The backyard swimming pool is an Australian icon that for many years has provided good times and healthy recreation for people of all ages. While swimming pools allow us to get together with our friends and family to share fun, fitness and relaxation, they can also pose a risk. There are some easy-to-remember rules that need to be followed to ensure the safe use of swimming pools and spas at all times.
- Supervise children at all times in and around water. If you need to leave the pool area, even for a moment, take children with you.
- Display a resuscitation chart on your pool fence and take a CPR course so you will know what to do in an emergency.
- Familiarise children with water by taking them to swimming lessons.
- Your swimming pool is not designed for diving, and diving into your pool should be avoided. Place “No Diving” signs prominently around your pool.
- Never put your head under water when in a spa. Ensure that spas have a “Spa Pool Safety Rules” sign prominently displayed.
- It is important that your pools wiring and electrical connections are installed by a licensed electrical contractor. If underwater lighting is installed, it must comply with current AS3000 Wiring rules.
- Never use electrical appliances or extension leads around your pool.
- Check all pool equipment regularly to ensure it is in good working order with no obvious defects.
Fencing your pool is one of the most important aspects of pool ownership. Swimming Pool Acts and regulations apply in all States and Territories of Australia. Council has the responsibility for administering the Swimming Pool Act and regulations in your area. Under this Act, the council must be notified of all swimming pools in its local area. Please ensure your pool fence complies with all regulations and rules particular to your location.
- A temporary fence must be placed around the pool prior to the pool being filled with any water.
- When purchasing permanent fencing, ensure the fence complies with all State and Council regulations, and has a childproof locking system.
- Regularly check and carry out any maintenance required on your pool fence.
- Australian Standards AS1926.1 stipulates that a fence must have a ‘non climbable zone’ of 900mm on the outside of the pool fence all the way around the pool. Regularly inspect your pool area and remove any objects that encroach within the non climable zone. As an example, don’t leave furniture that children can climb on near your pool or spa fence, and trim any trees or shrubs growing around your fence.
- Always remember that a swimming pool fence is not a substitute for supervision.
4. Suction Outlets (including drains)
- Make sure all pool users are warned against sitting on, or covering suction outlets. This can cause injury, or in extreme cases, death.
- Regularly check that suction outlet covers are not damaged and are firmly and properly affixed using manufacturers recommended parts.
- Do not use your pool pump if any part of the suction outlet is loose, broken or missing.
- Be aware that hair, bathing suit strings and tassels, and body parts can become entangled in an improperly covered suction outlet.
- Pool plumbing safety codes impose specific requirements for suction outlets (The Building Codes of Australia reference Australian Standards 1926.3-2010). All suction outlets have a maximum system flow rate that must not be exceeded. Always consult an authorised pool technician when replacing pumps, fittings, or other suction system components.
Note: All suction outlet covers have a limited life span. Please refer to the original equipment manufacturer’s Operating Manual for the service and replacement requirements of any suction outlet covers in use in your pool. If your Compass pool is fitted with the Vantage in-floor system, please refer to the Vantage Owner’s Guide.
5. Water Chemistry
- Healthy water is an important part of owning a safe pool. Please refer to the Pool Water Chemistry section in this guide for important information about keeping your pool water healthy and safe to swim in.
6. Important State References
For further details on the safety of your swimming pool, visit the Swimming Pool & Spa Associations (SPASA) website for your State.