Swimming Pool Safety

With over 2500 residential swimming pools in the City of Nedlands it is paramount that the safety is in line with the relevant legislation. Many Australian families have backyard pools, it is always important to remember that drowning is the biggest cause of accidental death from zero- to five-year-olds. 

Swimming pool barriers must be inspected for safety and compliance and assessed against the Australian Standard AS 1926.1.  The City is bound by legislation that requires every swimming pool in the City to be inspected by an authorised person, once every 4 years, to ensure safety is maintained to the currently adopted Australian Standard.  

Common problems encountered during the City's inspection program 

Below is a quick snapshot of some of the main points of the Swimming Pool Regulations looked at by inspectors. 

  • Gates must be self-closing and latch from all positions with no momentum used to aid the closure. 
  • Fence height at a minimum height of 1200mm. 
  • Pool gate to swing away from pool area.
  • Doors are not allowed at all onto pool areas if the plans for the pool were received after 5th November 2001.  (Exceptions for indoor pools)  If the pool was before that date and you elect to have a door, the door must be self-closing from all positions just like the tests that are done on a gate.  One side of any double doors usually have to be permanently fixed shut. (IMPORTANT NOTE: A key lock is not enough even if the key has been lost)
  • Gate latch to be at, at least 1500 mm high from finished ground level (or shielded on the inside of gate, at least 150mm down). 
  • No gaps greater than 100mm. 
  • Windows which open onto pool area can only open a maximum of 100mm or have a protective screen in place. A fly screen is not considered strong enough. The restriction should require the use of a tool to take it off. A keyed locking mechanism is also not acceptable. 
  • No climbable objects, handholds or footholds can be located within the ‘non-climbable zones’ (NCZ1-4) located on the pool barrier. (No climbable objects within 900mm of the top of the pool fence) Climbable objects include anything with a horizontal surface depth greater than 10mm, including (but not limited to) barbecues, pot plants and plant branches, taps and windowsills. 

Pools where the plans were received after May 2016 also have the following:

  • There can be no climbable objects, steps, retaining walls or ground level changes within 500mm of the barrier. 
  • Where a boundary fence forms part of the pool barrier, there must be at least an 1800mm drop from the top of the fence to the finished ground level on the POOL SIDE of the barrier. Finished ground level applies to any permanent stable surface and can include raised garden beds, pool equipment enclosures and the like. 
  • There can be no climbable objects or components located within the 900mm ‘non-climbable zone’ (NCZ5)on the boundary fence.  ) (This is measured from the top of the boundary down).  Items that may cause compliance issues include (but are not limited to) lattice, fence infill panels, thick plant, or tree branches, and pool equipment dials etc.

      If you are due an inspection, please check your barrier. If you notice anything that needs repairing/changing/pruning etc, please do the necessary work before the inspection takes place.  If the work cannot be done before the date of the inspection, take extra measures to ensure the safety of your pool area and RE-ARRANGE THE INSPECTION, FOR A TIME WHEN THE WORK WILL HAVE BEEN DONE.

      Pool Safety Brochure 

      The City produces a quick guide brochure to assist you in understanding the requirements of your barrier inspection. To view the brochure click the link below

      Swimming Pool Safety Brochure

      Building or Constructing a Swimming Pool 

      If you are installing a new pool, you will need to apply for a building permit for the pool and the pool fence. Please note if the company installing the pool is different to the one installing the fence, then a separate application needs to be submitted. 

      Please refer to the Building Services – Applying for a permit – section of the web site for information on applying for a building permit. 

      For further information on the rules and regulations surrounding pool barrier please click on the link that will take you to the DMIRS Rules for Pools Brochure created by the state government. 

      Decommissioning Swimming Pools or Spas

      When a pool or spa is no longer wanted, the structure will be removed by deflating, dismantling, excavating and lifting out, or complete demolition.  Demolition material should be removed from site and taken to an approved disposal site – waste materials from the pool or spa removal cannot be buried on site.  Any remaining excavation/holes are required to be filled with soil endemic to the site and compacted in 300mm layers.

      What constitutes decommissioning?

      A pool or spa is considered decommissioned when;

      • It cannot hold 300mm or more of water
      • Access is removed, and
      • Filtration system is removed.

      Some owners choose to remove access to the pool by constructing decks/covers over them. If you choose this option a building permit will be required prior to constructing the deck/cover.

      Local Government Notification

      When a pool or spa is decommissioned, the City must be notified with a photo of the pools removal provided, this can then be used to update the City’s pool register. This will also ensure that the property is not levied for a swimming pool charge. Once the City has removed the pool from its pool register the property owner will be notified.

      Reinstating a Pool or Spa

      Once a pool is removed or decommissioned it cannot be reinstated or recommissioned without first notifying the City of Nedlands. A building permit application will be required if you wish to reinstate a decommissioned pool.