Swimming Pool Fencing
Council is required to ensure every pool has its fencing inspected for compliance at least once every three years. It is the responsibility of all pool owners to ensure that regulations are met.
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.
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.
Who inspects swimming pool fencing?
Pool owners have the choice of having the Council inspect their pool fencing or engaging an Independently Qualified Pool Inspector.
The register of Independently Qualified Pool Inspectors can be found here
If you choose to have an Independently Qualified Pool Inspector do your pool fencing inspection they will provide the us with a certificate to confirm that your pool fencing complies with the requirements. They are also required to inform us if your pool fencing does not comply.
Please notify us if you intend to use an Independently Qualified Pool Inspector so that we do not schedule an inspection of your pool.
Our pool inspections are generally carried out between October and January each year.
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:
- All fencing is at least 1.2m above ground level and there is a 1.2m wide unobstructed clear area around the outside (so for example, if there is decking within 1.2m of the fence, then the fence must be at least 1.2m above the level of the decking).
- No space under the bottom of the gate or fence is greater than 100mm at any point.
- There are no holes or gaps between fence pickets or bars in excess of 100mm that may provide children access to the pool area.
- Horizontal support rails on the outside of a fence are at least 900mm apart. (Council recommends that there be no horizontal braces on the outside of a fence).
- Gates open away from the pool and automatically close and latch from an opening distance as small as 150mm.
- Gate hinges, automatic closing devices and latches work properly at all times.
- Any windows in walls forming part of the pool fence that are less than 1.2m from the floor do not open more than 100mm.
- Any doors in walls forming part of the pool fence are fitted with a self-closer capable of latching the door shut from a distance of 150mm from the closed position. The latch must be at least 1.5m above finished floor level.
- There are no objects close to the pool fence or otherwise accessible that could assist young children climbing the fence particularly where the property boundary fence forms part of the pool fence. Check that:
- Horizontal supports on the neighbour's side of the fence are no less than 900mm apart, (or ask your neighbour to remove the braces).
- There are no climbable objects like compost bins, firewood stacks or similar that could assist young children climbing the fence.
- There are no trees within 1.2m of the outside of the fence with horizontal branches that could assist young children climbing the fence.
- Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016
- Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987
- Residential Pool Safety (MBIE)
Does a spa pool need to go on to the Hurunui District Council's pool register?
You do not need to register your spa pool/hot tub, classified as a ‘small heated pool’ if:
- The surface area of water is 5m² or less; and
- The spa pool is a minimum of 760mm high above any adjacent floor (including surrounding decks), ground or surface that the spa pool sits; and
- The spa pool has no steps; and
- The spa pool has a complying lockable safety cover.
The spa pool cannot be easily climbed or have any external objects or projections within 760mm of the top edge that could assist climbing, this includes things like fencing and trees etc..
The pool wall itself cannot have any projections or indentations greater that 10mm horizontally from the plane of the wall.
The lockable safety cover must have signage indicating its safety features and must be able to:
- Restrict entry of children under 5 years of age when closed; and
- Withstand a foreseeable load; and
- Be readily returned to the closed position by an adult
- The warning sign must comply with Paragraphs 2.2 and 3.2.2 of F8/AS1 containing the following text with black letters not less than 5mm in height and shall be fixed on two opposite sides of the cover: “WARNING: This spa pool cover must be kept locked except when under adult supervision”
Please visit F9/AS2 for more detailed information.
The tap or hose that is used to fill the pool, must be fitted with a backflow prevention device. These inexpensive devices will prevent water being sucked back into the main water supply.
Pool Barrier Inspection Annual Reports
Key statistics relating to council's swimming pool fencing inspections, reported annually.