THOSE looking for an affordable way to beat the Riverina heat this summer should think twice before splashing out on an inflatable pool.
Cootamundra Shire Council development and building services manager Chris Imrie warns many inflatable pools require development approval (DA).
Under the NSW Swimming Pools Act (1992), a pool is defined as any excavation, structure or vessel principally used for “human aquatic activity” and capable of being filled to a depth greater than 30 centimetres.
Some portable pools are exempt from requiring a council DA, but still need to be registered on the NSW Swimming Pool Register.
To be exempt the pool must meet strict criteria. For example, the pool must be in the rear yard, not exceed 2000 litres in capacity, and have a “child-restraint barrier” such as a fence.
Mr Imrie warns that many inflatable pools available for under $100 do exceed 2000 litres capacity.
“I think they should be banned,” he said.
The law applies to every pool in NSW. Most people aren’t aware of that when they go to buy something cheap for summer.- Cootamundra Shire Council development and building services manager Chris Imrie
“The law applies to every pool in NSW. Most people aren’t aware of that when they go to buy something cheap for summer.”
While the pools themselves may be cheap, the cost of breaking these laws is not.
Councils can order the removal of a pool and also slap home-owners with hefty fines. Penalties include:
Most who weighed into the debate on The Daily Advertiser sister publication Cootamundra Herald’s Facebook page agree the laws made sense in light of the drowning risk.
“Even though our pool is fully compliant we still have to watch the grandkids closely because they climb up the gate and open it anyway,” Steve Winters said.
“Can't be too careful where kids are concerned.”
A fact sheet of all the laws regarding portable swimming pools and spas is available from Riverina councils upon request.
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