Private Swimming Pools

Swimming Pool Safety
Drowning is one of the major causes of death for NSW children under the age of five. Each year on average 10 children under five drown in backyard swimming pools and many more suffer brain damage and other serious injuries associated with near-drowning experiences. The lack of adult supervision, and failure to ensure that pool barriers were properly constructed and maintained, was a significant factor in the deaths of several children.

Swimming Pools Act Review
The NSW Government is currently reviewing the Swimming Pools Act 1992 and major amendments to current legislation are proposed. The review aims to identify appropriate amendments to enhance the safety of children around private swimming pools.

Current information on the review can be found at 
  http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/dlghome/PublicTopicsIndex.asp?mi=0&ml=10&id=12

Legislation
The Swimming Pools Act 1992 currently requires that all swimming pools have an appropriate child resistant barrier that restricts access between the residence and the swimming pool. Owners may be fined if the pool fence or other appropriate child resistant barrier does not meet the requirements.

Pool Fencing
Pool owners must determine whether their pool fence or other barrier complies with the legislation. There are different fencing requirements for swimming pools depending on when and where the pool was installed. Pool owners are asked to seek advice from Council if uncertain about what regulations apply to their swimming pool.

Pool owners are reminded that there is no substitute for constant adult supervision of children in and around swimming pools to prevent drowning and other accidents.

Useful Links

  • Children's Hospital at Westmead - provides a Protect your Pool, Protect your Kids video which visually demonstrates the basic pool fencing requirements in the Swimming Pools Act and provides other key water safety messages. Viewers may choose to view part or all of the 25 minute video depending on need. The website also contains other resources on pool safety.
  • Safewaters - provides further information on: fencing backyard pools; frequently asked questions; information in community languages; checklists for pool owners.
  • Swimsafe - Department of Arts, Sport and Recreation information regarding swimming lessons.
  • Keep Watch – Home Pool Safety - Royal Life Saving Society information including checklist, fact sheets and other resources