Swimming Pools

SWIMMING POOLS -

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?

A pool is a great asset for the home and family, but pools can also be a potential danger for young children.  Private swimming pools are the single most significant water danger for pre-schoolers according to Water Safety New Zealand drowning statistics.

When did the new pool safety legislation come into effect? 01 January 2017

Why have the laws been changed? Although accidental deaths per year from drowning have reduced significantly in the last 30 years since legislation first came into effect, we can reduce this even further by ensuring the steps taken at completion of swimming pool sign-off by Council remain in place during the lifespan of pools and spa pools.

The new legislation provides additional enforcement tools to territorial authorities to help ensure safety around residential pools is maintained by owners.

Am I required to have fencing for my temporary inflatable pool? If the inflatable pool has the capability of being filled to 400mm or more then yes, you will be required to fence the pool as per the legislation to restrict access by young children. It remains important to watch your children closely while they are playing in the pool.

Manufacturers and retailers of swimming pools and spa pools must inform buyers of their responsibilities by providing notices with these products. Also refer to Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment Guidance for pool owners.

Will the current fencing around my pool meet the new fencing requirements if it complied with the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987? If your fencing was deemed compliant then you should not need to do anything further.  You will however, need  to ensure your pool is inspected every three years to remain compliant

What are the changes to doors opening into pool areas? All doors must be self-closing or be fitted with alarms that sound if the doors don’t close after someone goes through them.

Does my spa pool need a fence and/or a building consent? There are some parameters for ‘small heated pools’ that do not require a fence. They need to:

  • be less than 5m2 surface area of the water
  • be a minimum of 760mm high
  • have no steps permanently attached
  • have a complying lockable lid

See further information on safety covers on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.

Manufacturers and retailers of swimming pools and spa pools must inform buyers of their responsibilities by providing notices with these products. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure fences, self-closing gates and latches continue to operate correctly and are maintained.

I have an existing pool/spa and it doesn’t comply with new legislation, what do I do? Contact your local pool fencing supplier and/or window and door hardware supplier who should be able to supply and (if necessary) make the required adjustments to ensure your pool is compliant. Before commencing work, check with the Council Building team to see if the extent of work you are doing will require a building consent (see fees and charges for Building consent costs)

Are there any changes to the building consent process? The process for applying remains the same, although you will need ongoing inspections.

When will I need to have my pool inspected? You will need to have three yearly inspections, six months before or after the anniversary date of your last pool or small heated pool inspection. The anniversary date is the date of issue of the Code of Compliance Certificate or the Certificate of Acceptance.You may be subject to Notices to fix and infringements from 01/01/17 if your pool fencing does not comply.

Where must the fence be situated?

The fence must only surround the pool and the area immediately around the pool.  This area can only include things used in association with the pool, for example, changing sheds, filter shed, pump house, seating, decking and paving.  It should not include the clothes line, vegetable garden, driveway or area used for other outdoor activities. 

General pool fencing guidelines

Pool fencing should prevent children up to six years old from climbing over, under or through it to gain access to a pool.  Check that:

Guide to Pool Fencing

Need further information?

 Helpful information is available by visiting the following websites:

Council Building Officers can provide you with any other information you may need.

Building@hurunui.govt.nz

Telephone: 03 314 8816