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Swimming Pools

Swimming pools

Swimming pool inspections

All councils in New South Wales must inspect swimming pool barriers to reduce childhood drownings. The 8,400 pools in Hornsby Shire will be inspected through a combination of mandatory and random inspections. For more information view the Swimming Pool Barrier Inspection Program (51kb).

Have you registered your pool or spa yet?

To register your swimming pool or spa please refer to the NSW Swimming Pool Register.

Are you selling or leasing your property?

From 29 April 2016 all properties in New South Wales with a swimming pool or spa must have a compliance certificate before the property can be sold or leased. The pool or spa can be inspected by Council or a private certifier.

Have you removed your pool?

Please email hsc@hornsby.nsw.gov.au stating you have removed your swimming pool and wish your details to be updated on the NSW Swimming Pool Register.

Please include a before and after photo showing your swimming pool has been removed.

Swimming Pool FAQs

The 2012 National Drowning Report prepared by the Royal Life Saving Society has reported that twenty one drowning deaths of 0-4 year olds occurred in Australia in 2011/2012.

Thirty eight per cent (38%) of those drowning deaths took place in swimming pools. A 2010 study showed that a person was 200 times more likely to drown, relative to exposure to water, than to be involved in a traffic fatality.

In addition to the deaths from drowning statistics, there are many stories of young children that survive immersion in water, but are left with lasting physical and mental disabilities. The Children's Hospital Westmead has reported that there was an average of 25 near drowning incidents per year among children under the age of five that occurred in swimming pools from 2007/08 to 2009/10.

Further, the Division of Local Government estimated approximately 10% of all non-fatal admissions result in permanent brain damage based on data from various sources. More recent data suggests that of all near drowning incidents, 22.3% will experience some form of permanent brain damage, leading to the need for long term care.

The Division of Local Government has estimated the total cost to NSW of child immersions in home swimming pools per year to be approximately 23 million. These statistics indicate the importance of water safety and the vulnerability of small children near pools.

The recent changes to legislation concerning swimming pools aims to assist in improving pool safety.

Yes, the NSW  Government introduced the Swimming Pools Act in 1992 requiring that every pool  owner protect their pool with a child proof barrier designed to Australian Standard  requirements.

Recent  amendments to the Swimming Pools Act by the NSW Government requires all councils  to introduce a swimming pool barrier inspection program with the aim of  ensuring that swimming pools are protected by a child proof barrier designed to  Australian Standard requirements.

Council adopted  its Program on 16 October 2013 after the Draft Program was exhibited in local  newspapers, at Council’s Administration   Building and on Council’s  website from 1 August 2013 to 29 August 2013.

The aim of the  new legislation is for all swimming pools within NSW to be inspected to ensure  they are protected by a child proof barrier designed to Australian Standard  requirements.  To inspect the 8,400  swimming pools located within the Hornsby Shire and within a reasonable time  frame (5 – 7 years) a combination of mandatory and random inspections need to  be undertaken.

Pool owners can  engage Council or a private Building Certifier for this role.  To locate a private building certifier you can  visit the Building Professionals Board at http://bpb.nsw.gov.au/engage-certifier/find-certifier.

Private  certifiers are able to charge a commercial rate for their services.  However, to safeguard against unaffordable  fees to pool owners, the NSW Government capped the inspection fees for all  councils at $150 for the first inspection and $100 for the follow up.

The inspection time will vary depending on the number of  non-compliances and the usual discussions that follow. However, experience  shows that the inspections usually take 1-2 hours on site with results provided  to the owner within the following 2-3 days.

No.  As pool inspections can be undertaken by the  private sector, pensioner discounts could be seen as anti-competitive by the  NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal.

Whilst the  Government suspended the need for pool owners to obtain a Compliance  Certificate when selling or leasing their home until 29 April 2015, it did not  suspend the other mandatory pool inspections or council adopted pool inspection  programs.

With a reported  60% - 80% of existing pools not being protected by a compliant pool barrier or a  poorly maintained barrier, the State Government felt it was time to introduce  new legislation that aims to reduce this statistic and ultimately save  lives.  The Government also  recognised that without the ability to charge any inspection fees, councils would  have limited capacity or incentive to implement effective inspection programs.

Yes, under the Swimming  Pools Act, a spa pool is required to be inspected.  However, as spas are considered to be a lower  risk than swimming pools, they will be inspected towards the end of our  inspection program.