Register your swimming pool or spa

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Overview

New laws introduced by the Victorian Government require property owners to register their swimming pool and spa with Council.

You must register your pool or spa by 1 June 2020.

Register your pool or spa


Why do I have to register my pool or spa?

Drownings are the most common cause of preventable death for children under the age of five. Past regulation has not been successful in preventing drownings.

The Victorian Government's new legislation ensures that registered pools and spas will receive regular inspections by a qualified building practitioner. This is intended to improve the safety of pools and spas, particularly for children.

Which pools and spas must be registered?

Property owners must register any pool or spa that can hold water to a depth greater than 30cm. 

This includes:

  • in-ground and above ground pools and spas
  • inflatable pools
  • indoor pools and spas
  • children's paddling and wading pools
  • spas, jacuzzis, hot tubs and swim spas
  • portable spas

This does not include:

  • structures such as bird baths, fish ponds, water fountains
  • spas inside a building used for personal hygiene
  • inflatable swimming pools that can not hold water to a depth greater than 30cm
  • water supply or storage tanks
  • dams, rivers, creeks and lakes

If a property contains both a swimming pool and a spa, they will both need to be registered separately unless they are installed in the same enclosure or form part of each other.

How much does it cost to register?

The costs to register your pool or spa is set by the Victorian Government.

The registration and research fee is $79.10

After your pool or spa has been registered, you must lodge a certificate of compliance or non-compliance by the due date provided to you by Council.

The certificate of compliance or non-compliance is provided to you by the registered Building Surveyor or Inspector. Costs to engage a Building Surveyor or Inspector will vary.

The cost of lodging a certificate will depend on whether your pool or spa complies with the applicable safety standards. Find out more by clicking the boxes below.

Cost for pools and spas that comply with required safety standards

  • Lodgement fee for certificate of swimming pool or spa barrier compliance - $20.50

Cost for pools or spas that do not comply with required safety standards

If your pool or spa barrier does not meet the required safety standards, a building surveyor or building inspector may:

  • Give you a notice with the details of non-compliance and provide you no more than 60 days to bring the barriers into compliance before re-inspection
    OR
  • Immediately lodge a certificate of non-compliance if the safety issue can not be resolved or the issue poses an immediate and significant risk to life or safety

If a certificate of non-compliance is lodged to Council, your costs will include:

  • Lodgement fee for certificate of swimming pool or spa barrier non-compliance - $385.10

Council may then issue you with a barrier improvement notice with a date the certificate of pool or spa barrier compliance is required to be lodged and may then issue an Infringement Notice with a fine of $1652.20 if the certificate is not lodged by the due date.

Alternatively Council may issue you with a Building Order or Emergency Order requiring the barriers to be brought into compliance. If you fail to comply, Council may prosecute you for failure to comply with the order, which may result in the Magistrate imposing fines of several thousand dollars.

Want to learn more about pool and spa registrations? View our FAQ page.

Supporting Information 

 

 

FAQ for pool and spa registrations

Why do I have to register my pool or spa?

Drownings are the most common cause of preventable death for children under the age of five.

The number of drownings and high levels of safety standards non-compliance indicates that past regulation has not been successful.

The Victorian Government's new legislation ensures that registered pools and spas will receive regular inspections by a registered building practitioner. This is intended to improve the safety of pools and spas, particularly for children.

Which pools and spas must be registered?

Property owners must register any pool or spa that can hold water to a depth greater than 30cm. If a property contains both a swimming pool and a spa, they will need to be registered separately unless they are installed in the same enclosure or form part of each other.

This includes:

  • in-ground and above ground pools and spas
  • inflatable pools
  • indoor pools and spas
  • children's paddling and wading pools
  • spas, jacuzzis, hot tubs and swim spas
  • portable spas

This does not include:

  • structures such as bird baths, fish ponds, water fountains
  • spas inside a building used for personal hygiene
  • inflatable swimming pools that can not hold water to a depth greater than 30cm
  • water supply or storage tanks
  • dams, rivers, creeks and lakes

When do I need to register by?

You must register your pool by the 1st of June 2020.

After registering you must engage a private building surveyor or inspector to certify that your pool safety barriers are compliant by the due date. The due date to lodge your pool or spa barrier certificate of compliance depends on when your pool or spa was constructed. We will provide you with the original construction date of your pool or spa within 30 days of registering. View the table below for more information.

Lodgement due dates
Pool or spa construction date Certificate of compliance lodgement due date
Construction date unkown 1 June 2021
Construction on or before 30 June 1994 1 June 2021
Construction on or after 1 July 1994, and before 1 May 2010 1 June 2022
Construction on or after 1 May 2010  1 June 2023

 

How often do I need to get my pool or spa inspected?

Your pool or spa must be inspected every four years. This involves:

  • Engaging a private building surveyor or building inspector to certify your pool or spa safety barriers are compliant with safety standards

    AND

  • Lodging a certificate of pool or spa barrier compliance with Council

What happens after I register?

After you have registered your swimming pool or spa, we will check to confirm:

  • the date of construction of the swimming pool
  • the relevant standard that the safety barrier must comply with
  • the due date of when your safety barriers must be certified as compliant

The timeframe to provide this information will depend on the age of the swimming pool or spa and may take up to 30 days.

Once the swimming pool or spa has been registered with Council, it will remain registered until the swimming pool or spa is removed and the owner applies to take it off the register. You do not need to renew your registration.

Inspections and the submission of certificates of compliance must be completed regularly. The time period for this will be updated here once released by the Victorian Government.

 

What happens if I don't register?

If you fail to register or lodge a certificate of pool or spa barrier compliance by the due date, you may receive a fine.

The fine for not applying to register your pool or spa is $1652.20

The fine for not lodging a certificate of compliance for your pool or spa safety barrier is $1652.20

Who can inspect my safety barriers?

Your pool or spa safety barrier can be inspected by any building surveyor or building inspector registered with the Victorian Building Authority.

Need help finding an inspector? Use the VBA's practicioner directory.

Council recently inspected my safety barriers. Do I have to have them inspected again?

Yes. While Council may have recently inspected your safety barriers, the changes to the Building Act require all swimming pool or spa safety barriers to be reinspected and certified by the required dates.

How do I know if my pool or spa safety barriers comply?

We encourage you to check the compliance of your pool and spa safety barriers. However, you will still need to engage a private building surveyor or building inspector to certify your barriers are compliant and lodge a certificate of compliance with Council.

You can check your barriers using the Victorian Building Authority's self-assessment checklist.

What happens if I get my pool or spa inspected and they don't comply?

Where there are only minor issues that are not an immediate risk to life or safety your private building surveyor or inspector must give you a notice with the details of non-compliance. You will then have no more than 60 days to bring the barriers into compliance before a re-inspection.

Where your private building surveyor or inspector identifies issues of non-compliance that pose a significant and immediate risk to life or safety your private building surveyor or inspector must lodge a certificate of pool or spa barrier non-compliance with Council.

Council may then issue you with a barrier improvement notice with a date the certificate of pool or spa barrier compliance is required to be lodged and may then issue an Infringement Notice with a fine of $1652.20 if the certificate is not lodged by the due date.

Alternatively Council may issue you with a Building Order or Emergency Order requiring the barriers to be brought into compliance. If you fail to comply Council may prosecute you for failure to comply with the order, which may result in the Magistrate imposing fines of several thousand dollars.

 

Do I need a building permit to alter my barriers to comply or install new barriers?

Under the proposed regulations you will need a Building Permit to rectify the issues of non-compliance identified by your private building surveyor or inspector unless the works do not involve:

  • Replacement of sections, parts or components of the barrier that when combined, comprise more than 50 per cent of the existing length of the barrier; or

     

  • Replacement of posts or footings of the barrier; or

     

  • The use of the materials in the barrier that are not commonly used for the same purpose as the material being replaced in the barrier; or

     

  • An increase or decrease in the length of the barrier, or the size of the area enclosed by the barrier; or

     

  • Replacement of any part of a retaining wall that forms part of the barrier.

How do I decommission my pool or spa?

An owner can remove or decommission their swimming pool or spa by:

  • Completely removing the swimming pool or spa
  • Placing holes in the pool or spa or liner to prevent it from being capable of containing more than 30cm of water and removing the access ladders and filtration system.
  • For inground pools and spas, filling them with soil or rubble making them incapable of containing more than 30cm of water

Once decommissioned, the site must be inspected by Council before it can be removed from Council’s register

What are the requirements for mobile or temporary pools and spas?

A relocatable or temporary pool or spa that is erected temporarily is not required to have a Building Permit if it’s within an area enclosed by an approved barrier. 

Under State Government laws, the temporary pool or spa is required to be registered with Council if it is left erected for more than 3 consecutive days.

Do I need barriers for an above ground pool or spa?

The walls of an above-ground swimming pool or spa can form part of the barrier if they are at least 1.2m high from the ground level, and do not have a surface that allows a child to gain a foothold and climb into the swimming pool or spa.

Any objects that could be climbable by a young child, such as a pool ladder, projections more than 10mm, wall braces and pool filter and pump equipment are required to be properly fenced.

What are the responsibilities of tenants and landlords when a property has a pool or spa?

It is the property owner's responsibility to register the pool or spa and lodge a certificate of pool or spa barrier compliance with Council.  The owner of the property must also take all reasonable steps to ensure that the barrier is properly maintained.

Tenants should contact the owner or their agent to request that the pool or spa barriers be checked if they have concerns that they may not be compliant. As the occupier of the house the tenant is responsible for ensuring that the barrier is operating effectively at all times and gates and doors to the pool or spa area remain closed except when a person is entering or leaving the pool or spa area.