Pool and spa

BASIX takes into account the on-going water usage for any new pools or outdoor spas included in your development application. You can reduce the water use associated with a pool or spa by;

• Installing a permanent pool or spa cover

• Shading the pool or spa area

• Selecting a rainwater tank for top-up

See also Pools and Outdoor Spas (Energy Usage).

BASIX needs to know:

- the location of the pool (indoors or outdoors).

- the size (volume) of the pool or spa in kilolitres.

- whether the pool or spa has a cover and/or is shaded.

-if you will be using a tap connected to a rainwater tank for pool or spa top-up (selection found on the Alternative Water Details page).

Pool covers

Installing a permanent cover when the pool and/or spa is not in use will significantly reduce evaporation of water from the pool and/or spa. Even indoor pools lose water through evaporation.

By nominating a permanent cover for your pool and/or spa, you will improve your BASIX water score.

Covers also reduce the amount of litter and leaves entering the pool and/or spa, reducing the frequency of maintenance and cleaning, such as filter backwashing.

Rainwater for top-up

Only water from individual rainwater tanks can be nominated as the supply for spa or swimming pool top-up in BASIX. If water from a rainwater tank is to be used then a tap connected to a rainwater tank for pool or spa top-up must be located within 10meters of the edge of the pool or spa.

Rainwater use in the pool

When using water from a rainwater tank, the pool should be disinfected to 1mg/L of free residual chlorine for at least half an hour and the pH should be about 7.5. The pumps and filters should be operating during the disinfection period prior to swimming or bathing.

Rainwater use in the spa

When using water from a rainwater tank, the spa should be disinfected to 2mg/L of free residual chlorine for at least half an hour and the pH should be about 7.5. The pumps and filters should be operating during the disinfection period prior to swimming or bathing.

NSW Health supports the use of rainwater tanks for all non-potable water uses, such as in the laundry and watering gardens. It is important to note that rainwater tanks should be used and maintained in accordance with the guidelines provided on the NSW Health website.

Further Information:

"Guidance on the Use of Rainwater Tanks" provides advice on any potential hazards under Preventive measures and corrective actions:

NSW Health's "Public Swimming Pools and Spa Pools Guidelines" provide advice on disinfection levels for public swimming pools and spas.

Pool and spa covers

Installing a permanent cover when the pool and/or spa is not in use will significantly reduce evaporation of water from the pool and/or spa. Even indoor pools lose water through evaporation.

By nominating a permanent cover for your pool and/or spa, you will improve your BASIX water score.

Covers also reduce the amount of litter and leaves entering the pool and/or spa, reducing the frequency of maintenance and cleaning, such as filter backwashing.

Pool and spa shading

Shading the pool and spa with an appropriate shading device reduces the amount of water a swimming pool or spa will require. Swimming pools and spas that are not shaded will require more water due to higher levels of evaporation from the sun. To improve your water score in BASIX you should install shading for your pool and/or spa.

Ensuring your pool or spa is sheltered or protected from wind by vegetation or fencing can also help reduce evaporation and therefore reduce water use.

Diagram showing protected and shaded poolDiagram showing protected and shaded pool

To be classified as shaded at least 80% of the pool or spa must be covered by a shading device which can meet one of the following requirements:

  • It is opaque
  • It has a shade ratio of not less than 80%, or
  • It has a shading co-efficient of less than 0.35.