News, Events and Culture

Keeping your new pool safe

Wednesday December 21 2016

If a new pool arrives at your place this summer, make sure you know the fencing rules.

Photo shows child splashing in swimming pool.

Swimming pool fencing rules are changing on 1 January.

From 1 January 2017, all pools with a maximum depth of 400mm or greater need to have barriers in place to prevent unsupervised access by children under five years old.

This could include many popular portable pools, so pool owners need to check the dimensions of their pools carefully. Council’s head of building services, Leigh Sage says new pool owners should talk to the pool retailer or manufacturer about the best way of restricting unsupervised pool access.

“Fencing may be the right option, but pool owners will need to look at their property to make the best decision for their type of pool.”

Changes to rules for residential pools repeal the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987. The new rules are now included in the Building Act 2004, and bring a number of a changes.

“Residential pools are now required to be inspected once every three years, and pool owners have the choice to be inspected by the Council or by new independently qualified pool inspectors,” says Leigh Sage.  “The Council will release more information about the new inspection process early in 2017.”

Smaller pools, with less than 400mm potential depth, won’t need inspections and most may not need permanent fencing.

“Even shallow pools can be dangerous. Owners still need to take care to avoid accidental drownings.”