There’s no doubt about it, we love the water in Western Australia and for a very good reason – it is hot!
Swimming is the most popular activity that children aged 5-14 years participate in. Ocean or pools, private or public, pool safety for the Australian Government is paramount.
Recreational time in water quadruples in summer and so should our diligence with pool and water safety.
This article will clarify for Buyers whose responsibility it is for ensuring the pool is compliant and who’s responsible for repairing pool components.
Where a pool inspection is requested, BCI WA engage a qualified pool inspector and coordinate with your pre-purchase inspector and timber pest inspector to ensure they are carried out at the same time and as soon as possible.
It is important to note that the standard REIWA clause states that the property components must be in working order at the time of your final inspection. It does not allow you to request that the filters be changed if it is old but still in working order for example.
Pool inspections include but are not limited to:
- Water quality
- Pool surface – type and condition
- Skimmer box pump
- Water features
- Pool gate/fence
In order to maintain safety at home in and around swimming pools and spas, there are a number of health and safety requirements that are mandatory.
POOLS MUST BE REGISTERED
In Western Australia, spas and swimming pools must be registered with the local government and meet certain safety standards in order to be used. The specific requirements for spa and swimming pool certification will depend on the location and type of pool or spa.
Here are a few general requirements for spa and swimming pool certification in Western Australia:
- Registration: All spas and swimming pools must be registered with the local government. This typically involves submitting a form and paying a fee.
- Safety barriers: Spas and swimming pools must have appropriate safety barriers, such as fences or covers, to prevent unsupervised access.
- Maintenance: Owners are responsible for maintaining their spa or swimming pool in a safe and clean condition.
- Inspection: Spas and swimming pools are subject to inspections by local authorities to ensure compliance with safety standards.
FINES AND PENALTIES
It is important to familiarise yourself with the specific requirements for spa and swimming pool certification in your area and to ensure that your pool or spa meets these requirements.
Failure to comply with the relevant regulations can result in fines and other penalties.
To register for a swimming pool in Western Australia, you will need to follow these steps:
- Determine your local government jurisdiction: Swimming pools must be registered with the local government in the area where the pool is located.
- Obtain the necessary paperwork: Contact your local government to request the necessary paperwork for pool registration. This may include a form and any additional documentation required.
- Complete the paperwork: Fill out the paperwork and provide any required documentation, such as proof of ownership or a certificate of compliance.
- Submit the paperwork and pay the fee: Submit the completed paperwork and any required fees to your local government.
- Comply with safety regulations: Once your pool is registered, you will need to ensure that it meets all relevant safety regulations, such as having appropriate barriers to prevent unsupervised access.
By following these steps, you can register your swimming pool in Western Australia.
CERTIFIED AND UNCERTIFIED APPLICATIONS
The applicant has the option to submit a certified or uncertified application.
A certified application (form BA1) is accompanied by a CDC and is reviewed by the permit authority within 10 business days. An independent building surveyor must review the plans and certify them before submitting the application.
An uncertified application (form BA2) is submitted without a CDC, and the permit authority has 25 business days to review the application. An independent building surveyor will be appointed by the permit authority to examine the proposal and provide a CDC.
INSPECTIONS AND CERTIFICATIONS
In Western Australia, it is generally necessary for building inspectors to sign off on the construction or installation of a new swimming pool or spa.
The specific requirements for building inspections will depend on the location and type of pool or spa.
Here are a few general requirements for building inspections for swimming pools and spas in Western Australia:
- Building permit: A building permit is generally required for the construction or installation of a new pool or spa. This permit must be obtained before work begins.
- Plans and specifications: Detailed plans and specifications for the pool or spa must be submitted as part of the building permit application.
- Inspections: Building inspections are typically required at various stages of the construction or installation process to ensure compliance with building codes and safety standards. As we are not pool mechanics, we engage a professional to inspect your pool and give a report. If the building is newly constructed the installer and supplier will submit their own warranty’s with their product. A building inspector can inspect the surrounds of the pool during a pre-purchase building inspection as well as the fences and pool barrier/window openings etc. The working order of mechanical items is not included in the pre-purchase building inspection.
- Certification: Upon completion of the construction or installation, a certificate of compliance must be before the pool or spa can be used.
It is important to familiarise yourself with the specific requirements for building inspections in your area and to ensure that your pool or spa meets these requirements.
BUILDING PERMITS AND RESPONSIBILITY
A building permit for a swimming pool may be granted by the local government even if the safety barrier building permit application has not been submitted, as long as the pool does not require filling with water during the construction process, such as with some concrete pools.
It is illegal to fill a pool with water more than 300mm deep without an approved safety barrier.
A registered building surveyor will check that the proposed pool and safety barrier comply with building standards before issuing a building permit. When pools are existing and make up a component of the contract for a pre-purchase building inspection, BCI WA can help you.
The builder must provide a “Notice of Completion” form along with an inspection certificate confirming that the safety barrier complies with building regulations, once the work is completed.
For obtaining a building permit, there are three options available to the owner:
- The pool builder takes responsibility for both the pool and the safety barrier.
- The owner can choose to be the responsible person for both the pool and the safety barrier.
- The pool builder takes responsibility for the pool and another person takes responsibility for the safety barrier. Responsibility for installing the safety barrier is determined by who is named as the builder on the building permit. A safety barrier must be in place before any pool is filled with water more than 300mm deep, in accordance with regulations.
(Poolwerx are who we use for the reports and the Beechboro branch in particular – Kiss Glass are our preferred supplier for the pool fencing – would you like their details to include external links??)