Swimming Pool Safety

With over 5,000 backyard swimming pools in the Hawkesbury Local Government Area, swimming pool safety is vital given that drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in very young children.

Together with our property owners Hawkesbury City Council is responsible for ensuring that all swimming pools located within our Local Government Area comply with the requirements of the legislation.

In NSW, a swimming pool is a structure capable of being filled with 300mm of water or more and is used for swimming and other water activities including:

  • Concrete and fiberglass swimming pools
  • Inflatable swimming pools
  • Temporary or wading pools
  • Above ground pools and spas

Swimming pool - Keep watchApproval is required for any pool or spa that exceeds 300mm in depth or 2000 Litres in capacity.

In NSW, swimming pool safety is legislated by the Swimming Pools Act 1992 and the Swimming Pools Regulation 2018.

If you have a swimming pool or spa pool (in-ground, above-ground, in-door or portable), or are thinking about getting one, there some important things you need to know. As a swimming pool owner you have an obligation, by law, to ensure that your pool complies with the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act 1992.


Swimming pool and spa pool owners must register their pool; there is a $220 penalty for owners who fail to do so. You can register your pool online on the NSW Government Swimming Pool Register Alternatively; registration can be completed through Council with an administration fee payable.

Owners are required to self-assess and state that their pool complies with the applicable standards when registering. Self-assessment checklists can be found on the Swimming Pool Register website.

Pool Compliance

In keeping with this, and in accordance with Section 22B of the Swimming Pools Act 1992, Council has developed and adopted a policy and program for the inspection of pools and spas to ensure ongoing compliance with the safety requirements for pools outlined in the Swimming Pool Act.

More information about how Council is meeting its responsibilities can be found in the Swimming Pool Inspection Policy and Swimming Pool Inspection Fact sheet.


A pool safety barrier is intended to restrict unsupervised child access to the pool. The pool safety barrier is the first line of defence against child access to the pool enclosure.

However, parents of young children cannot rely solely upon a pool safety barrier as the only means of protection against accidental drowning. Young children should be adequately supervised near backyard swimming pools.

Is Your Pool Fence And Gate Ok?

  1. Gates need to be self-latching, self-closing and never propped open
  2. Minimum fence height is 1200mm (and for boundary fences 1800mm).
  3. Gaps no larger than 100mm anywhere.
  4. Keep BBQ's, furniture etc. 900mm away from the pool fence.
  5. Always to remember to supervise children near pools.
Compliance Certificates

All properties with a swimming pool or spa pool that are being sold or leased, needs to have a valid certificate of compliance, certificate of non-compliance or a relevant occupation certificate.

A ‘certificate of non-compliance’ will enable the seller to transfer the responsibility to obtain a certificate of compliance to the buyer. This transfer will take effect through the attachment of a certificate of non-compliance to the contract for sale.

Buyers will have 90 days from the date of settlement to rectify defects listed in the certificate of non-compliance and obtain a certificate of compliance.

Owners may apply for a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate from Council or an accredited certifier so they are in a position to confidently register their pool. There is a fee payable for this service and a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate is valid for three years.

To find out more and apply for a Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate see Certification.

Swimming Pool Complaints

Council is required to investigate any complaints received, alleging that a pool does not meet the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act 1992.

When Council receives such a complaint, a written request will be forwarded to the owner of the swimming pool to arrange access for an inspection. If an inspection confirms that the complaint is substantiated, a Notice of Proposed Direction will be issued to the owner of the swimming pool.

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