment of Certificates
Certificates of Barrier Compliance
When your barrier meets the required safety standard the inspector may issue you with a Certificate of Barrier Compliance. The Certificate of Barrier Compliance must be submitted to Council within 30 days of its issue. In accordance with the Building Regulations a $20 lodgement fee to Council is applicable for each certificate.
Your next certificate of compliance will be due 4 years thereafter, Council will notify you of the due date.
Certificates of Barrier Non-compliance
In accordance with the Building Regulations, if Council receives a Certificate of Pool and Spa Barrier Non-compliance, a $385 lodgment fee to Council is applicable. Council may take further action to address the non-compliance.
Victorian Building Authority
Victorian Government announcement
Building Regulations 137, 138 and 139 give the safety barrier requirements for pools and spas.
Some key requirements to note:
- All pools and spas built since 2010 require a four-sided fence, with no direct access from the house to the pool or spa surround (that is, a building wall cannot form part of the fence)
- If a pool or spa – even an inflatable one – can hold 30cms or more of water it must be fenced off
- Gates around pools and spas must be self-closing and self-latching
- You should never prop open a pool gate, even for a minute or two – this is illegal
- Take care to ensure there are no chairs, tables or any other objects near the pool fence – children could use these to climb over the fence
Building Regulation 141, 142 and 143 contains the maintenance requirements for all pool and spa barriers, no matter when installed.