Backyard swimming pools

Be pool safe

Your responsibilities

If you're the owner of a swimming pool or spa, you must register it on the NSW Swimming Pool Register. Penalties apply if you don't register.

To make your pool or spa as safe, you're required to:

  • keep all gates or doors securely closed and latched
  • maintain the barrier
  • display a CPR chart in a prominent position within the enclosure
  • keep climbable objects (such as chairs and plants) at least one metre away from the pool barrier

Fence your pool - it's the law!

Child resistant barriers in swimming pools and spas should be installed and maintained to the most current Australian Standards.

Requirements may vary depending on the year the pool or spa was constructed. If substantial works have been undertaken since the original construction date the entire swimming pool barrier must be upgraded to the current Australian Standard.

You must have a four sided fence around any pool or spa that can be filled with more than 30 centimetres of water. This includes inflatable and portable swimming pools. Portable or inflatable pools that have a capacity greater than 2000 litres require approval from Cessnock City Council. 

Indoor swimming pools have to follow pool compliance regulations, which include specific requirements for doorsets, door hardware heights, window openings and the provision of a CPR chart.

Supervision - there's no substitute!

Council promotes swimming pool safety as part of its annual swimming pool education and awareness campaign.

Campaigns have also included state-wide initiatives such as Kids Can Drown Without a Sound and Protect Your Pool, Protect Your Kids. These initiatives provide helpful information to pool owners and parents on how to keep kids safe in and around swimming pools. You can also perform your own safety checks by using the pool safety checklist.

Certificate of Compliance

A Pool Certificate of Compliance is required when:

Buying or selling a property

Your conveyancer should ensure one of the following is attached to the contract for the sale of land:

  • a valid Certificate of Compliance
  • a Certificate of Non Compliance
  • a relevant Occupation Certificate

Renting your property

If you own a rental property with a pool, it's your responsibility to obtain a valid Certificate of Compliance before the residential tenancy agreement is entered into.

Operating tourist accommodation

While not mandatory, tourist accommodation and multi-unit premises with a swimming pool should obtain and renew their Certificate of Compliance every three (3) years.

Only Council Officers and accredited pool certifiers are authorised to inspect and check if pools meet all the compliance standards.

A swimming pool must be registered on NSW Swimming Pool Register before a Certificate of Compliance can be issued. 

Certificates of Compliance / Occupation Certificates are valid for three years from the date of issue.

If a Non-Compliance Certificate is issued, the owner has 90 days to undertake and fix all defective works. Council may take regulatory action by way of a Notice, Direction or Penalty Infringement Notice for failure to have the matters rectified within the 90 day period.