As mentioned previously in SPLASH!, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), in partnership with state and territory consumer protection agencies, will be enforcing a new mandatory safety standard for portable pools and their retail packaging (including mandatory safety warnings) from March 30, 2014.
Click for further information: Supplier guide – Portable swimming pools
Meanwhile in New Zealand, Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson has clarified new rules around the fencing of paddling pools. He says the new law would mean any pool, including portable and inflatable pools where the water is more than 30 centimetres deep, won’t be allowed to stay as a permanent fixture.
“You can leave it up for a week, you can have it up for a month, you can take it to the beach, you can put it up in the backyard,” he says. “But we’re just saying please don’t leave a more than 30 cm portable pool up on an on-going basis. Empty it and fill it up again when you want to use it.”
He made the comments while announcing changes to the 1987 Fencing of Swimming Pools Act which, if passed next year, will introduce a new enforcement regime, including $500 fines for those who don’t fence off their pools properly.
The new law will mean any pool where the water is more than 30cm deep – even portable and inflatable – will need to be fenced off if they are left up permanently. Under current laws, pools deeper than 40cm have to be fenced, but officials say the requirements have not been clear and are not happening in many cases.
The changes to the Act will:
• Provide clearer requirements for restricting access to swimming pools
• Require councils to inspect swimming pools at least every five years
• Provide that child-resistant spa pools adequately restrict access
• Require pool retailers to inform buyers of their safety obligations
• Exempt portable pools shallower than 300mm
• Exempt garden ponds and stormwater detention ponds.
For more information visit: www.dbh.govt.nz.