Swimming pools, spas and safety barriers
Do I need a building permit for my new pool/spa?
All new pool and spa installations must meet the requirements of the Building Regulations 2012 and comply with the minimum requirements of AS1926.1.
Before commencing any building works for your new pool or spa, you need to obtain a Building Permit for the pool/spa and safety barrier.
Will your child and your neighbours' children be safe while your pool is under construction? The builder is required under occupational safety and health laws to ensure that a suitable barrier is in place while the pool is under construction in order to manage a range of site hazards.
For information on keeping children safe while a pool is under construction you can visit Commerce WA's website.
Once your pool or spa is installed, you must notify us to organise an inspection of the barrier or fence that encloses it. Please note that a fee of $135 will be charged for this inspection which is in addition to the Building Permit application fee.
Please contact Building Services on 9528 0333 to discuss your proposed swimming pool and safety barrier requirements for your Building Permit submission, or refer to building permits and applications for the application form.
Remember propped open pool gates and faulty latches are a leading cause of drowning deaths in young children. Commerce WA has published a useful information sheet to ensure you keep your children safe around pools.
Rules for portable pools and spas
By law, swimming and spa pools containing water more than 30cm deep must have effective safety barriers that restrict access by young children. This includes portable pools.
Young children can drown in portable pools and spas in a matter of seconds if left unsupervised.
The Building Commission has a useful fact sheet to help you understand the rules for portable pools and spas.
Pool fence inspections
All swimming pools and spas which contain water that is more than 30cm deep need to be inspected to ensure that a suitable barrier is provided that restricts access by young children (children under the age of five years). The inspection is to ensure that the barrier meets the minimum requirements of AS1926.1 Barriers are then inspected every four years.
The City's Building Services Administration Officers will contact the property owner to arrange these inspections. Fees associated with these inspections are independent of the Building Permit application fees.
The City's Building Services Compliance Team will visit your property to conduct the inspection and ensure your barrier is compliant. The barrier is to remain in place at all times and penalties apply for non-compliance.
To enable the four-yearly barrier inspection regime to be carried out, the City has fixed a charge of $160 per property which contains a pool or spa. The inspection fee is independent of the initial Building Permit application fee. It is charged annually and will appear itemised on your Rates Notice each year as one quarter of the total charge ($40). The fee is ongoing to ensure the regime is continued.
Additional one-off inspections may be carried out at the request of a property owner for a fee of $135. This fee is separate and independent of the Building Permit application fee.
Important note: Drowning is preventable. Adult supervision when young children are within the enclosure is essential for child safety. Maintain the barrier at all times. Do not prop the gate open.
Please contact the City's Building Services on 9528 0333 to book and inspection or to seek advice regarding an existing or proposed barrier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an isolation barrier if I do not have children?
Yes. It is the owners/occupiers' responsibility to ensure that any structure containing water to a depth greater than 300mm that is used primarily for swimming, wading, paddling or the like, including a bathing or wading pool or spa pool, requires a barrier that complies with AS 1926.1.
How long do I have after installation of my pool/spa before I need to erect a barrier?
If the structure contains water to a depth greater than 300mm, installation of a compliant barrier is an immediate requirement. If you cannot install a permanent barrier immediately (due to compaction, concreting, paving etc.) a temporary solution must be provided. Your temporary fence must still meet the minimum requirements of AS1926.1 and will require an inspection by a representative from the City.
Does my pool/spa need approval from the City?
Yes. You will need to submit an application for a Building Permit. The application must contain construction details/engineering drawings where applicable for the proposed pool/spa. Please contact the City's Building Services on 9528 0333 to discuss or to seek advice.