Swimming Pool Requirements Under Summer Spotlight

The recent hotter weather is a timely reminder for Hurunui District residents to make sure their swimming pools are properly fenced and are fully compliant.

The Hurunui District Council is reminding residents with swimming pools on their properties that it is their responsibility to ensure the fencing around their pool area is compliant. Recent changes to the Building Act 2004 have introduced new requirements and council enforcement powers.

Hurunui District Council’s Swimming Pool Compliance Officer, Kelly Marchant, says the main requirements residents should be aware of are that all pool fencing is to be 1.2m above ground level or higher and that gates must be self-closing and self-latching.

“Imperative to the effectiveness of pool fencing is this requirement for gates to be self-closing, to avoid the possibility of small children gaining unsupervised access to a pool. Gates must open away from the pool and automatically close and latch from an opening distance as small as 150mm. In addition, no objects are permitted within 1.2m of a pool that could assist climbing into the fenced area.”

Temporary or inflatable pools with the capability to be filled to 400mm or more are required to be fully fenced to restrict access by young children. Other changes brought in include new provisions around the requirement of the mandatory inspection of swimming pools every three years.

“Previously the council was the only organisation permitted to complete a pool owner’s mandatory three yearly inspection, however residents are now able choose an ‘Independently Qualified Pool Inspector’ to complete these,” says Kelly.

Accidental deaths per year from drowning have reduced significantly in the last 30 years. It is hoped this can be reduced further by a new requirement for manufacturers and retailers to inform buyers of their responsibilities. It is then the responsibility of property owners to make sure they fulfil their duty to contact the council before putting up or installing a pool or spa, to confirm what may or may not be required. If further information on the regulations and requirements is required, residents can contact Kelly directly at kelly.marchant@hurunui.govt.nz.

Pool Fence