All pools and spas, permanent and relocatable, that are capable of holding a depth of water greater than 300mm were required to be registered with the property owner’s local council by 1 November 2020 under the new Victorian government mandatory requirements. Post registration, all pools and spas must then undergo a periodic inspection and certification of the safety barrier required every four years.
If you would like to de-register your pool or spa, and not be obliged to comply with the ongoing pool and spa safety barrier requirements, this article offers some helpful advice as to what is involved in decommissioning your pool or spa.
The primary requirement to decommission a pool or spa is for property owners to satisfy their local council that your pool or spa is no longer capable of holding more than 300mm of water. Local councils have differing requirements depending on the type of pool or spa as follows:
Removal of an above-ground swimming pool
Complete dismantling of a swimming pool if above-ground. Otherwise at least the removal of the swimming pool liner, access ladder and filtration system, and ensuring the remaining components cannot hold water to a depth of more than 300mm.
Total removal of an in-ground swimming pool
A Demolition Permit may be required in circumstances where the depth of the pool wall is greater than the distance to your neighbouring properties from the edge of your pool, as consideration is required as to whether a demolition of your pool will have an adverse effect on adjoining properties. The excavation will need to be filled with the appropriate soil for the site, and compacted in layers with a maximum depth of 300mm (or as determined by an engineer taking site conditions into account).
In-ground swimming pools can either be left in-situ and buried, or made incapable of water to a depth of more than 300mm. The process can include the following steps:
- Cut at least two holes at least 500mm x 500mm in the deep end of the swimming pool (or as determined by an engineer taking site conditions in account)
- Remove debris from cut outs
- Remove filtration system and access ladders
- Fill the swimming pool excavation with appropriate fill material (compacted in layers), with a maximum depth of 300mm (or as determined by an engineer taking site conditions into account).
Consideration should be given to cutting down the side walls to allow the pool to drain laterally, as clay is found beneath most pools and spas in Melbourne which generally prevents proper drainage through any holes cut in the bottom.
It is highly recommended that any demolition work that is photographed in stages to serve as documentary evidence to submit to your local as proof that you have undertaken the appropriate steps in decommissioning your pool or spa. You should speak to your local council before commencing demolition works to ensure you meet all of their specific requirements.
If the job is too big for you to handle yourself, there are many companies that specialise in pool and spa removals, with costs varying depending on:
- The type of swimming pool or spa (above ground or in-ground);
- The size of the swimming pool or spa; and
- Accessibility to the pool or spa for earthworks machinery and debris removal
- The extent of the decommissioning (completely removing the entire pool or spa versus basic decommissioning fulfilling the minimum requirements)
As a general rule, for in-ground concrete pools or pools with liners, the cost can range anywhere between $6,000 to $8,000 for a basic decommissioning, with complete removal ranging between $12,000 to $13,000.
For in-ground fibreglass pools, this is around $6,000 for a basic decommissioning, and $8,000 for a complete removal. The process generally takes anywhere between 1 to 3 days to complete.
We would recommend contacting Reverse Pools on 0433 377 969 for a quote should you wish to explore this option further. There website address is https://www.reversepools.com.au/
Once you have decommissioned your pool or spa, you will need to contact your local council to arrange an inspection to confirm your pool or spa has been properly decommissioned, before it can be de-registered from their pool and spa register.