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Changes to Development Rules surrounding pools and proximity to overhead power lines

There have been some recent changes in the guidelines for pool installation, particularly in front yards, with respect to their proximity to overhead power lines. These changes come as a result of the growing trend of pool installations in front yards, which has prompted a re-evaluation of the safety measures in place.


Previous Rules and the Growing Concern

In the past, there existed ambiguity regarding the clearance distances between overhead power lines and swimming pools installed in front yards. While swimming pools in such locations were relatively rare, the surge in demand for front yard pool installations has brought to light potential safety issues. The conventional approach involved adhering to the AS3000 electrical standard, which considered only horizontal clearance distances from pools to power lines. Unfortunately, this approach did not account for the diagonal distance, which left a gap in ensuring complete safety. Instances were even possible where pool cleaning equipment, extending up to 5 meters, could potentially reach the overhead power lines, posing a serious risk.

Collaboration with Ausgrid to Address the Concerns

Recognising this emerging concern, recent approvals by Lake Macquarie Council brought this issue to the forefront and led to discussions with Ausgrid. While initial discussions were met with uncertainty, Ausgrid was quick to acknowledge the need for action. After nearly 12 months of collaboration and effort, we are pleased to announce that a comprehensive solution has been developed.

Introducing the New Rules

On the 26th of May, 2023, Ausgrid approved a set of new guidelines that take into account both horizontal and diagonal distances between swimming pools and overhead power lines. These updated regulations outline the minimum clearances required to ensure compliance and safety in all pool installations, regardless of their placement within front yards or backyards.

Under Section 10.10 Swimming Pools of the Ausgrid Network Standard, Swimming Pools shall not be installed any closer to overhead lines than the distances specified below. Please refer to this section in the Guideline for full details.


Beneficial Outcomes for All Parties Involved

These changes have significant positive implications for various stakeholders:

  • Lake Macquarie Council and Certifiers – Clear direction is now available for ensuring compliance with the updated safety standards. This eliminates the ambiguity that previously surrounded the clearance distances and allows for a streamlined certification process.
  • Homeowners – Those who choose to install pools in their front yards can now do so with confidence, knowing that their safety and compliance are taken care of.

These new guidelines represent a crucial step towards enhancing safety and compliance within the realm of pool installations. We urge all stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the updated regulations to ensure a smooth transition and continued safety for all.

For any questions, clarifications, or assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 457 400 or via email at

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