Under the Building Act 2004, all residential pools must have compliant pool barriers to keep young children safe at all times. This includes spas and temporary pools.
Every residential swimming pool that is filled or partially filled with water more than 400mm deep must have physical barriers that restrict access to the pool by unsupervised children under five years of age. The property owner and any tenants on a property where a residential pool is located are all responsible for ensuring these barriers remain compliant.
Councils are required by the Building Act to ensure these residential pools are inspected at least every three years to determine they still have complying pool barriers.
If you have a residential pool, please ensure it is registered with the Council. There is no charge to register your pool. Small heated pools that have an acceptable cover(external link) do not need to be registered.
Once registered, we automatically schedule safety checks of your pool barriers every three years.
Let us know if you have removed a swimming pool from your property(external link) so we can update our records and stop inspections.
If you are building a new pool, you will at least need a building consent for the barrier restricting access to the pool.
This includes any pool that sits above ground where the sides of the pool form the barrier. Note, the installation of a small heated pool with a safety cover that complies with the building code does not require a building consent.
If you are thinking about installing a swimming pool or spa, or you have questions you can not find the answer to on the MBIE website(external link), you can discuss your installation with our Duty Building Control Officer. Phone 03 941 8999 or email to dutyBCO@ccc.govt.nz before you begin.
The acceptable solutions for meeting the building code for Means of restricting access to residential pools can be found on MBIE’s website(external link).
To ensure you have sufficient information when you apply for your building consent, refer to our pool barrier application check sheet - Form B-054 [DOCX, 86 KB] (also available as a PDF [PDF, 174 KB]). This check sheet will need to accompany your application.
Getting a building consent does incur fees. Visit building consents fees(external link) for more information.
Make sure your pool is always secure and safe by completing regular maintenance of your pool barriers and gates.
Your pool barrier must:
For further solutions especially where the pool barrier includes a building or boundary fence, see Acceptable Solutions F9/AS1 and F9/AS2(external link)
Non-pool related items and activities cannot be located inside the pool area.
Gates into the pool area must:
The gate latch must:
All residential swimming pools including any small heated pools that do not have an acceptable cover must be registered(external link) on the Council pool register.
Small heated pool that have an acceptable cover(external link) do not need to be registered.
There is no charge to register your pool.
Once your pool is registered, we automatically schedule an inspection of your pool barriers, approximately once every three years.
If you have obtained a building consent for your pool, your pool should already be registered, however, you can check this by calling us on 03 941 8727.
We automatically schedule an inspection for pool barriers, approximately once every three years.
Around two weeks before the inspection, we will send you a letter advising of the inspection.
If an inspector has trouble accessing your property because of security restrictions or dogs, or if you want to be home when the inspector comes, you will need to contact us and book an inspection.
To book an inspection or enquire about a booked inspection for an existing pool, contact us on 03 941 8727 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
An inspection fee is charged for each pool compliance inspection. As of 1 July 2022, fees are:
An invoice will be sent to the address we have on record. If you have changed your address, phone us on 03 941 8999 to update your address details.
The invoice has details for how to pay for your pool inspection.
You can choose to use an independently qualified pool inspector(external link) instead of using a Council inspector.
The independently qualified pool inspector will issue you a certificate of periodic inspection certifying the pool barrier complies.
You can email your certificate to email@example.com including your:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to use an independent qualified pool inspector.
If your pool barrier fails the inspection, we will automatically book to re-inspect it 21 days later. If it is considered particularly dangerous, we will re-inspect it 48 hours later.
If our inspector comes to your property and cannot gain access to the pool area, we will still charge you for this site visit and you will need to book a return assessment time.
Email email@example.com if you will not be able to complete the required work before your re-inspection.
If we consider it necessary, we may issue a 'notice to fix' under the Building Act 2004 for a non-complying pool barrier.
A $370 fee can apply instead of the standard inspection fee.
A small heated pool does not need an inspection every three years if it meets the following criteria:
See Acceptable Solutions F9/AS2 [PDF, 703KB](external link) for further information.
When filling your pool, it’s really important you don't contaminate our water supply.
Backflow is one of the biggest risks to our public water supply and can seriously affect the quality and safety of our drinking water. As a property owner, you are legally responsible for making sure you do not contaminate the public water supply.
The potential risk of a backflow hazard from swimming pools to the public water supply are:
Swimming and spa pools are considered medium hazard in the acceptable solutions of the building code. You will need to install one of the following devices to prevent backflow from your spa or pool to the water supply:
Talk to your pool supplier or local plumbing merchant about the right option for your pool or spa.
Swimming and spa pools contain chlorine and other substances that are harmful to the environment and toxic to fish. To protect our rivers, streams and wetlands, it’s important that only rain water goes into our stormwater network.
It’s easy to do the right thing with your pool water.
In Christchurch, permission isn’t needed to put pool water into our wastewater (sewer) network.
All chlorinated water, saltwater and filter-backwash water must be discharged into the wastewater network via the pool plumbing to a gully trap.
There are also these things to consider:
To remove or demolish a small heated pool like a spa, you do not require building consent, however, the removal of the swimming pool may require resource consent, in particular, if it is an in-ground pool.
For advice on this, please email our planning team at DutyPlanner@ccc.govt.nz or phone 03 941 8999 and ask to speak to the duty planner.
Once your pool has been removed, please let us know and we will take it off our register(external link).
Let us know if you have removed a swimming pool from your property so we can update our records and stop inspections.