Pools include swimming pools, spa pools, hot tubs, ponds and any 'excavation' that is over 400mm deep capable of use for swimming, wading, paddling or bathing.
A building consent is required before installing a pool and when adding or altering a fence around a pool.
All pools must be fenced, regardless of when they were installed. An existing pool that is not fenced to the standards in the act will require a building consent.
All private swimming pools and spa pools must be fenced unless
You need to fill in an application for building consent for swimming pool/fence and attach:
For fees - see building consent fees
Application form and pamphlet see building consent forms
The fence must be made of durable materials and constructed to prevent children under the age of 6 years from gaining access to the pool.
Gates and doors must be constructed of durable materials that will prevent climbing. Gates must be a minimum of 1200mm high and have maximum gap of 100mm between verticals and at the base. Gates and doors must:
It's vital that gates and doors open away from the pool.
If for any reason the gate is left unlatched, it will not open if a young child leans against it. It's more difficult for young children, especially those unsteady on their feet, to open a gate or door if they have to pull against it.
Every gate and door must have a device which will automatically close and latch it when it is stationary and 150mm from the closed position. This is to ensure that the gate or door cannot be accidentally left open. A self-closing and latching gate or door is critical to the safety of a pool.
Where the latch is on the outside of the fence, it must be at least 1.5 metres above the ground. The reliable operation of a self-closing gate or door is critical to the safety of the pool.
Pools in urban areas must drain to the sewer via a gully trap and not to a stormwater drain. This is to prevent pool chemicals contaminating the environment.
Pools in a rural areas can be drained into either a soak pit or to land. Pool water should not be discharged directly into streams or rivers.
The location of the existing septic system must be shown on swimming pool consent applications for rural properties. This is to ensure the septic system will not be near the pool or affected by backwash disposal.
When pools are filled or topped up, a backflow prevention device (vacuum breaker) must be fitted so the pool water cannot siphon back into the drinking water supply.
Most pools are filled from a hose, so it is easy to fit a backflow device to the tap as a permanent fixture. These are available at hardware or plumbing stockists. This requirement applies to both tank water supply and city water supply.
A swimming pool is defined in the act as an excavation, structure, or product that is used or is capable of being used for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling or bathing including spa pools, with a depth of 400mm or more.
All private swimming pools and spa pools must be fenced unless:
All pools must be fenced to the standards in the act, regardless of when it was installed.
An existing pool that is not fenced to the standards in the act will require a building consent. This is for the fence only and would only require one inspection to check the fence and gates.
The fence may only surround the pool and the area immediately around the pool. This pool area can only include things used in association with the pool, such as a sunbathing deck or a changing shed. It must not include the clothesline, barbecue area or vegetable garden. The area should have only one entry gate.
It may be possible to use a boundary fence as part of the pool fence, however, this is subject to strict conditions.
With a boundary fence, there is a danger that a neighbour may unknowingly make the fence unsafe, such as by stacking timber against the fence so that it becomes easy for a child to climb over.
Yes, but you have to meet certain requirements of the act. Please check with our building staff for the requirements.
The Fencing Act 1978 sets out you and your neighbour's obligations for constructing a fence between properties.
If you intend to use the boundary fence as part of your swimming pool fence, then you are totally responsible for the construction and maintenance costs. The fence must comply with the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987. Please check with our building staff for advice.
Application form - Swimming Pool and/or Pool Fence
Pamphlet - Guide to fencing swimming and spa pools