AS the weather warms up in Cooma, residents will be looking to cool down in backyard and inflatable pools.
But the council is reminding homeowners to be aware of their safety requirements, with changes to the swimming pool inspection programs across NSW about to come into effect.
Under the Swimming Pools Act (NSW Law) any structure, excavation, or vessel, designed or principally used for swimming or wading and capable of holding more than 300mm depth of water needs to be fenced.
"This includes the inflatable type pools you see at department stores, toy stores etc. which unfortunately a lot of people do not realise. The cost of fencing these inflatable type pools can be many times more expensive than the pool itself," council's director of environmental services Peter Smith said.
The Swimming Pools Act was amended earlier this year to make certain responsibilities for pool owners mandatory. The changes were bought in as figures showed drowning was a leading cause of accidental death in very young children.
Under the changes, all pools have to be registered with the state register by October 29.
There are about 70 known swimming pools and spas currently registered with council.
This includes a requirement for the owner to undertake a self-assessment of the pool and safety items. Registration is free. From April 29, 2014, a certificate of compliance is required before a property with a pool is sold or leased. Councils must have an inspection program in place by October 29 and councils are required to keep records and provide annual reports regarding the number of pools inspected and levels of compliance with standards.
"While we already had an inspection program in place, the new changes make this mandatory," Mr Smith said.
"We have also run information programs over the past several years in the lead up to summer to remind pool owners of their responsibilities.
"The most important message of all is that there is no substitute for proper supervision - even a pool fence that is fully compliant with the Australian Standards and in good working order will not necessarily keep kids out."
The draft Swimming Pool Inspection Program will be put on public exhibition.