Wading into a legal quagmire
“We only bought it a month ago, but didn’t realise we had to put a proper fence that costs a fortune around such a small pool,” she said.
“We just bought it as a quick fix to the pool problem.
“I only found out because my 12-year-old son was learning about water safety at school and told me last week.”
The Swimming Pool Act of 1992 requires any vessel capable of being filled with water to a depth of more than 30cm to be surrounded by a fence constructed to Australian Standard rules.
North Coast Fencing owner Simon Davis said many residents were not aware the law applied to supermarket wading pools.
Mr Davis, who has been working in the industry for the past 13 years, said he had not been asked once about fencing for wading pools.
“Many people just don’t do it,” he said.
“Often people on large properties don’t believe they need a fence around their pools, but everyone does. But by not fencing them people are really leaving themselves open for a dispute if anything happens to someone.”
Ms Torrens said building a fence that met Australian standards around their wading pool would have been well outside their family’s budget.
She said it was also the safety risks posed by the wading pool that helped make her decide to throw it in the bin.
There were 27 drowning deaths of toddlers under five in Australia between July 2007 and July 2008.