A stunning swimming pool picture above
Would you need to submit plans for a pool like this? See the post below.
Pool by Prim
City of Johannesburg Relaxes Swimming Pools Plan Submissions
The City of Johannesburg’s Planning Department has confirmed that they have relaxed the by-laws relating to swimming pools and plan submissions. These regulations concern the submission of plans – namely when plans are required and when are they not required.
Following up on a query from a reader, Jadie Naicker, we contacted the national office of the NSPI (National Swimming Pool Institute) to find out what they know about the situation. The local Johannesburg manager, Myrtle, said that there were rumours of a relaxation, but that they had put a request to the council in writing for confirmation. By last week they had not had a reply, so she was unable to comment on whether these rumours were true or not.
We contacted the City of Johannesburg Town Planning Department and spoke to one of the building inspectors who confirmed that the swimming pools building by-laws were amended at the end of 2013.
Regulations Vary Depending on Zoning
The regulations vary depending on zoning; the zone that the property is situated in. If the property is in a zone that has a building line restriction of three meters then any pool that is built within this three-meter line will need plans submitted. If the pool does not cross any of these boundary lines then plans will not be required.
In areas that do not have building lines set, the by-law requires that swimming pools built closer than two meters to the boundary must submit plans.
One of the main reasons for this is that the Town Planning Department must scrutinize the site plans and confirm to the building inspectors that there are not any services such as water supply, sewage or electricity supply amongst others that could be affected.
Public safety and swimming pools is a National Building Regulation and is applicable whether plans had to be submitted or not. Read more on our page SANS 10400 Part D – Public safety.
The City of Johannesburg put forward planned by-law amendments in 2009 to regulate safety around swimming pools in the Johannesburg area. In addition to the National Building Regulations Part-D, extra safety measures were mooted. These include issue of a permit by the Council and the fact that every outdoor swimming pool must be secured with a pool cover or fitted with a floating pool alarm device at all times when the pool is not use. The Council may exempt an owner from compliance with this section if it is satisfied with the efficiency of any other means of protection used.
National Regulations Relating To Pools
Part D4 of the National Building Regulations (“Regulations”) requires that an owner of any site which contains a swimming pool must ensure that access to such swimming pool is controlled. The regulations continue and state clearly that any owner who fails to comply with this requirement shall be guilty of an offence. Additionally, a homeowner can also be sued for negligence should someone drown in their swimming pool, depending on whether negligence was present. A pool that however does not meet the required safety standards or where those measures are not effective can provide the necessary grounds for showing negligence on the part of the owner.
Part D5 of the regulations further states that an owner shall be deemed to have satisfied the necessary control requirements where access to the swimming pool complies with the relevant South African National Standards (“SANS”), as published by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).
In terms of SANS 10400-D the following requirements must be met for swimming pools and swimming baths:
- A wall or fence must be provided by the owner of a site that contains a swimming pool or a swimming bath to ensure that no person can have access to such pool or bath from any street or public place or any adjoining site other than through:
- A self-closing and self-latching gate with provision for locking in such wall or fence, or
- A building where such building forms part of such wall or fence.
- A wall or fence shall be provided in any interconnected complex which contains a swimming pool or swimming bath to ensure that no person can have access to such pool or bath from any street or public place or anywhere within the complex other than through a self-closing and self-latching gate with provision for locking in such wall or fence.
- Such wall or fence and any such gate therein shall be not less than 1.2 metres high, measured from the ground level, and shall not contain any opening that will permit the passage of a 100mm diameter ball.
- The constructional requirements of any steel fence or gate must comply with the requirements in SANS 1390.
Extra protection, such as pool covers, pool nets and warning devices can also be used in addition to a fence, with such protective measures having to meet certain SANS compliance standards. Make sure that if you use any of these, you enquire from the supplier whether it is SANS compliant.