Swimming Pools in Australia

I suppose it’s easy to imagine that almost every house in Australia has a swimming pool in the back garden. But that’s not true.

I did a little research over at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, who happen to have the exact figures as at 2007. The reality is that just 11.7% of Australian homes have pools. Of course, it varies from state to state and these figures give you a pretty good idea of which states are the warmest.

  • Northern Territory 28.9%
  • Queensland 17.9%
  • Western Australia 15.4%
  • New South Wales 12.0%*
  • South Australia 7.0%*
  • Victoria 6.0%*
  • ACT 4.5%*
  • Tasmania 3.8%

* These figures estimated from the chart. Source: ABS

swimming poolI live in Queensland and I’m one of the lucky 17.9% to have a pool. When we first started house hunting, having a swimming pool wasn’t a high priority, but it was a bonus. It just so happened that the house we ended up buying, sight unseen on the Internet if you remember, (you have read about how we bought our house, haven’t you?) had a pool.

But, are they worth it? First, let’s look at the rough costs of running a swimming pool.

The Costs of Running a Swimming Pool in Australia.

A big expense of running a pool is the cost of electricity to power the filter pump. Your pool filter needs to run for about four hours a day during winter and eight hours a day during summer, six will work for autumn and spring. I calculate that it costs around 15 cents per hour to run my filter, so the annual costs are something like $328.50. Or $27.37 per month.

On top of that, there’s general maintenance. This mainly consists of keeping the balance of the water as it should be. About once every 4 weeks you should take a sample of the water to the pool shop to have it tested. They will tell you what you need to do. Add salt, add hydrochloric acid, add extra chlorine, that sort of thing.

Now, because I use whizzy software to import my bank statements, with about three clicks of my mouse I am able to tell you that since November 2008 I have spent $1,130.07 on pool maintenance.

That adds up to around $40.36 per month. Add the cost of electric and I think we can safely say it costs me something like $68 a month to run our pool. That’s just a couple of bucks or so a day. Bear in mind that everybody’s pool will be slightly different.

Is it worth it? Well, I don’t go in it is much as I should, but my daughter uses it all the time. The swimming season generally starts with the September school holidays and ends after Anzac Day, which is 25th April. So it’s about 8 months. Elizabeth can go swimming in our pool at least 4 times a week, sometimes more during this period. She loves it!

Her friends will often come round after school for a swim or maybe Elizabeth will go round one of her friends’ houses for a swim. The kids around here are like little fishes. Or mermaids, as they prefer.

So is a pool worth it? You bet!

But what happens when pools turn green? Easy! I’ve made you a short information video…

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{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Ben September 13, 2016, 11:24 am |

    This is a very interesting article. I work for Cozy Pool & Spa Care on the Gold Coast and I have people asking all the time how they can reduce their operating expenses for their pool. Most often, customers have their filtration running far longer than needed, and in some cases pools are being neglected during winter causing it to go green. As a result of the neglect the pool can become an even more costly exercise in running.

    But, yes! I agree that a pool is definitely worth the cost if you maintain it regularly and optimise the running time / duration of the filter.

  • Damo March 19, 2016, 5:17 pm |

    I installed one of the Ozone Swim Systems on my pool and it has been brilliant highly recommend them!!!

    • BobinOz March 21, 2016, 12:05 am |

      So you work for them as well then do you? 🙂

  • luke August 6, 2015, 7:00 am |

    The Ozone Swim system was about $2100. There is obviously different models for different size pools. Though best money I have spent on my pool as it is now hassel free.

    • BobinOz August 6, 2015, 6:23 pm |

      Okay, thanks for the tip Luke, Bob

  • luke August 4, 2015, 8:56 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    We had allot of problems with our pool until we had the local Poolwerx install an Ozone Swim Pool System which combines both Chlorine and Ozone. The system is amazing now we have also had one fitted to our parents pool.

    You should look into the Ozone Swim Systems if you look on facebook they seem to also use them in all the Swim Schools across the country as well.


    • BobinOz August 5, 2015, 4:26 pm |

      Interesting looking device Luke, the website has no prices though, how much did you pay for yours?

  • Ian May 4, 2015, 3:35 pm |


    Hi Bob,

    I have listened to your green pool recovery video and although it is correct in some content it does miss some really important parts in relation to successfully clearing up a green pool to a healthy and safe condition.

    I have pasted my web site address into this email. On the front page you will find a downloadable PDF concerning the complete way to clear a green pool.

    You are very welcome to copy this onto your site, no acknowledgment required.

    Hope that helps.

    Kind regards.


    • BobinOz May 4, 2015, 7:08 pm |

      Hi Ian

      My ‘green pool’ video was always supposed to be a little bit tongue in cheek, rather than a full guide into maintaining a sparklingly clear pool. Funny thing is though, I have over 100 videos on YouTube and that one is actually the most viewed of them all.

      Quite bizarre.

      Anyway, thank you for the link to your full instructions on this. I won’t reprint them here, but if anybody wants those instructions, please click on in the link to the website and download the PDF for yourself.

      Again, thanks for this Ian, much appreciated.


  • Tim April 10, 2015, 4:55 am |

    Great article thanks for sharing mate! 🙂

  • PoolFencer April 6, 2015, 11:00 am |

    As someone who has worked in the pool industry for many years, I have seen my fair share of unfenced pools. Even some which have young children residing on the premises.

    Althogh fencing a pool can be quite expensive, I think it’s sad that some people have very little regard for the safety of their children.

    Fighting that battle is not an easy one, as most people with unfenced pools see no need to invest in a fence. It’s similar to (at least in QLD) the requirement for CPR signs. You can pick them up for less than $20, yet many many pool owners (especially unfenced pool owners) refuse to purchase and hang the sign.

    For me, complying with the law is one of the easiest parts of owning a pool.

    • BobinOz April 7, 2015, 5:36 pm |

      I agree with you inasmuch as I also think unfenced pools are a bad idea, I am pro-pool fencing. What I don’t like though are the ridiculously stupid pool fence laws we have here in Queensland.

      Since they’ve been introduced some people who have very sensible pool fencing in place have needed to pay huge amounts of money changing the layout of that fencing, removing trees and building in extra safeguards which are really quite over-the-top.

      Complying with the law here in Queensland really isn’t one of the easiest parts of owning a pool. Negotiating with a neighbour who refuses to cut down a tree that is within 1 m of your pool fence isn’t always easy and sometimes it’s impossible to move your pool fence far enough away from that tree to comply.

      I’m always happy to comply with the law, but the laws do have to be a little bit sensible.

  • Mike @ Pool fencing February 19, 2014, 2:10 pm |


    According to law in Australia every private pool need fence. Another thing is safety of that pool. Most of the children fell into the pool because of the less protection. I think If people having a pool in their homes and it need to cover with a fence or whatever safety line.


  • ron November 20, 2012, 9:25 am |

    hi Bob…Just looked at your percentages on pools mate…Are you sure that 28.9% of houses in the N.T own pools…the ABS say around 8 %…perhaps I am wroing cheers Ron

    • BobinOz November 20, 2012, 7:01 pm |

      Hi Ron

      No, they are correct, if you look underneath my statistics there is a link to my source which is the same as yours, the ABS. The chart is still there and it clearly says 28.9 percent for Northern Territory. Click through for yourself and check it out.



      • ron December 4, 2012, 5:19 pm |

        Thanks Bob got it mate…cheers

  • Rupert March 11, 2011, 10:57 pm |

    Ah, very interesting. That has been most helpful. Thank you.

  • BobinOz March 11, 2011, 10:45 pm |

    Hi Rupert

    All states here in Australia have pool fence laws applicable to every private pool, but they do vary slightly from state to state. I can sort of get your point about why the need for private pools, but little children who can’t swim also don’t understand which areas are private and which they can wander into.

    I couldn’t possibly cover all of those laws here, even if I knew them. But by and large your pool must be surrounded by a fence of at least 1.2 m in height and all gateways into the fenced area must be self closing and locking with child safety locks.

    But, and this is why you see some pools surrounded in fencing and some not, it doesn’t matter how far the fenced perimeter is from the swimming pool. So if your back garden is surrounded by, say, a sandstone wall higher than 1.2 m and is completely enclosed, all you need to do is make sure all the gates into your back garden comply with the pool safety laws. Then you have to make sure that all doorways from your house into the back garden are also self-closing with child safety locks.

    Then you’re pool doesn’t look as though it has a fence around it, and yes, it can look much nicer. Other than that, many people choose glass fencing these days and that doesn’t look too bad either.

    Hope that clears it up for you and thanks for popping by.



  • Rupert March 10, 2011, 10:18 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    While looking at houses with pools on the internet, there seem to be some with fences around the pool and others without.

    Personally I couldn’t stand to have an ugly fence around the pool and the first thing I’d do if I bought a house with one would be to rip it out.

    However, one or two people (and a couple of websites) have told me it is a legal requirement to have a fence around pool for obvious health and safety reasons. A public pool, yes of course, but a private pool at home? What’s that about?

    Furthermore, if it is a legal requirement, how come there are so many pools without fences? I’ve tried to find out, but I just can’t find any definitive legislation or even whether it’s just down to personal preference – if one has children for example, which I don’t.

    Great post Bob, I had no idea running a pool would be so expensive. Shocking!

    All the best


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