The nice weather is (slowly) arriving! You’re thinking about getting a new swimming pool, or maybe you already have one. The safety standards for private pools changed in July 2021. If your pool doesn’t meet these standards, you could face a fine of $500 or more.
End of acquired rights
If your pool was installed before November 1st, 2010, you have until July 1st, 2023, to meet most of the safety standards described in this article. However, the government intends to postpone this deadline to September 1, 2025.
Limiting access to the pool
Any pool with a depth of 60 cm or more must have a fence around it, even if it’s an inflatable or temporary pool. To comply with safety regulations, the fence must
- be at least 1.2 m high
- prevent the passage of any round object 10 cm in diameter, and
- must be difficult to climb.
For chain-link fences, the links should be 3 cm or less. If the links are wider than 3 cm, you must insert vertical slats.
Every entrance to the pool must have a self-closing and self-locking safety device.
However, if you have an above-ground pool and its sides are more than 1.2 m high, you don’t have to install a fence around it. But any ladder to access the pool must have a gate, and any other type of entrance (for example, from a patio) must have a fence with the specifications mentioned above.
Respect the one-meter rule
Any equipment or fixed structure on which a child could climb must be installed at least one meter from the fence, or the pool wall if no fence is required.
Make sure your diving board is installed correctly
If your pool has a diving board, it must comply with the safety standards of the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (standards office of Quebec). These standards set out the pool dimensions and minimum depth required to install a diving board.
Check municipal by-laws
Your municipality may have stricter regulations than those mentioned above. For example, many require you to obtain a permit before installing a swimming pool. Check with your municipality to ensure you’re doing everything correctly. Better safe than sorry, especially when it comes to swimming pools!