The Consumer Product Safety Commission is sticking to
the Dec. 19, 2008, deadline for commercial pools to comply
with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
By that date, all main drain covers sold must meet
specified performance standards, and all commercial pools,
wading pools, spas and hot tubs must be outfitted with
Single main drain pools must have one of the qualifying
entrapment-prevention options outlined, including
suction-limiting vent systems, gravity drainage systems
and/or safety vacuum release systems.
To qualify as a multiple main-drain system, all pumps
must have two or more drains, set at least 3 feet apart on
So-called ?unblockable drains? measuring
at least 18-by-23 inches can stand alone, but still must be
certified for UV testing; maximum flow; strength testing;
and hair, limb and finger entrapment.
?It?s surprising how many people
[believe] if the cover is larger than 18-by-23, they
don?t need to be certified to meet any part of the
standard,? said Larry Benz, national sales manager
at Lawson Aquatics in Naples, Fla.
Pools not operating on the deadline date, such as those
that close for winter, need not comply until they
Noncompliant operators face penalties of up to $1.8
million, and ?willful violations? could
result in criminal penalties, including fines or
For more information on the law, register for the
Aquatics International Webinar on Oct. 22. The
one-hour online offering will feature experts, including a