Reopening public swimming pools in time for summer Back

With summer around the corner, some local governments are gearing up to reopen public swimming pools and aquatic facilities.

Some aquatic centres have already reopened, but this is still a good time to review safety measures.

While COVID -19, social distancing and infection control requires careful attention this season - drowning prevention and related safety considerations – including having qualified supervision, signage, maintenance and hazard management, remain as critical as ever.

Drownings and immersion continue to occur far too frequently in public swimming pools and artificial swimming lagoons.

In Western Australia, overall drowning numbers rose by 14 per cent compared to the previous year, meaning 33 people lost their lives, with men continuing to be overrepresented in WA's drowning statistics.

The WA data shows that 57 per cent of drowning deaths happened in regional WA.

With border closures forcing more people into regional areas for holidays there are fears these rates will increase in 2020/21.

This makes the LGIS/Royal Life Saving WA partnership more important than ever in regional communities.

Make the following areas a priority before summer:

1. Check for slip and trip hazards near pools

  • Check for raised or uneven surfaces requiring repair or replacement
  • Replace deteriorating slip resistance treatments
  • Make sure wet decks, gutters and drains are protected/covered
  • Check pool covers and rollers are not obstructed

2. Signage and warnings

  • Check there is sufficient water entry warnings and depth marking signage
  • Make sure that sign requirements have been installed since the last compliance assessment

3. Inflatable devices

  • Need to be checked for defects since last use
  • Ensure installation and operation is in line with the manufacturer's instructions, applicable standards and Royal Life Saving pool safety guidelines

It is also important to ensure risk assessments are performed before reopening.

For queries regarding aquatic facility compliance assessments or aquatic risk management in general, please contact the LGIS risk and governance team on 08 9483 8888.​