Swimming pools and pool safety

Pool safety concerns

At Council, we attend to pool safety concerns that are brought to our attention.

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) handles pool safety issues including:

  • pool safety inspector licensing
  • compliance
  • disciplinary functions.

All pools and spas in Queensland must be fenced and registered in the Queensland pool safety register.

For a summary of the pool safety requirements, you can download our Swimming pool safety checklist (PDF 216 KB).  For more detailed information on pool safety compliance visit the QBCC pool safety information website.

A pool ladder with a pool and pool fence visible in the background

Swimming pool safety laws

Swimming pool safety laws aim to minimise the chance that young children can get into the pool area unsupervised.

Swimming pool safety laws
An orange and white pool floatie ring in a blue tiled pool.

Pool safety standard

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) provides a guide for swimming pool safety standards.

Pool safety standard

Report an issue

To report an issue about pool fencing on a neighbouring property contact our team.

All pool owners have a responsibility to comply with pool safety laws. If a breach is found we will help the owners to comply with the pool safety requirements.

We encourage pool owners to comply but if a solution is not reached we must enforce compliance. This could involve fines or legal action.

Buying a pool or spa

All new pools or spas need a building works permit and a final inspection certificate.

All pools or spas also need a compulsory pool fence or barrier that must comply with the law.

When buying inflatable or portable pools remember the following:

  • Portable or inflatable pools and spas can be a serious safety risk to young children.
  • Portable or inflatable pools need a building works permit, pool safety certificate and a compliant pool fence if the pool meets any of the following conditions:
    • holds water more than 300 millimetres deep
    • holds more than 2,000 litres of water
    • has a filtration system.

If you are buying a property with an existing pool it must comply with the current pool safety standards.

You can find more information on the QBCC website.

Obligations of pool ownership

All pools must be registered on the Queensland pool safety register.

If your pool does not comply with pool safety standards we will ask you to fix the problem. If you don’t fix it, we may take enforcement action which could result in fines and/or legal action. 

If your pool is not compliant you should seek advice from a registered pool safety inspector about your options.

A pool safety certificate from a licensed pool safety inspector is needed for:

  • any property that is sold or leased with a pool in place
  • portable pools and spas that can hold water more than 300 millimetres deep, or hold more than 2,000 litres of water or have a filtration system
  • pools under a body corporate (i.e. pool on common property that is shared)
  • pools at hotels, motels, caravan parks and other short term accommodation where the pool is shared.

Pool safety certificates are valid for two years for a non-shared pool, or one year for a shared pool.

For information about how to get a pool safety certificate, or how to locate or engage a pool safety inspector, please check with the QBCC.

Find out more about your obligations as a pool owner in our Swimming pools fact sheet (PDF 1.2 MB).

Exemptions from pool fencing compliance

In some circumstances we may grant an exemption from pool fence compliance (for example, due to disability).

A building works permit from a private certifier is still needed even if an exemption is granted.

To apply for an exemption from pool fencing compliance you must submit a Application for Exemption from compliance with pool standard disability (PDF 83 KB) or Application for Exemption from compliance with pool standard impracticality (PDF 83 KB) with:

  • a site plan showing proposed alternative solutions to stop a child getting into the pool
  • supporting documentation of these solutions
  • certificates where applicable
  • authority for us to access the site for an inspection
  • fees paid in full.

An exemption ends if any of the following conditions apply:

  • the applicant stops being the owner of the regulated pool
  • the person who required the exemption no longer lives at the property
  • physical access to the pool by the person who required the exemption is no longer restricted by pool safety standards.

You can find more information on the QBCC website.

Backwash from pools and spas

Please note this section only applies to:

  • properties connected to Council's wastewater (sewerage) network. It does not apply if you have an onsite wastewater systems
  • properties that have a pool or spa backwash filter. A backwash filter is a filter that needs regular cleaning by reversing the flow to remove debris. It does not apply to pools or spas with cartridge filters.

To empty all the water in your pool you will need approval from Council. It is likely an approval will restrict the time and flow that can be discharged from your pool. You can request approval by emailing WaterDA@logan.qld.gov.au. There is no application form or fee for this request. You do not need approval to empty a spa.

To make a connection, you may need one of the following approvals, permits or applications:

  • If the pool or spa is on a vacant block of land, in connection with a new dwelling, your backwash connection should be part of your plumbing approval.
  • If the pool or spa is an addition, a notifiable work Form 4 / 4A will need to be lodged. A QBCC licensed plumber or drainer must lodge this. You can find more information on the QBCC website.
  • If you want to connect directly to Council wastewater (sewerage) infrastructure, you need to lodge a Private Works application, please see Private works.

Please use the following as a guide for pool backwash operations:

  • a backwash cycle should not be more than 5 minutes
  • you can only backwash once each day
  • the flow rate to backwash to Council’s wastewater (sewer) network should not be more than 6 litres per second.
  • you should not backwash within six hours of a rain or storm event
  • you can only discharge filtered backwash to the wastewater (sewer) network
  • the pool should be designed to manage excessive rainwater. This may include a graded rainwater overflow pipe coming out of either the skimmer box or scum drain / gutter.

It is illegal to discharge backwash into a stormwater drain or a roadside gutter if the flow can be connected to Council wastewater (sewerage) network. For more information, please visit Queensland Government Environmental Protection Act 1994 and Regulation. A breach of this regulation could have a significant impact on the environment and result in a heavy fine.

If you have any questions about pool and spa backwash, please call our Water Development Team, please see contact our team.

Unused swimming pools

If you are not going to use a swimming pool but don't want to get rid of it, for example during winter or if you take a long trip, consider the options below.

  • Run the pool as normal to stop the water going stagnant, breeding mosquitos, growing algae and collecting fallen leaves that will break down and smell.
  • Keep the pool’s water covered or treated with a mosquito control chemical.
  • Keep the water stocked with mosquito-larvae destroying fish.
  • Empty all the water from the pool, allow it to dry, and scrub the inside every seven days. Please note that an empty pool may crack or collapse. Please consult a pool builder for advice before you empty a pool.

Decommissioning a pool

Pool safety laws give pool owners the choice to remove a swimming pool or spa as an alternative to complying with pool safety standards. 

Find out more in our Decommissioning of pools fact sheet (PDF 155 KB).