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Swimming Pools

A backyard swimming pool is always a fun place. No matter how it is used – for games, for relaxation, or for exercise – the pool experience is pure enjoyment at its finest.

But having a pool comes with a number of responsibilities and requirements.

Is my bit of water considered a pool?

The Building Codes of Australia defines a swimming pool as: any excavation or structure containing water and principally used, or that is designed, manufactured or adopted to be principally used for swimming, wading, or the like, including a bath or wading pool, or spa. And;

AS1926.1-2012 defines a swimming pool as: any structure containing water to a depth greater than 300mm and used primarily for swimming, wading, paddling or the like, including a bathing or wading pool, or spa pool.

Approval to build

If you wish to install a private swimming pool or spa, you must apply for a building permit for the pool/spa, and the barrier.

This fact sheet by the Building Commission provides general information about the building approvals process for your new swimming pool or spa and it’s safety barrier. 

Thinking of Installing a swimming pool spa online

Pool barrier fencing

All private swimming and spa pools that contain water more that 300mm deep must have a compliant safety barrier installed that restricts access by young children to the pool and it’s immediate surrounds.

Owners and occupiers are responsible for ensuring that the safety barrier is compliant, operating and maintained at all times.  Should your swimming or spa pool not comply with the Australian Standards 1926.1, you as the home owner or occupier run the risk of substantial fines and possible prosecution.

The Town of Mosman Park conducts inspections on all private swimming and spa pools, generally once every four years.

The Town does recommend prior to selling/purchasing a property, that an inspection is undertaken to ensure the compliance of safety barriers.   

For a compliance assessment of your swimming or spa pool, please contact the Town’s Building Services on 9383 6600 to book an inspection or complete the Non-Scheduled Inspection Form here.

Removing / Decommissioning / Emptying a Pool.

The Towns’ Health Local Law 1995 strictly prohibits discharging pool water into a public area (e.g. road, parkland, reserve etc.) within the Town of Mosman Park. Apart from potential damage to the verge, road, footpaths, surrounding property etc., the running water can create a hazard for vehicles and pedestrians as well as the environment above and below ground. You may also face significant penalties under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 if found to have committed an offence of causing harm to the environment and/or people.

If the pool is in excess of 40m2 in area an Application for a Demolition Permit is required.

In an ideal world when the swimming pool or spa is no longer wanted it would be 100% removed from site either by deflating, dismantling, excavating and lifting out, or complete demolition with any demolition material to be removed from site and taken to an approved disposal site.  The excavation filled with soil endemic to the site and compacted in a maximum 300mm layers.

The reality is that many below ground pools get buried thus potentially creating future development problems. The Town of Mosman Park follows the advice of WALGA is defining the decommisioning of a pool as "removing aspects that make the structure a swimming pool, such as complete removal, remove its ability to contain more than 300mm of water, remove of the access, and removal of any filtration system. The main consideration is the inability to hold water."

Examples of the minum standard for how a pool might be decommisoned include:

Above Ground Pools

  • Inflatable: deflate and remove
  • Solid sided: Remove liner, ladder, and any filtration system.  Ideally complete dismantling and removal.

Above Ground Pools Installed Below Ground

  • Remove liner, ladder, and any filtration system.  Ideally complete dismantling and removal.
  • Remove all of the above-ground pool structure and filtration system.
  • Break down the retaining walls to a minimum of 600mm below natural ground level.
  • Remove the demolished material to an approved disposal site.
  • The excavation filled with soil endemic to the site and compacted in a maximum 300mm layers

Below Ground Concrete or Fibreglass Pools

  • Cut a minimum of 2 x 500mm x 500mm squares in the base of the pool (deep end), and remove all the fibreglass or concrete from the pool. 
  • Disconnect the filtration system and any access ladders.
  • Cut down the walls of the pool at least 600mm from the top. 
  • Remove the demolished material to an approved disposal site.
  • The excavation filled with soil endemic to the site and compacted in layers.

Further Information

The Building Commission has released a new fact sheets and information guides that can help inform you of your responsibilities. Visit the Building Commission website for more details.

NON-SCHEDULED SWIMMING POOL INSPECTION REQUEST FORM:  Should you require a Swimming Pool Non-Scheduled Inspection Request, please complete the form here


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