Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act

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.

Federal Requirements

All swimming pool and spa drain covers manufactured, distributed or entered into commerce in the United States shall meet entrapment protection standards set forth in the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard. This requirement is a consumer product safety rule enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

All public pools with a single main drain, other than an unblockable drain, must also be equipped with at least one of the following anti-entrapment devices or systems:

  • Safety Vacuum Release System
  • Suction-Limiting Vent System
  • Gravity Drainage System
  • Automatic Pump Shut-Off System
  • Drain Disablement
  • Other Equivalent System

State Grant Program

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has also established 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.

The enclosure of all outdoor residential pools and spas by barriers to entry that effectively prevent small children from gaining unsupervised and unfettered access.

All pools to be equipped with devices or systems that are designed to prevent entrapment by pool and spa drains.

Pools and spas built more than one year after enactment are to have more than one drain, one or more unblockable drains or no main drain.

Every swimming pool and spa that has a main drain, other than an unblockable drain, is to be equipped with a drain cover that meets the standards set forth in ASME/ANSI A112.19.8.

Periodic notification should be provided to owners of residential swimming pools or spas advising of compliance with entrapment protection standards.