Backyard Swimming Pools and Spas

The owner of the premises on which a swimming pool is situated must ensure the swimming pool is at all times surrounded by a child-resistant barrier. A child-resistant fence is: to separate the swimming pool from any residential building and from any place adjoining the premises; to be a minimum height of 1.2 metres above finished ground level and the height of any opening between the fencing and finished ground level shall not exceed 100mm; and gate/s must be capable of closing and locking when the gate is opened only 50mm from the latch on the gate post. In addition, a resuscitation poster must be erected and well maintained in a prominent position in the immediate vicinity of the swimming pool. Council officers will be undertaking spot compliance inspections of swimming pools. Penalties will apply to owners of swimming pools which do not comply with the requirements of the Swimming Pool Act 1992.

Registration requirements

Since 2013, all swimming pools in NSW, regardless of when they were installed, must be registered on the NSW Swimming Pool register. Pools can be registered here.  Penalties apply if your pool is not registered.

Fencing requirements

Swimming pools that can be filled to a depth of 30cm are required by law to be surrounded by a compliant barrier. The barrier must be well maintained. It must not lean, have broken parts or be in poor condition.

When installing a swimming pool barrier in NSW, the basic requirements are:


  • It must be a minimum of 1.2m high measured from ground level
  • If it forms part of your boundary fence, the boundary fence must be a minimum of 1.8m high
  • It must not contain any gaps underneath that are greater than 10cm
  • It must not have any gaps within the actual fence greater than 10cm


  • Be self closing and self latching from any position
  • Be kept closed at all times
  • The latch release mechanism must be minimum 1.5m above ground level unless the latch is shielded (in which it must be shielded in accordance with the Australian Standard)


  • A CPR chart must be visible inside the pool area. It must be in good condition. The chart must adhere to the ANZCOR Guideline 8


  • When installing a new swimming pool and barrier, there must not be any entry from a house or garage directly into the pool yard
  • When installing a new swimming pool and barrier, there must not be any structures or buildings inside the pool area that are not directly related to the swimming pool. These can include but are not limited to BBQs, outdoor entertaining areas and cabanas/living spaces. A structure that covers a pool filter is permitted inside a pool area

These are only a few of the requirements of a swimming pool barrier. Our officers assess swimming pool barriers in much more detail based on the relevant legislation and standards.

Swim spas, plunge pools and exercise spas

A swim spa and or plunge pool spa typically contains not only seats but also an area for swimming, usually against a jet. These types of swimming pools are subject to the same requirements as an indoor or outdoor pool and require full isolation swimming pool fencing. 

Development Consent

To build or install a swimming pool containing over 2000L of water on your property, you need an approval. This includes any in-ground, above ground, portable or temporary type swimming pool.

If you are installing a swimming pool through a pool company, check with them whether they are organising the approval. Some companies may do this on your behalf, however, others leave it up to the property owner.

For more information call us on T 02 6578 7290 to speak to a Duty Planner.

Swimming Pool Certificate of Compliance

Council’s Swimming Pool and Spa Barrier Inspection Program was developed in consultation with the community. It was adopted in 2018 as a response to changes to state legislation and was designed to promote and ensure pool safety within our community. It applies to all pools and spas which hold 30cm or more of water, including those that are portable and inflatable.

Council officers contact pool and spa owners to organise inspections to ensure compliance. Fees apply for inspections. Please refer to Council's Fees and Charges.

If a pool or spa complies, a Certificate of Compliance will be issued which is valid for three years.

You can also use the checklists available on the Swimming Pool Register website to carry out a self assessment of your swimming pool or spa barrier to assist with compliance before a Council inspection. Royal Life Saving also has a Home Pool Safety Checklist.

Council is also conducting mandatory inspections of all tourist, visitor and multi-occupancy developments that have pools/spas.

For more information on compliance, including FAQs, click here.