A BILBUL family has been forced to spend more than $1000 to fence a cheap blow-up pool in their backyard after council ordered them to comply with tough new regulations for pool owners.
The NSW government has beefed up the Swimming Pools Act, demanding pool owners fence any "vessel, excavation or structure" designed for swimming or paddling that is capable of holding more than 30cm of water.
The new guidelines were released in October but will be phased in throughout this year, with pool owners required to self-assess their pools and declare they comply to council by the end of April.
Failure to do so will attract a $220 fine.
Bilbul resident Paul Frost was stunned when council compliance officers, acting on a tip-off from a neighbour, sent a warning letter to his landlord ordering his children's small, plastic pool be fenced.
"It's totally ridiculous; the pool is 50cm maximum depth and it's only 10 feet around," Mr Frost said.
"I had to go to Bunnings and spend $1250 on a fence for what is a small kiddies pool.
"I didn't want to spend the money but I didn't want my kids missing out."
Council's director of sustainable development Neil Southorn said the new regulations brought NSW into line with other states and were purely about saving young lives.
"Even a blow-up or cheap plastic pool must be fenced accordingly," Mr Southorn said.
"The state government is determined to reduce the number of child drownings, which are worse in NSW than other states.
"We don't have a program at this stage where we're checking up on pool owners but we will certainly act on complaints."
As part of the new regulations, pool owners must have a valid compliance certificate before being able to sell or lease a house with a pool.
The new laws will come into full force on October 29 this year.
A pool safety checklist and a full copy of the new laws can be picked up from council chambers.