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Pool and Safety Act

Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act of 2007 has been approved by Congress.

The Act specifies that on or after December 19, 2008, swimming pool and spa drain covers available for purchase in the United States must meet specific performance requirements. Additionally, public swimming pools, wading pools, spas and hot tubs must meet requirements for installation of compliant drain covers. New drain covers which meet the current standard are now beginning to make their way into the marketplace.

What does this new act mean to me? The new law mandates that all public pools and spas must be equipped with the proper anti-entrapment covers by December 2008.

What about private pools and hot tubs? One year after enactment -- in late 2008 -- it will be unlawful for residential drain covers to be made or marketed that do not comply with anti-entrapment standards. While there will be no door to door inspections, it will be the responsibility of the private pool owner to ensure their pool is safe for swimmers.

Federal Swimming Pool and Spa Drain Cover Standard • The bill would provide for a federal product safety standard for anti-entrapment drain covers. • Every pool or spa drain cover manufactured, distributed or entered into the stream of commerce in the U.S. must conform to the entrapment protection standards of the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard.

Public Pool Requirements

• Effective one year after the date of enactment, each public pool and spa must be equipped with anti-entrapment drain covers.

• Each public pool and spa with a single main drain (other than an unblockable drain) must also be equipped with a device or system designed to prevent entrapment, such as a safety vacuum release system.

• Public pools and spas are open to the public generally (whether for a fee or free of charge); open exclusively to members of an organization and their guests, residents of an apartment building; or operated by the federal government. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (Act) promotes the safe use of pools, spas and hot tubs by imposing mandatory federal requirements for suction entrapment avoidance and by establishing a voluntary grant program for states with laws that meet certain minimum requirements as outlined in the Act. Effective December 20, 2007, the Act is being administered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Mandatory Federal Requirements for Entrapment Avoidance. By December 20, 2008, the Act requires: Safety Drain Covers. Each swimming pool or spa drain cover manufactured, distributed, or entered into commerce in the United States shall conform to the American National Standard ASME A112.19.8 - 2007 Suction Fittings for Use in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Compliance with this Standard will be enforced by the CPSC as a consumer product safety rule. • Public Pool Drain Covers. Each public pool and spa (as defined), both new and existing, shall be equipped with drain covers conforming to the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 - 2007 Standard described above. •

Public Pool Drain Systems. Each public pool and spa (pump) with a single main drain, other than an unblockable drain, shall be equipped with one or more additional devices or systems designed to prevent suction entrapment that meet the requirements of any applicable ASME/ANSI Standard or applicable consumer product safety rule. In addition to a compliant drain cover, such additional devices or systems include a safety vacuum release system (SVRS), or suction limiting vent system, or gravity drainage system, or automatic pump shutoff system, or drain disablement, or other system determined by the CPSC to be equally effective in preventing suction entrapment. ANSI/APSP-7 Standard Exceeds Federal Requirements. All pools and spas configured to comply with ANSI/APSP–7 American National Standard for Suction Entrapment Avoidance in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs, and Catch Basins will comply with each of these mandatory requirements.

CPSC Federal Pool and Safety Act