Swimming pools and spas

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Overview

In Western Australia, the design, construction and installation of private swimming and spa pools and their safety barriers is subject to strict building requirements under the Building Regulations 2012 (the Regulations). Owners and occupiers also have legal obligations to maintain their safety barriers at all times.

The WA Building Commission has produced the publication Rules for Swimming Pools and Spas.  This document includes relevant information for all swimming pool or spa owners. It is an offence under the Building Act to commence any building work without a Building Permit. 

What are the options for obtaining a building permit?

Option 1:    Pool builder responsible for pool and safety barrier

The pool builder takes responsibility for both the pool and the safety barrier. The building permit application should include the details of the safety barrier and the pool builder may arrange for a separate person to install the safety barrier on his/her behalf. The application must show where the safety barrier will be installed and demonstrate how it complies with the Regulations.

This option means one building permit application and one application fee.

Option 2:    Owner responsible for pool and safety barrier

You, as the owner, can choose to be the responsible person (ie named as the builder) in relation to the building permit for the pool and the safety barrier. This means that with one building permit you can contract out the actual work to your preferred pool builder and preferred pool barrier installer.

If you are named as the builder on a building permit for the pool and safety barrier you take on the responsibility for ensuring the work complies with the Regulations. You don’t need to be a registered builder to be named on a building permit as the builder for a pool, spa or safety barrier.

This option means one building permit application and one application fee.

Option 3.    Pool builder responsible for pool and another person responsible for safety barrier

The pool builder can obtain a building permit to install the pool and another person obtains another building permit to install the safety barrier in accordance with the Regulations.

This option requires two separate building permit applications (one for the pool and one for the safety barrier) and two application fees

When do I need to install a safety barrier?

All pools and spas within the Shire of Toodyay are required to have a safety barrier (pool fence) installed and must comply with the Building Regulations 2012. Prior to any pool being filled with water that is more than 300mm deep there must be a safety barrier in place that complies with the barrier requirements in the Regulations.

During the construction of some pools, the pool builder needs to fill the pool with water, for example a fibreglass pool. If you have purchased this type of pool it means there must be a safety barrier in place before the pool builder can fill the pool with water that is more than 300mm deep. A temporary barrier must not be removed until a permanent complying barrier is installed.

Who is responsible for installing my safety barrier?

When you purchase a pool, you need to decide if you are going to organise your own safety barrier or you would like the pool builder to do this on your behalf. The responsibility for compliance of the safety barrier will depend on the person named as the builder on the building permit as outlined in the options above.

Who checks that my proposed pool and safety barrier will comply?

As part of the process for obtaining a building permit, a registered building surveyor assesses the plans and specifications and certifies that the pool and its safety barrier will comply with the applicable building standards prior to issuing a CDC.

Once the pool barrier has been installed, the person named as the builder on the building permit must provide the Shire with a Notice of Completion.

This notice must be accompanied by an inspection certificate that confirms the safety barrier complies with the Building Regulations 2012.

Notice of completion

In accordance with the Building Act the responsible person (i.e. the builder named on a permit) must issue a Notice of Completion (BA7) to the Shire within seven days of completing the work or stage of work for which the permit was granted.

This establishes the end date of the permit for compliance and record keeping purposes.

Inspections and tests

The Building Act requires certain inspections and tests to be conducted during or after the completion of building work before a notice of completion is provided to the Shire. The Building Regulations set out what those inspections and tests are:

Reg 28. Required inspection: barrier to private swimming pool (s.36(2)(A)) The inspection that is to be conducted at the completion of building work for a barrier to a private swimming pool is an inspection to assess whether the barrier complies with the applicable building standards for the barrier as set out in Regulation 31C.

Private swimming and spa pool safety barriers: Regulation 28 of the Building Regulations sets out the inspections and tests required for a private swimming and spa pool safety barrier. 

What to submit

To enable the Shire to accept and process a notice of completion the following must be submitted:

  • an approved form which has been fully completed and signed 
  • a copy of all relevant inspection and/or test certificates that apply to the building permit 

How to submit

Please submit all notices to the Shire.