The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was signed into law in December 2007, giving owners of public pools until December 2008 to comply with the new pool drain safety requirements. This law applies to all pre-existing public and semi-public pools and to any new pools (public or private) built after December 2008. Pool expert David Morrill, President of Pool Resolution Consulting, Inc., says “Even a very small filter pump can create sufficient suction power to trap a person underwater or cause fatal injuries . At the very least hotel and apartment management should immediately install temporary fixes so a tragic accident does not occur at your AAA destination.”
If you currently have a non-compliant drain system in your public or semi-public pool or spa, the law applies. All commercial, public or semi-public pools are required to install approved two drain systems with covers that qualify under ANSI/ASME A112.19.8-2007 code or comply using other approved alternates such as:
* Install an approved “unblockable” channel drain * Disable the drain, or convert it from a suction line to a pool return * Install a Safety Vacuum Release System
“With the first lawsuit being filed for non-compliance of the VGB act, look for the local authorities to follow up and begin enforcing the code and fines more vigorously,” said Morrill.