Maintenance of swimming pools, portable wading pools and ponds

Having a swimming pool, portable wading pool or pond on your property can be great, especially in the heat of Summer or for adding to the value of a property when selling. Ownership of a pool or pond does however come with some significant responsibilities for the health and safety of not only those at the property but also the surrounding community.

Health and safety around pools and ponds

Swimming pools, portable wading pools and ponds that are not properly maintained can impact on the local community by:

  • creating an odour nuisance
  • allowing mosquitoes to breed and therefore transferring mosquito borne diseases
  • becoming a safety hazard to children. 

If a small child unable to swim enters a stagnant and/or dirty pool, they may not be able to be seen from the surface, significantly reducing the chances that they would be found and rescued before drowning. Even if a swimming pool, portable wading pool or pond is not in use, it is very important to be aware of pool safety and actively supervise young children at all times.

Swimming pool fencing also has very specific requirements, see the Swimming pool fencing page for further information.

Property owner or occupier responsibilities

People who have swimming pools, portable wading pools or ponds on their properties must ensure that they maintain them such that the water in them does not:

  • become stagnant;
  • become a breeding ground for mosquitoes; or
  • accumulate organic matter.

Swimming pools that contain water must always have a working filtration system and chlorination system or equivalent. This system must be run for a sufficient number of hours (having regard to noise limits and restrictions of use) to prevent build-up of organic matter in the pool or stagnation of the water.

If a swimming pool, portable wading pool or pond is intentionally kept empty, property occupiers are responsible for making sure no liquid (e.g. rainwater) accumulates as even a very small amount can provide mosquito breeding habitat.

If you are planning to install a new swimming pool at your property, ensure that you have all of the required approvals in place first.

I am concerned about a pool or pond in my neighbourhood

Property occupiers may not be aware that the swimming pool, portable wading pool or pond in their property is causing a health and safety issue. Brisbane City Council encourages all residents to talk to their neighbours before making a complaint to Council.

To assist the community with resolving health and safety issues without Council intervention, we have developed the following letter templates which you may wish to use - simply print out the template, fill in the required details and place it in the letterbox of the neighbour with the pool or pond.


It is recommended to wait a few weeks to allow your neighbour time to organise or undertake the required cleaning and maintenance of the pool or pond before contacting Council.

To lodge a complaint about a swimming pool, portable wading pool or pond causing a health and safety issue in the community:

Please note that Council will require photos of the issue to investigate your concerns. When submitting photographs, ensure that:

  • photographs depict a unique feature of the land (including the street number of the property) which positively identifies the issue on a particular block, and
  • photographs show the overall nature of the issue. 
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