The swimming pool shown above is a semi in-ground infinity pool with the concrete skimmer catchment tank located below pool level.
Whilst out-of-ground and infinity pools were approved in the past, in 2011 the Swimming Pools Act and Regulation was amended to refer to the Building Code of Australia rather than directly to AS1926. The owner of this newly constructed pool was unaware that this design configuration is no longer compliant in New South Wales due to changes to the legislation dating back to 2011 and applicable to new and existing pools of this type of design, where without further works, the pool wall forms the pool barrier. ON top of that the planned fencing at pool pavement level would have been a traversable safety railing without the assistance of a professional to identify and resolve.
BCA “Part 3.9.3 applies in New South Wales to the technical construction requirements for barriers to restrict access to swimming pools, subject to out-of-ground pool walls and the walls of above ground pools, including inflatable pools, not being considered to be effective barriers.
Note: The Swimming Pools Act 1992 and the Swimming Pools Regulation 2018, applicable to swimming pools with a depth of water of more than 300mm, regulate the circumstances in which a barrier is required and prevail in the case of any inconsistency”.
The changes described above preclude private certifiers from issuing compliance for any pool barriers which do not meet with the requirements of the Swimming Pools Act, Regulation, Standard or BCA.
Ok so that the Legislation but you still want to build this type of pool? Firstly any construction requires a Building Certifier to sign off on the design configuration to check that it does comply with the Legislation. Notwithstanding the rules, an A1/A2 Building Certifier technically has the authority to approve a design that does not comply with the Legislation but treat as ‘Performance-Based’ or ‘Deemed-To-Satisfy’. But when your Building Certifier is not willing to do that, you will then need to comply with AS1926.1-2012 and the Swimming Pools Act and surround the pool with a compliant barrier that is not attached or a part of the pool structure.
This is where an experienced E1 Certifier can assist. Our Certifier can review your plans, liaise with your Building Certifier to determine a compliant course of action for your specific configuration that will mean that in future any E1 Registered Swimming Pool Inspector is able to issue compliance, rather than relying on an A1/A2 Building Certifier to issue Compliance for the life of the pool.