Swimming Pools and Spas

Swimming Pool Fencing and Safety Requirements

A swimming pool is defined as an above or belowground structure principally used for swimming or bathing, including some models of portable pools and spas.

If your portable pool or spa can hold more than 300mm of water, then the laws apply to you. The pool laws don't apply to fishponds, however, if you have a swimming pool that is now being used for another purpose (for example, as a fishpond), it is still considered a pool and must have a compliant barrier.

For information on pool safety, visit the Queensland Building and Construction Commission’s (QBCC) pool safety webpage. The QBCC also administers the pool register (all pools must be registered) and details of pool safety inspectors.

To remove your swimming pool or spa from the pool register,  you will need an acknowledgement letter from Council to email to the QBCC. Complete the Decommissioning a swimming pool or spa form (online), and once you receive the acknowledgement letter, email the QBCC and ask for your pool or spa to be removed.

Discharge of Swimming Pool Water

Read Council's full policy (PDF, 1.7 MB) on the management of pool water from residential properties.

Key messages

Pool filter backwash water must be:

  • discharged to a grassed, vegetated or garden area, or a stone-filled trench. Any surface run-off resulting from the discharge should be contained within the property boundaries; or
  • discharged into the sewer via the overflow relief gully.

Note: This advice is only for residential pools. Commercial pools need a trade waste approval to discharge to sewer.

To ease the burden on the sewer network during wet weather events, do not undertake filter backwashing until 48 hours after the start of a wet weather event.

Pool overflow water from rain events may be directed onto landscape areas which are mulched or vegetated with chlorine-tolerant plants (or salt-tolerant plans if a salt water pool). The overflow water must not be allowed to enter a stormwater drain.

If emptying your pool, we prefer the maintenance water to be discharged to the property in a manner that will prevent environmental harm (such as creation of odours and breeding conditions for insects when water ponds for long periods). If this is option is not available, council approves of the discharge of pool maintenance drainage water into Council’s sewerage network provided that:

  • the water is clean (for example, no algal growth)
  • chlorine concentration is below 5 mg/L
  • the discharge occurs at least 48 hours after a wet weather event
  • a flow restriction device is used to reduce discharge rate to less than 40 litres per minute.

The maintenance water must not be allowed to enter a stormwater drain.

Swimming Pools and Spas – Are You Breeding Dengue Mosquitoes?

Neglected or poorly maintained swimming pools and spa pools are an ideal environment for mosquitoes to breed. When the pool’s chemical parameters are not maintained at the minimum required levels and/or the filtration system is not functioning correctly, the pool becomes a public health risk.

As mosquitoes require standing water to breed, the pool water becomes an attractive water source for the female mosquito to lay her eggs. Once these eggs hatch, the larvae can develop into biting adult mosquitoes within 4-7 days.

It is your responsibility as a tenant or property owner to maintain the pool so that it is not a breeding site for mosquitoes, or likely to become a breeding site for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can carry several different mosquito borne diseases, in particular dengue fever.