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Safety first when making a splash this summer

Daniel Bouwmeester    January 6, 2024    3 min read   

Ipswich residents are being encouraged to put safety first when trying to beat the heat this summer.

Just like with permanent pools or spas, store-bought portable swimming pools and spas must adhere to local council safety regulations.

“With the weather warming up, it may be tempting to cool down by purchasing an affordable store-bought portable blow up or above-ground pool or spa,” Mayor Teresa Harding said.

“However, it is important that residents are aware of the regulations that apply, [and] when factoring in fencing requirements and approvals, it can get costly quite quickly.”

Albert-Paul / Pixabay. Top image: Shelby H. Johnson.

Pools or spas that can be filled to a depth of 300mm or more, or have a volume of more than 2,000 litres or a filtration system require a building approval and must have a compliant pool fence.

“That building approval must be issued by a Building Certifier and you need to obtain a final inspection certificate before filling the pool and using it,” Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson Councillor Paul Tully said.

“You can only remove your pool fencing when you are lawfully decommissioning your swimming pool.”

Pool safety laws also apply regardless of whether you have children and if you are a homeowner or tenant.

Penalties apply for not having compliant fencing or for not following pool and spa safety laws, with infringements starting from about $1,000.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in Queensland for children under the age of five.

In addition to compliant fencing, active adult supervision, swimming lessons, and learning basic CPR can save lives.

Summer splashing fun is free – and most importantly safe – at Orion Lagoon in Springfield Central. Images: Ipswich City Council.

Cool alternatives

An inexpensive alternative to a portable pool is taking advantage of local public pools or free water parks, such as Orion Lagoon in Springfield Central.

Community pools can be found at Goodna Aquatic Centre on Brisbane Terrace, Goodna, or the Bundamba Swim Centre on Brisbane Road, Bundamba.

There is also Bob Gamble Park, off King Edward Parade, and the zero-depth water feature at Tulmur Place, in the Nicholas Street Precinct – both free to the public and located in central Ipswich.

And Greater Springfield residents of all ages can enjoy the heated indoor facilities at the brand new The Swim Factory Springfield, adjacent to the newly opened Spring Mountain Village shopping centre.

Ipswich City Council also hosts a series of free water safety programs designed to build water confidence and teach lifesaving skills through its SEAL Pool Safety Program.

For more information about local pool regulations, click here or visit the ‘Swimming Pools, Spas and Safety Barriers’ page on the Council website – search “pools” at ipswich.qld.gov.au.

For more information about the SEAL program and learn-to-swim classes, visit ipswich.qld.gov.au/seal.

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Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.