Revised pool and spa safety standard becomes law
"In particular, the new standard will have a significant impact on hydraulics and will revolutionise the way in which pool and spa hydraulics are installed, not to mention the way suction covers are independently laboratory tested."
The standard has remained untouched since 2003, and SPASA NSW was instrumental in having it changed, with submissions to and meetings with Standards Australia, letters to the prime minister, every relevant government minister in the country and key stakeholders, and a Preliminary Impact Assessment which was issued to the Building Codes Board of Australia (BCBA).
"Following the coroner's findings into the tragic death of Shannon Rankin, who drowned in 2006 after becoming trapped by a filter drain at the bottom of a spa, the ministers started to write back. Now, after over two years of lobbying, the standard has been adopted," Dassakis says.
"In the past few years there have been significant technological advances and the development of alternatives, so the newly amended standard now allows for safer suction point covers to be used. Builders, retailers and technicians should check with their supplier to ensure suction covers after 1 May comply with the new standard.
"It's now an ideal opportunity for those in the industry – both SPASA members and non members – to update their qualifications and take training on the new standard. SPASA NSW is focused on educating the industry, and is holding hydraulic training courses which will assist licence holders with understanding what's required."
The new standard will apply to swimming pools and spas built from 1 May 2011. Pools commenced prior to 1 May will fall under the previous standard.
For further information on the new standard and training courses, contact SPASA NSW on 1800 802 482 – www.spasa.org.au