Swimming pools & spas

Maintenance and safety tips for home swimming pools and spas.

With our long hot summers and laid-back lifestyle, having a swimming pool or spa at home can be a great way to cool down and relax. It’s also a great tool for keeping fit and spending time with family and friends. Like many things, swimming pools and spas are not without risk.

The City of Adelaide has compiled some tips for keeping your swimming pool and spa area safe for all users.

Most children love the water so when you can’t be there to supervise them, it’s good to know there is a safety barrier to deter them from entering the pool and spa area. The property owner is legally required to have and maintain compliant fencing or barriers around the swimming pool or spa. Legislation varies depending on the age of the property, so please refer to the SA Government website for full details.

As a guide, swimming or spa pools must have a continuous fencing barrier maintained by the pool owner that restricts access by young children to the pool. Fencing must be constructed in such a way to make sure that:

  • the fence is an effective barrier to young children
  • it is permanent
  • young children can't crawl under or climb over it by using foot and hand holds
  • it is at least 1.2 metres high
  • any boundary fences used as part of the child-safety barrier are at least 1.8 metres high on the side that faces the pool, with a 900 millimetres non-climbable zone at the top inside of the fence, a boundary barrier may be climbable on the neighbour's side.

In addition, gates to the pool area must:

  • swing outward from the pool area
  • be self-closing from any position
  • be fitted with a latching device, out of reach of small children, at least 1.5 metres above ground level

Poorly maintained swimming pools and spas can create serious health risks for users. Humans, animals and the environment can contaminate pools with infectious organisms. In most cases these organisms cause mild illness, but some infections can be serious or potentially fatal.

All domestic swimming pools need regular cleaning and maintenance. This includes:

  • removing litter and vacuum the bottom of the pool regularly to remove dirt and debris
  • scrubbing the pool walls and surrounding areas regularly to remove debris and build-up
  • clean the pump lint-pot and filter system regularly (daily when using manual dosing)
  • repair any damaged pool surfaces
  • keep pipes, filters and motors in good working order
  • service all pool equipment according to manufacturer's directions
  • ensure all electrical equipment is maintained in good condition
  • use a pool cover when the pool is not in use to keep dirt, leaves and debris out, to minimise mosquito breeding, and to reduce water loss by evaporation
  • store, handle and use pool chemicals according to the manufacturer's instructions.

For more information about refer to SA Health’s fact sheet on domestic swimming pools water care.

Remember, for the safety of all users, domestic pools should not be used if:

  • the disinfectant level and/or pH is not within the recommended range or the pool water is dirty or cloudy
  • the water has been heavily contaminated
  • the recirculation pumps and filters are not operating properly.