Hayward Pool Products is pledging up to $1 million in Hayward safety vacuum release systems (SVRS) to North American pools in need.

The Elizabeth, N.J.-based manufacturer’s “Safe Swimming Initiative” will assist public pools facing compliance challenges with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act because of budgetary issues. Public or nonprofit facilities serving populations that are underprivileged or have special needs will receive special consideration.

“There are many facilities serving underprivileged children, senior citizens, physically or mentally disabled citizens or other worthy causes. For whatever reason, they are not yet compliant and are at risk of not opening this spring. We want to help,” said Kevin Potucek, Hayward’s vice president of product management. He added that the intent is to serve as many facilities as possible and drive home the message that when it comes to VGBA compliance, “the sooner the better.”

The initiative, which Potucek said was in the works since last season, is estimated to benefit between 700 and 1,000 facilities. It is set to run through July 1 or until $1 million in products have been awarded, whichever comes first. Facility operators awarded product will be referred to registered installers.

VGBA came along at a time when budgets were decreasing and, as a result, the cost burden was huge and there are probably still a lot of operators who need this help, said Clay Shuck, deputy manager of recreation at South Suburban Parks and Recreation in Colorado.

“Anything that makes it easier for public pools to comply with the act is very helpful,” added Kathleen Reilly, CPSC public affairs specialist. To submit a request for consideration in Hayward’s Safe Swimming Initiative visit Hayward’s Website.