Pools and spas
A pool is defined as any excavation or structure capable of containing a depth of water exceeding 300mm, and which is principally used for swimming, wading or paddling. Spas also fall under this classification.
In Victoria, the construction and installation of swimming pools, spas and safety barriers and barrier maintenance are all subject to the requirements of the Building Regulations 2018.
As of 1 December 2019, all pool and spa owners are required to register their pool/spa with Council, and have their pool/spa inspected by a registered building surveyor or building inspector.
Scroll down to find out more about these changes, or use the button below to register your pool/spa now.
Changes to pool/spa regulations - effective 1 December 2019
The Victoria state government has introduced the Building Amendment (Swimming Pool and Spa) Regulations 2019, which will take effect from 1 December 2019.
This will introduce mandatory requirements for owners of private swimming pools or spas to register their pool/spa with their local council.
In addition, pool/spa owners will now be required to have their pool/spa safety barrier inspected by a registered building surveyor or building inspector every four years.
Nillumbik supports the State government's efforts to make pools and spas as safe as possible for all Victorian residents, particularly young children. Council will endeavour to make this change as easy as possible for pool/spa owners. We encourage residents to view the FAQs below to find out how to make sure your pool/spa meets the regulations.
Changes to pool/spa regulations - FAQs for pool/spa owners
Why are these regulations being introduced?
On average, four young children die in Victoria in home swimming pools or spas each year, and many more are taken to hospital for near-drownings.
The Victorian state government has introduced this new legislation to ensure that pools and spas are as safe as possible for everyone. These new regulations apply to pool and spa owners all over Victoria – not just in Nillumbik.
As a pool/spa owner, what do I need to do, and by when?
Pool/spa owners are required to register their pool/spa before 1 June 2020. Registration can be completed via this online form.
After registering your pool/spa online, Council will need to confirm the date of construction of your pool/spa, and applicable regulations (Australian Standards) that the barrier is required to comply with. Once we have confirmed these details, we will send you a pool/spa registration certificate. These certificates are generally sent to you within 30 days of lodgement of the online registration form.
Once your pool/spa is registered, you will need to organise an inspection of the pool/spa through a registered building practitioner (Building Surveyor or Building Inspector) of your choosing. Your spool/spa registration certificate will tell you when you need to complete the inspection by.
Once the Building Surveyor/Building Inspector has carried out the inspection and confirmed that your pool/spa safety barrier meets the regulations, they will provide you with a Certificate of Pool and Spa Safety Barrier Compliance (CPSSBC). This certificate will then need to be lodged with Council.
For more information, please see the Swimming Pools and Spas page of the Victorian Building Authority website:
How do I register my pool/spa?
Pools and spas can be registered via this online form. The form includes payment of a search/registration fee ($79) and will need to be completed by 1 June 2020.
When do I need to register my pool by?
All pools and spas are required to be registered with Council by 1 June 2020. This can be achieved by completion of an online registration form and payment of applicable registration and search fee ($79).
Is there a registration fee and how much is it?
A fee of $79 applies when registering your pool with Council – this includes a registration fee of $32 and an information search fee of $47.
When do I need to complete an inspection by?
After you register your pool/spa online, Council will send you a pool/spa registration certificate. These certificates are generally issued within 30 days of completing the online registration form.
The pool/spa registration certificate will tell you the date by which your pool/spa barrier inspection is required to be completed, which will be based on the construction or alteration date of the pool/spa.
It is anticipated that the pool/spa inspection process will commence after 1 June 2020. The exact date will depend on the construction or alteration date of your pool/spa.
What if the inspector/surveyor finds a problem with my pool/spa safety barriers?
If the building inspector/surveyor finds an issue with your pool/spa safety barriers which means that your pool/spa does not comply with the safety regulations, you will have 60 days to resolve the issue(s).
Once the issue is resolved, the inspector will issue a Certificate of Pool and Spa Safety Barrier Compliance (CPSSBC), which you can then lodge with Council.
If the issue is not resolved within the specified time frames, the inspector will issue a non-compliance certificate and submit it to Council. Council will then contact you to issue a barrier improvement notice, which will need to be actioned within 14 days. Please note a fee of $385 will apply.
Is there a cost involved in engaging a building surveyor or inspector to carry out the inspection?
The pool/spa safety barrier inspection fee is set by the service provider (the building surveyor/building inspector) and is to be paid by the pool/spa owner. Council cannot control how much the service provider charges for their services and you are welcome to source multiple quotes.
The pool/spa inspector is required to be a registered practitioner (i.e. building inspector/building surveyor).
For further information please refer to Victorian Building Authority website: https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/swimming-pools
After my pool/spa inspection has been completed, what do I do with the Certificate of Pool and Spa Safety Barrier Compliance (CPSSBC)?
Once your pool/spa is inspected, the building inspector/building surveyor who carried out the inspection will issue you with a Certificate of Pool and Spa Safety Barrier Compliance (CPSSBC).
This certificate will need to be lodged with Council. The exact method of lodgment will be determined in the near future.
Dates for lodgment of the CPSSBC certificates are as follows:
- for pools/spas constructed on or before 30 June 1994
- CPSSBC is due by 1 June 2021
- for pools/spas constructed on or after 1 July 1994 and before 1 May 2010
- CPSSBC is due by 1 June 2022
- for pools/spas constructed on or after 1 May 2010
- CPSSBC is due by 1 June 2023
Owners of pools/spas constructed on or after 1 June 2020 will need to lodge their CPSSBC within 30 days of receiving the occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection.
Will I need to have my pool/spa re-inspected regularly?
Pools/spas will only need to be registered with Council once. Following the initial pool/spa registration, inspection and certification, pools/spas are required to be inspected within every 4 years thereafter.
How can I find a building surveyor/inspector to carry out an inspection?
Please refer to the ‘Find a practitioner’ section of the Victorian Building Authority website (Category Building Inspector/Building Surveyor): https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/tools/find-practitioner
What happens if I fail to comply?
Pool/spa owners are responsible for registration and periodic inspections of the pool/spa safety barrier to ensure that they continue to meet the safety regulations.
If you do not register your pool/spa by 1 June 2020, this will result in an infringement notice (2 penalty units – approximately $330).
If you do not comply with Council’s directions to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations, this may result in the referral of the matter to magistrate.
Swimming pool and spa owners have a legal obligation to ensure that they maintain the effective operation of swimming pool and spa safety barriers. Gates and doors must remain closed except when entering the pool or spa.
Do I need a building permit to construct or install a pool/spa?
A building permit is required to be obtained prior to construction or installation of a swimming pool or spa that is capable of holding more than 300mm of water.
A building permit is not required for general maintenance to an existing pool/spa safety barrier, provided the maintenance is carried out using materials commonly used for the same purpose as the material being replaced, and will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building.
For more information about pool and spa safety barriers, please see the Victorian Building Authority website: vba.vic.gov.au/consumers/swimming-pools/pool-safety-barriers