In recent years, residential developments have increased the use of water features as an integral part of their developments. Water features range from small ornamental ponds and wetlands to larger lakes of 4 hectares capable of handling boat and ferry traffic. These water bodies are used either to offer a calm, relaxing and aesthetically pleasing environment for passive recreation or to service storm water quality treatment needs.
The development of any water feature introduces a level of risk to the public. In support of the continued development of water safety in aquatic environments, Royal Life Saving has developed a suite of Guidelines for Water Safety including the Guidelines for Water Safety – Urban Water Developments.
The Guidelines for Water Safety - Urban Water Developments are relevant for purpose-built water environments, near or around areas which the general public may frequent, including:
- Residential developments in both urban and rural settings
- Commercial developments such as shopping precincts and hospitality venues
- A combination of residential and commercial developments
- Public spaces e.g. parkland and reserves
The safety considerations listed here do not encompass residential swimming pools and spas that are covered by existing regulations and safety programs.
These Guidelines contain vital information for land managers, developers, landscape architects, urban planners, local government agencies and state/territory government agencies.