Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety ActOn September 28, 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted 3-2 to interpret an unblockable pool or spa drain based on the size of the drain opening and not the size of the drain cover used over the sump. The Commissioners heard from some members of Congress and families who have lost their children in drain entrapment incidents, and both groups informed the agency that the law was intended to require a back-up system or device, if a public pool or spa has a single main drain that is of a blockable size (smaller than 18" x 23"). Since the law went into effect in December 2008, many public pool and spa operators with blockable sized single main drain systems installed a VGB compliant drain cover and an automatic pump shut-off device or SVRS device (or already had a gravity drainage system or suction-limiting vent system, which are two of the other back-up options).
It is very important for the pool and spa industry to be aware that CPSC is not saying that unblockable sized drain covers should be removed from facilities that installed them on small single main drains. Rather, the Commission is directing pool and spa operators to add a back-up system or device. The Commissioners and the staff, in fact, recognize that unblockable sized drain covers are an advance in pool safety. Yet, layers of protection are an important principal that the VGB Act promotes. This message only affects public pools and spas that used CPSC's 2010 interpretation to install an unblockable sized drain cover over a blockable sized single main drain, without adding a back-up system or device.
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGB) was enacted in late December 2007 to enhance pool and spa safety through new federal requirements for safety drain covers and anti-entrapment systems and through a grant program for states that enact further pool and spa safety regulations.
Read the complete VGB Pool and Spa Safety Act.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission will also establish a grant program to assist states in hiring and training enforcement personnel on the new federal regulations required under VGB and to educate pool companies, pool owners and operators of the new requirements.
To be eligible states must have a statute, or enact or amend a statute, that meets the following minimum safety requirements.
Drain Cover Successor - 7/20/2011
Drain Cover Recall - 5/26/2011