Swimming Pools and Spas

All swimming pools and spas must have a safety barrier to restrict access to the pool area. 

Owners of properties with a swimming pool or spa have a legal obligation to ensure that they maintain swimming pool and spa safety barriers to reduce the risk of unsupervised access.

Residents must also ensure these barriers are always closed.

These legal obligations apply to all swimming pools and spas in Victoria.

New safety laws for owners of pools and spas

Introduced 1 December 2019

New laws introduced by the Victorian Government require:

  • mandatory registration of swimming pools and spas by 1 June 2020
  • a new compliance regime to improve swimming pool and spa safety.

These new laws came into effect on 1 December 2019. There are costs associated with registration, inspection and certification which are listed below. 

You can register your swimming pool or spa with Council via an online form

Register your pool or spa

Which pools and spas must be registered?

Any swimming pool or spa that can hold water to a depth greater than 30cm and used, designed, manufactured or adapted to be principally used for swimming, wading, paddling, or the like, including a bathing or wading pool, or spa must be registered with Council.

This includes:

  • in-ground and above ground pools and spas
  • inflatable pools
  • indoor pools and spa pools
  • children’s paddling and wading pools
  • spas, jacuzzis, hot tubs and swim spas (including portable spas).

This does not include:

  • structures such as bird baths, fish ponds, fountains
  • spas inside a building that are used for personal hygiene
  • inflatable swimming pools (typically toddler or wading pools) not capable of containing a depth of water greater than 30cm and will be erected for less than 3 days
  • water supply/storage tanks
  • dams, rivers, creeks and lakes.

Pool and spa registration and inspection

You now need to:

1. Register your pool or spa with Council:

Property owners, including landlords, are required to register their pool or spa with Council online by 1 June 2020. You can register your swimming pool or spa with Council via its online form - you'll start by entering your address:

Register your pool or spa

Council will maintain the register of swimming pools and spas within the municipality through owner registrations, existing Council records and aerial photography to ensure the database is up-to-date.

2. Have your safety barriers inspected for compliance by a registered building practitioner: 
Property owners will also be required to have their swimming pool and spa barriers inspected and certified by a registered building surveyor or a registered building inspector. This certification will state that the barrier of a swimming pool or spa complies with the applicable requirements. These requirements vary, depending on when the pool or spa was installed.

Provide a copy of the Certificate of Compliance to Council.

Time frames

Existing pools and spas must be registered by 1 June 2020.

New swimming pools or spas constructed after 1 June 2020 must be registered within 30 days of receiving the relevant Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection.

Costs

There will be a cost to:

  • register your pool/spa with Council - $79.00
  • have your safety barriers inspected by a registered building surveyor or a registered building inspector - this price will vary depending on the individual inspector/inspection

  • lodge your certificate of compliance with Council - $20.40

The cost of registration and lodging the certificates with Council are set by the Victorian Government.

The cost of the inspection of the safety barriers will be up to the individual inspector and will depend on your particular circumstances. Consider getting quotes from several companies to ensure a better rate.

Are you compliant? You can check

You can check if your pool or spa barriers are compliant using the Victorian Building Authority’s 3 self-assessment checklists. They reflect the standards and regulations that are applied to your pool or spa, depending on your installation date. Choose the one applicable on the VBA's website - www.vba.vic.gov.au 

 

Why have the requirements changed?

Drownings and near drownings are the most common cause of preventable death or disability. The number of drowning incidents, and the high levels of non-compliance of safety barriers with the Building Act’s requirements, indicate that the past regulatory requirements have not been successful in ensuring the safety of private swimming pools and spas.

When do I need to register by?

You can register your swimming pool or spa with Council via its online portal from 2 December 2019.

Existing pools and spas must be registered by 1 June 2020.

New swimming pools or spas constructed after 1 June 2020 must be registered within 30 days of receiving the relevant Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection.

Do I need to register my swimming pool and spa separately?

Where an owner has both a swimming pool and a spa, they will need to register the swimming pool and spa separately with Council unless the swimming pool and spa were installed together (i.e. both pool and detached spa are in the same approved pool/spa enclosure) or form part of each other.

How do I register?

You can register your swimming pool or spa with Council via its online portal - you'll start by entering your address:

 Register your pool or spa

What does it cost?

Costs include:

  • The Registration Fee is $79.00 which includes a registration fee of $31.80 and a records search fee of $47.20

  • have your safety barriers inspected by a registered building surveyor or a registered building inspector - this price will vary depending on the individual inspector/inspection

  • lodge your certificate of compliance with Council - $20.40

    The cost of registration and lodging the certificates with Council are set by the Victorian Government.

    The cost of the inspection of the safety barriers will be up to the individual inspector and will depend on your particular circumstances. Consider getting quotes from several companies to ensure a better rate.

     

What happens after I register?

When you complete your application to register your swimming pool or spa, Council will email you confirming:

  • the date or the period of construction of the swimming pool
  • the relevant standard that the safety barrier must comply with
  • the date the safety barriers must be certified as compliant by.

The timeframe to provide this information will depend on the age of the swimming pool or spa and may take up to 30 days.

Once the swimming pool or spa has been registered with Council, it will remain registered until the swimming pool or spa is removed and the owner applies to take it off the register.

Registrations, once submitted, do not need to be renewed for the life of the pool or spa.

Inspections and the submission of certificates of compliance must be completed every 4 years.

What happens if I don’t register?

It is an offence not to register within the required time frame and is subject to a fine of $330.