This page provides information on building, maintaining, decommissioning and removing residential swimming pools and spas, as well as safety barriers and fences. Find out about the rules and legislation for swimming pools and spas, fencing requirements, safety and what you need to do to be compliant.
Under the Building Regulations 2012 (WA), all private swimming pools and spas that contain water more than 300mm deep must have a compliant barrier or fence installed to restrict young children from accessing the area.
Owners and occupiers are responsible for ensuring any barrier or fence is maintained and operating effectively. If you do not comply with the regulations you are risking the lives of young children and may face substantial fines.
The infringement penalty for non-compliant enclosures of private swimming pools and spas is $1,000, in accordance with the Building Regulations 2012.
For detailed information on the requirements for swimming pool and spa safety barriers/fences, refer to the Department or Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety rules for pools and spas. They have also produced an easy-to-understand pool safety checklist.
We operate a swimming pool compliance program to ensure all swimming pool and spa barriers and fences meet the Building Regulations 2012 and Australian Standards, and we will inspect your pool or spa at least once every four years.
To book your inspection, you can either:
We send out reminder letters every four years, when your swimming pool or spa safety barrier is due for an inspection. It’s important you book an inspection with one of our swimming pool inspectors within seven days of receiving the reminder letter.
If our swimming pool inspector finds the swimming pool or spa barrier does not meet regulations or standards, we will work with you to ensure the barrier is modified or improved to be compliant with regulations and standards.
Swimming Pool or Spa Compliance Inspection Fees
- Annual Inspection Fee - $39.00
- Construction Inspection Fee - $39.00
Depending on your swimming pool, spa and fencing design, you may need to apply for planning/development approval. Before you begin constructing a swimming pool, spa and safety barrier, you will also need to obtain a building permit and pay a verge bond.
Planning/Development Approval for a Swimming Pool, Spa and Safety Barrier
Planning/development approval is required for residential swimming pools if the floor level of the swimming pool is more than 500mm above natural ground level. Natural ground level is defined in the 7.3 Residential Design Codes (R-Codes).
You may need planning/development approval if your safety barrier adjoins a street boundary or is located in the front or secondary street setback area (a front fence). More information about standards for front fences and when planning/development approval is required is on our Building a Fence or Retaining Walls page.
Building Approval for a Swimming Pool, Spa and Safety Barrier
You will need a building permit before you can begin building a swimming pool, spa or safety barrier and fence.
You can lodge and track most building and planning/development applications online, however some applications must be submitted in-person at our Civic Centre.
Lodge and Track a Building and Planning Application
The following guide provides more information about what to include in your application:
We aim to process applications within the following guidelines:
- Where we don’t need to consult with neighbours or external agencies: 60 days.
- Where we need to consult with neighbours or external agencies: 90 days.
These timelines may sometimes be extended in consultation with the applicant.
Fees and Charges
Planning/development application fees are calculated based on the contract value of the project and are listed on the Planning Fees Schedule. The fee for projects with a contract value less than $50,000 is $147.
Building Permit Applications
We process all certified applications (BA1 forms) within 10 working days, and all uncertified applications (BA2 forms) within 25 working days.
You should apply for a certified application (BA1) when you have had the plans, specifications and technical documents assessed by a registered private building surveyor and have been issued a Certificate of Design Compliance (BA3). You should apply for an uncertified application (BA2) when your plans, specifications and technical documents have not been assessed by a private building surveyor and they will need to be assessed by our building surveyors.
If we need further information to assess your application, you will have up to 21 calendar days to provide any outstanding information. We then have balance of the remaining 10 working days to provide a determination.
If you do not provide the outstanding information within the 21 days, we may refuse your application.
Fees and Charges
The building permit fee for a swimming pool, spa and safety barrier with a contract value less than $20,000 is $166.65. If the value of the contract is more than $20,000, the building permit fees will be calculated at the following percentages of the total contract price:
- Application Fee – 0.19%
- Building Service Levy - 0.137%
See all our building permit fees in our Building Permit Fee Schedule, or use our online fee calculator to estimate your building fees.
You will need to pay a verge bond for all swimming pool and spa installations. A verge bond is held by us to ensure that any damage caused to City verge infrastructure during construction works is rectified to pre-works condition.
- Verge bond inspection fee (non-refundable) - $100
To find out more and apply, visit our Verge Bonds and Refunds page.
Ensuring Safe Building Practices
Under occupational safety and health laws, a builder or anyone carrying out the work is required to ensure a suitable pool barrier or fence is in place while the pool or spa is under construction.
Owners and occupiers are also responsible for ensuring that a compliant pool safety barrier is in place if the pool contains water that is more than 300mm deep. Some types of pools need to be filled with water by the pool builder as part of the construction process. They can also be filled by other means including rain and reticulation. It’s important you speak to your builder about how the pool area will be child safe during construction.
Note: Once there is a depth of more than 300mm of water in the pool or spa, you will need to adhere to Australian Standard 1926.1-2012 and have a compliant barrier or fence installed to restrict young children from accessing the area.
If you decommission (empty water from the pool or spa) or remove your pool or spa, please notify us:
One of our swimming pool inspectors must conduct a site visit to confirm the swimming pool or spa has been correctly removed or decommissioned. See our rules for correctly decommissioning swimming pools and spas for more information.
Please note that swimming pool inspection fees still apply until we are formally notified of removal or decommissioning.
Decommissioning or Removal Inspection Fee
- Decommissioning inspection - $39.00
The advice on this page is a general guide only. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your project so we can advise whether planning/development approval is needed. A planning officer and a building officer are available during business hours to provide advice on a range of matters either in person, over the phone, or by email. Depending on the complexity of the advice being sought we may ask you to lodge a request for written planning advice and a $73 fee will apply.
Forms and Documents