WAR widow Valda Smith is just one of thousands of northern residents who have dived into the murky waters of getting their pool on the new safety register.
It was, she admits, like doing a few laps with a log tied around your leg.
Most other pool owners agree with her assessment – the compliance checklist is not easy or simple, but it has to be done.
And while it is testing, it doesn’t have to be that much of a trial if you use some extra resources.
In the end, Mrs Smith went for a fairly simple solution for her testing waters.
She tackled the checklist as best she could, had her neighbour look it over too, enlisted the eagle eye of her daughter, talked to the pool cleaner, and then brought in a pool maintenance person to put the finishing touches to it all.
Mrs Smith’s pool has been there for 30 years, long before her late husband Phil died, and for years the place her grandchildren, now all grown up, played and mucked around in.
Thirteen grandkids learnt to swim in the family pool but knowing how to validate the new safety standards became a bit of a headache when she started to plough through the certification checklist.
“I thought I was pretty right when I first did it but there were three things I wasn’t sure about,” Mrs Smith said.
They included the latches, the locks and the self-closing gates. Hers shut the wrong way, for one thing, so that needed fixing.
“We have been here for years and we thought we were safe for years. No one got into the pool without an adult sitting or watching but now things are different. I think safety is the main thing so in the end I feel better about it all. It’s done but I do know how a lot of people are feeling when they first sit down to do it.”
One complaint from a concerned neighbour was that when they first struck the red tape they got nowhere fast with the local council.
Former property agent Reg Brody took Tamworth Regional Council to task when the council said it couldn’t pop up and verify things – but the council has since said that it estimates there could be up to 6000 pools in the regional council area and they don’t have the resources nor budget to undertake such visits.