Many Wairoa people will be dusting off their inflatable or portable swimming pools to cool off over what is set to be a dry summer, so Council is reminding people to check whether your pool needs to be fenced off.
Council is reminding the public that you will need to abide by building regulations, which state that if your portable pool can hold water with a maximum depth of 40cm, it must be fenced off.
Mayor Craig Little is encouraging those who do have pools to contact Council if they need any clarity around the bylaws in place for swimming pools.
“Pool safety is an absolute priority in our district, given that we have many young families who will be cooling off over the summer,” Mr Little said.
“Please don’t try to take any shortcuts with these regulations, safety is paramount.”
Some key changes have been made to the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 which came into effect on January 1.
These changes are: residential swimming pools must be inspected every three years, safety covers can be used as barriers for some spa pools and hot tubs and Council will have better tools to enforce pool barrier requirements, including notices to fix and infringement notices.
Mr Little wants to remind pool owners that it costs $135 to inspect your property. These inspections are carried out every three years.
A building consent will also be required before any type of pool or pool fence is built, or any fence around a pool is altered.
If a pool is not fenced to the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code, it must be kept empty.
If you rent or lease a house with an unfenced pool, the pool must stay empty. Portable pools are treated in the same way as permanent residential pools. They must have barriers that restrict access by young children if they are filled or partly filled with water.
Portable pools with a maximum depth of water of less than 40cm are exempt.
The new law no longer requires all spa pools to be fenced. Spa pools will comply with the new law if they meet the following criteria: access is restricted to young children by having a complying lockable child resistant cover, the pool has 76-cm-high non-climbable sides and the water surface area is five square metres or less.
New legislation also requires pool owners to notify the Council of the existence of a pool, regardless of when the pool was installed.
Council has an obligation to ensure the Act is complied with throughout its district and ensure that pools are fenced to the standards.
This is monitored by a mandatory inspection every three years.
For more information visit www.building.govt.nz/building-code-compliance/f-safety-of-users/pool-safety.
31 October 2018
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