EARLY summer weather in Ballarat so far might be more akin to the Christmas snowman in Victoria Street than pools but new rules for backyard water play are starting to impact inflatable fun.
One rule many people will not realise is that blow-up pools with a capacity to hold more than 30 centimetres' water depth must be registered if left inflated for more than three days.
Relocatable pools with multiple parts that require assembly must be registered and meet new barrier compliance laws - small inflatable pools with less depth do not fall under barrier laws, according to Victorian Building Authority.
Confusion over pool registrations and compliance are causing concern for pool owners statewide with councils still waiting for full government compliance standards to be finalised.
A City of Ballarat spokesperson confirmed its customer service team had also been receiving queries from private pool owners.
City of Ballarat information details pools and spas must: be in separate enclosures without direct access from houses or outbuildings; safety barriers must be permanent and automatic; gates must swing away from the pool and be self-closing and self-latching; barrier height restrictions apply.
Safety barriers are not required for bird baths, fountains, water tanks, fish ponds or dams.
The state government laws came into play on Sunday, but pool owners have until June 1 to ensure they have met registration and compliance standards. Laws were enacted in a response to child drowning rates and research suggesting a key cause was faulty barriers.
The national life saving report shows 19 Australian chidren aged under four drowned in 2018/19. Two in three of these incidents were in swimming pools.
KidSafe Victoria general manager Jason Chambers said children drown quickly and silently. Mr Chambers said when lots of adults were about for parties, it was too easy to assume someone was watching children by the pool.
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