Swimming Pools and Spas

About

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian Standards define a swimming pool as follows:

Any excavation or structure containing water to a depth greater than 300mm that is used, or designed, manufactured or adapted to be primarily used for swimming, wading, paddling or the like, including a bathing or wading pool, or spa pool.

If you are planning to build a swimming pool or spa, it's vital you understand health and safety requirements around them. 

Regulations

Permits must be obtained from the City of Launceston for the installation and set-up of pools and spas.

Before building a swimming pool or spa, inflating a blow-up pool or spa and/or erecting related safety fencing, you need to check with Council to find out if or what building and/or plumbing approval is required.

Please contact our Customer Service Centre for more information. 

Fencing

All pools and spas are required to have permanent safety barriers.

However the walls of an above-ground swimming pool or spa may provide a barrier if they are at least 1.2m in height and do not have a surface which enables a child to gain a foothold and climb into the swimming pool or spa.

Any objects that could be climbable by a young child, such as a pool ladder, pool filter, pump equipment or plumbing connection into the side of the pool, should be properly fenced or otherwise isolated.

Fencing regulations

  • Fences must be a minimum of 1.2m high
  • The gap under the fence to be a maximum of 100mm from the ground
  • The vertical bars should be closer than 100mm apart
  • Once a fence and self-closing gate are installed, they must be kept in good working order
  • The placing of a cover or lid over the swimming pool or spa does not comply and is not acceptable - a safety barrier is required

The top five issues affecting pool barriers released by the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors include:

1.   Gates and doors that are no longer self-closing or self-latching
If the gate is no longer self-closing the gate will not comply with Australian Standards. General wear and tear of the locking mechanism means that many gates and doors will no longer self-latch when they close, If the gate or door is not properly locked, children may be able to gain unsupervised access to the water area.

3.   Gates that are propped open
Sometimes, especially during summer and pool parties, the pool gate is propped open (e.g. with a chair or esky) to allow adults easy access to the pool area while they are carrying food or drink.

4.   Ground movement
Ground movement may cause parts of the barrier, including the gate, to shift which may cause gaps to appear in and under the barrier.

5.   Climbable objects on the neighbours side of a boundary fence
Objects on the neighbours side of the fence may enable a child to climb over and gain access to the water area

Please see Plumbing for all associated plumbing requirements and Health...