TRURO - Backyard pool owners, or those considering purchasing one, would be wise to educate themselves on the municipal policy surrounding their use.
Existing legislation at the County of Colchester requires that all swimming pools a metre or more in depth, even the plastic inflatable type, are required to be permitted for use.
In some cases, expensive fencing may also be required.
"A $300 pool could result in a $3,000 fence," community development director Crawford MacPherson told council members this week.
Larger pools generally are not an issue because they are usually installed by professionals who inform the purchaser that a permit is required.
The problem surrounding the legislation for smaller pools, given their portability and availability at large box stores, is how to enforce the legislation.
"I could buy it today and give to you tomorrow," Councillor Bill Masters said, during discussion. "How do we permit that?"
The issue has been raised in the past by some councillors who had expressed concern about the increased use of the smaller pools in zoned areas of the county.
Because the regulation of inflatable pools was deemed by staff to be more of a public safety issue, as opposed to a land-use concern, a policy was adopted this week that enforcement of the regulations surrounding such pools would be done only when the county has received a third-party complaint involving their use.
"If there is an issue, we want to make sure the municipality is not challenged on its enforcement," CAO Dan McDougall told council.
"I believe that it shows the county is using due diligence in dealing with this issue," Coun. Christine Blair said.