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NOTICE of New Federal Pool Requirements

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act


The provisions of the new law are designed to prevent serious injuries and fatalities associated with suction entrapment in pools and spas.

By December 19, 2008, in accordance with the new federal law

  • ALL public, semi-public and special purpose swimming pool drain/grate covers MUST conform to the American National Standard ASME A112.19.8 – 2007 Suction Fittings for Use in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs, or any successor standard, published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME);
  • EVERY public, semi-public and special purpose swimming pool with a single main drain, other than
    an unblockable drain (interpreted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to have minimum imensions of 18 inches by 23 inches or have a diagonal measurement of 29 inches or more), MUST be equipped with one or more additional systems or devices designed to prevent suction entrapment. As outlined in the law these additional systems or devices may include a safety vacuum release system (SVRS), suction limiting vent system, gravity drainage system, automatic pump shut-off, or any other system determined by the CPSC to be equally effective in preventing suction entrapment;
  • If a public, semi-public or special purpose pool can not comply by December 19, 2008, the CPSC requires that the pool or special purpose pool shut down until the proper covers are installed and, when applicable, an additional suction entrapment prevention device or system is installed as outlined in the law; and
  • Non-compliance with these federal provisions may result in the imposition of civil or criminal penalties under sections 20 or 21 of the Consumer Product Safety Act.

 

By December 19, 2008, in accordance with regulation 105 CMR 435.00

  • Anti-vortex drain covers must be replaced if they do not meet ASME A112.19.8 – 2007;
  • Gravity drainage systems are NOT exempt from the drain/grate cover provisions;
  • Drain disablement is NOT an acceptable suction entrapment prevention option, pursuant to 105 CMR 435.00 Minimum Standards for Swimming Pools, State Sanitary Code, Chapter V;
  • An operating permit, pursuant to 105 CMR 435.21, should NOT be issued to any public, semipublic or special purpose pool that does not comply with the requirements;
  • Variances pursuant to 105 CMR 435.46 shall NOT be granted since the federal law implies preemption of state requirements;
  • Public, semi-public and special purpose swimming pools that are not open on December 19, 2008 are not required to be in compliance until the day that they re-open; and
  • It is the pool operators’ RESPONSIBILITY to provide written confirmation that pool drain/grate covers conform to the American National Standard ASME A112.19.8 – 2007.

 

 

H.R. 6—303 to 309

TITLE XIV—POOL AND SPA SAFETY

 

SEC. 1401. SHORT TITLE.

This title may be cited as the ‘‘Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act’’.

SEC. 1402. FINDINGS.

Congress finds the following:

  1. Of injury-related deaths, drowning is the second leading cause of death in children aged 1 to 14in the United States.
  2. In 2004, 761 children aged 14 and under died as a result of unintentional drowning.
  3. Adult supervision at all aquatic venues is a critical safety factor in preventing children from drowning.
  4. Research studies show that the installation and proper use of barriers or fencing, as well as additional layers of protection, could substantially reduce the number of childhood residential swimming pool drownings and near drownings.

 

SEC. 1403. DEFINITIONS.

In this title:

  1. ASME/ANSI.—The term ‘‘ASME/ANSI’’ as applied to a safety standard means such a standard that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute and published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  2. BARRIER.—The term ‘‘barrier’’ includes a natural or constructed topographical feature that prevents unpermitted access by children to a swimming pool, and, with respect to a hot tub, a lockable cover.
  3. COMMISSION.—The term ‘‘Commission’’ means the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  4. MAIN DRAIN.—The term ‘‘main drain’’ means a submerged suction outlet typically located at the bottom of a pool or spa to conduct water to a recirculating pump.
  5. SAFETY VACUUM RELEASE SYSTEM.—The term ‘‘safety vacuum release system’’ means a vacuum release system capable of providing vacuum release at a suction outlet caused by a high vacuum occurrence due to a suction outlet flow blockage.
  6. SWIMMING POOL; SPA.—The term ‘‘swimming pool’’ or ‘‘spa’’ means any outdoor or indoor structure intended for swimming or recreational bathing, including in-ground and aboveground structures, and includes hot tubs, spas, portable spas, and non-portable wading pools.
  7. UNBLOCKABLE DRAIN.—The term ‘‘unblockable drain’’ means a drain of any size and shape that a human body cannot sufficiently block to create a suction entrapment hazard.

 

SEC. 1404. FEDERAL SWIMMING POOL AND SPA DRAIN COVER STANDARD.

  1. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY RULE.—The requirements described in subsection (b) shall be treated as a consumer product safety rule issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission under the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2051 et seq.).
  2. DRAIN COVER STANDARD.—Effective 1 year after the date of enactment of this title, each swimming pool or spa drain cover manufactured, distributed, or entered into commerce in the United States shall conform to the entrapment protection standards of the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard, or any successor standard regulating such swimming pool or drain cover.
  3. PUBLIC POOLS.—
    1. REQUIRED EQUIPMENT.—
      1. IN GENERAL.—Beginning 1 year after the date of enactment of this title—
        1. each public pool and spa in the United States shall be equipped with anti-entrapment devices or systems that comply with the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard, or any successor standard; and (ii) each public pool and spa in the United States with a single main drain other than an unblockable drain shall be equipped, at a minimum, with 1 or more of the following devices or systems designed to prevent entrapment by pool or spa drains that meets the requirements of subparagraph (B):

          1. SAFETY VACUUM RELEASE SYSTEM.—A safety vacuum release system which ceases operation of H. R. 6—305 the pump, reverses the circulation flow, or otherwise provides a vacuum release at a suction outlet when a blockage is detected, that has been tested by an independent third party and found to conform to ASME/ANSI standard A112.19.17 or ASTM standard F2387.
          2. SUCTION-LIMITING VENT SYSTEM.—A suction-limiting vent system with a tamperresistant atmospheric opening.
          3. GRAVITY DRAINAGE SYSTEM.—A gravity drainage system that utilizes a collector tank.
          4. AUTOMATIC PUMP SHUT-OFF SYSTEM.—An automatic pump shut-off system.
          5. DRAIN DISABLEMENT.—A device or system that disables the drain.
          6. OTHER SYSTEMS.—Any other system determined by the Commission to be equally effective as, or better than, the systems described in subclauses (I) through (V) of this clause at preventing or eliminating the risk of injury or death associated with pool drainage systems.
        2. APPLICABLE STANDARDS.—Any device or system described in subparagraph (A)(ii) shall meet the requirements of any ASME/ANSI or ASTM performance standard if there is such a standard for such a device or system, or any applicable consumer product safety standard.
      2. PUBLIC POOL AND SPA DEFINED.—In this subsection, the term ‘‘public pool and spa’’ means a swimming pool or spa that is—

        1. open to the public generally, whether for a fee or free of charge;
        2. open exclusively to—
          1. members of an organization and their guests;
          2. residents of a multi-unit apartment building, apartment complex, residential real estate development, or other multi-family residential area (other than a municipality, township, or other local government jurisdiction); or
          3. patrons of a hotel or other public accommodations facility; or
        3. operated by the Federal Government (or by a concessionaire on behalf of the Federal Government) for the benefit of members of the Armed Forces and their dependents or employees of any department or agency and their dependents.
      3. ENFORCEMENT.—Violation of paragraph (1) shall be considered to be a violation of section 19(a)(1) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2068(a)(1)) and may also be enforced under section 17 of that Act (15 U.S.C. 2066).

 

SEC. 1405. STATE SWIMMING POOL SAFETY GRANT PROGRAM.

  1. IN GENERAL.—Subject to the availability of appropriations authorized by subsection (e), the Commission shall establish a grant program to provide assistance to eligible States.
  2. ELIGIBILITY.—To be eligible for a grant under the program, a State shall—
    1. demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that it has a State statute, or that, after the date of enactment of this title, it has enacted a statute, or amended an existing statute, and provides for the enforcement of, a law that—

      1. except as provided in section 1406(a)(1)(A)(i), applies to all swimming pools in the State; and
      2. meets the minimum State law requirements of section 1406; and
    2. submit an application to the Commission at such time, in such form, and containing such additional information as the Commission may require.
  3. AMOUNT OF GRANT.—The Commission shall determine the amount of a grant awarded under this title, and shall consider—
    1. the population and relative enforcement needs of each qualifying State; and
    2. allocation of grant funds in a manner designed to provide the maximum benefit from the program in terms of protecting children from drowning or entrapment, and, in making that allocation, shall give priority to States that have not received a grant under this title in a preceding fiscal year.
  4. USE OF GRANT FUNDS.—A State receiving a grant under this section shall use—
    1. at least 50 percent of amounts made available to hire and train enforcement personnel for implementation and enforcement of standards under the State swimming pool and spa safety law; and
    2. the remainder—

      1. to educate pool construction and installation companies and pool service companies about the standards;
      2. to educate pool owners, pool operators, and other members of the public about the standards under the swimming pool and spa safety law and about the prevention of drowning or entrapment of children using swimming pools and spas; and
      3. to defray administrative costs associated with such training and education programs.
  5. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission for each of fiscal years 2009 and 2010 $2,000,000 to carry out this section, such sums to remain available until expended. Any amounts appropriated pursuant to this subsection that remain unexpended and unobligated at the end of fiscal year 2010 shall be retained by the Commission and credited to the appropriations account that funds enforcement of the Consumer Product Safety Act.

 

SEC. 1406. MINIMUM STATE LAW REQUIREMENTS.

  1. IN GENERAL.—
    1. SAFETY STANDARDS.—A State meets the minimum State law requirements of this section if—
      1. the State requires by statute—
        1. the enclosure of all outdoor residential pools and spas by barriers to entry that will effectively prevent small children from gaining unsupervised and unfettered access to the pool or spa;
        2. that all pools and spas be equipped with devices and systems designed to prevent entrapment by pool or spa drains;
        3. that pools and spas built more than 1 year after the date of the enactment of such statute have—

          1. more than 1 drain;
          2. 1 or more unblockable drains; or
          3. no main drain;
        4. every swimming pool and spa that has a main drain, other than an unblockable drain, be equipped with a drain cover that meets the consumer product safety standard established by section 1404; and
        5. that periodic notification is provided to owners of residential swimming pools or spas about compliance with the entrapment protection standards of the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard, or any successor standard; and
      2. the State meets such additional State law requirements for pools and spas as the Commission may establish after public notice and a 30-day public comment period.
    2. NO LIABILITY INFERENCE ASSOCIATED WITH STATE NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT.—The minimum State law notification requirement under paragraph (1)(A)(v) shall not be construed to imply any liability on the part of a State related to that requirement.
    3. USE OF MINIMUM STATE LAW REQUIREMENTS.—The Commission—
      1. shall use the minimum State law requirements under paragraph (1) solely for the purpose of determining the eligibility of a State for a grant under section 1405 of this Act; and
      2. may not enforce any requirement under paragraph (1) except for the purpose of determining the eligibility of a State for a grant under section 1405 of this Act.
    4. REQUIREMENTS TO REFLECT NATIONAL PERFORMANCE STANDARDS AND COMMISSION GUIDELINES.—In establishing minimum State law requirements under paragraph (1), the Commission shall—
      1. consider current or revised national performance standards on pool and spa barrier protection and entrapment prevention; and
      2. ensure that any such requirements are consistent with the guidelines contained in the Commission’s publication 362, entitled ‘‘Safety Barrier Guidelines for Home Pools’’, the Commission’s publication entitled ‘‘Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards: Making Pools and Spas Safer’’, and any other pool safety guidelines established by the Commission.
  2. STANDARDS.—Nothing in this section prevents the Commission from promulgating standards regulating pool and spa safety or from relying on an applicable national performance standard.
  3. BASIC ACCESS-RELATED SAFETY DEVICES AND EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS TO BE CONSIDERED.—In establishing minimum State law requirements for swimming pools and spas under subsection (a)(1), the Commission shall consider the following requirements:

    1. COVERS.—A safety pool cover.
    2. GATES.—A gate with direct access to the swimming pool or spa that is equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device.
    3. DOORS.—Any door with direct access to the swimming pool or spa that is equipped with an audible alert device or alarm which sounds when the door is opened.
    4. POOL ALARM.—A device designed to provide rapid detection of an entry into the water of a swimming pool or spa.
  4. ENTRAPMENT, ENTANGLEMENT, AND EVISCERATION PREVENTION STANDARDS TO BE REQUIRED.—
    1. IN GENERAL.—In establishing additional minimum State law requirements for swimming pools and spas under subsection (a)(1), the Commission shall require, at a minimum, 1 or more of the following (except for pools constructed without a single main drain):

      1. SAFETY VACUUM RELEASE SYSTEM.—A safety vacuum release system which ceases operation of the pump, reverses the circulation flow, or otherwise provides a vacuum release at a suction outlet when a blockage is detected, that has been tested by an independent third party and found to conform to ASME/ANSI standard A112.19.17 or ASTM standard F2387, or any successor standard.
      2. SUCTION-LIMITING VENT SYSTEM.—A suction-limiting vent system with a tamper-resistant atmospheric opening.
      3. GRAVITY DRAINAGE SYSTEM.—A gravity drainage system that utilizes a collector tank.
      4. AUTOMATIC PUMP SHUT-OFF SYSTEM.—An automatic pump shut-off system.
      5. DRAIN DISABLEMENT.—A device or system that disables the drain.
      6. OTHER SYSTEMS.—Any other system determined by the Commission to be equally effective

        as, or better than, the systems described in subparagraphs (A) through (E) of this paragraph at

        preventing or eliminating the risk of injury or death associated with pool drainage systems.

    2. APPLICABLE STANDARDS.—Any device or system described in subparagraphs (B) through (E) of paragraph (1) shall meet the requirements of any ASME/ANSI or ASTM performance standard if there is such a standard for such a device or system, or any applicable consumer product safety standard.

 

SEC. 1407. EDUCATION PROGRAM.

  1. IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall establish and carry out an education program to inform the public of methods to prevent drowning and entrapment in swimming pools and spas. In carrying out the program, the Commission shall develop—

    1. educational materials designed for pool manufacturers, pool service companies, and pool supply retail outlets;
    2. educational materials designed for pool owners and operators; and
    3. a national media campaign to promote awareness of pool and spa safety.
  2. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission for each of the fiscal years 2008 through 2012 $5,000,000 to carry out the education program authorized by subsection (a).

 

SEC. 1408. CPSC REPORT.

Not later than 1 year after the last day of each fiscal year for which grants are made under section 1405, the Commission shall submit to Congress a report evaluating the implementation of the grant program authorized by that section.

 

 

South Shore Gunite Pool & Spa, Inc.
Main Drain Guideline 10/27/2008

 

New Pools

  1. All new pools and spas constructed by SSG will be compliant with the following
    codes and standards as they relate to main drain safety:
    1. VGB Pool and Spa Safety Act 2007
    2. ANSI/APSP- 7-2006 Standard for Suction Entrapment Avoidance
    3. IRC/IBC 2006 Section G Building Code
    4. ASME A112.19.8-2007 Standard for Suction Fittings
    5. 105CMR 435-1998 Mass. Minimum Standard for Swimming Pools
  2. Requirements:
    1. Each pool/spa will have one unblockable outlet or at least two blockable outlets for each pump, at least three feet apart or on different planes. Outlets shall be plumbed such that water is drawn through them simultaneously with the common tee midway between the outlets. Maximum velocity in all plumbing shall not exceed 6 fps.
    2. The cover shall be “listed” to ASME A112.19.8-2007 Standards. The cover shall be stamped with maximum flow in gpm, years of life before the cover is replaced and “ASME A112.19.8-2007”. Velocity across the grate shall not exceed 1.5 fps.
    3. In single or dual suction outlets, the flow rating for each outlet shall be greater than the maximum system flow. In three or more outlets, the sum of the flow ratings shall be least twice the maximum system flow.
    4. Covers shall be mounted on manufactured sumps or field fabricated sump where the clearance between the cover and outlet pipe is 1.5 x the ID of the pipe.
    5. There will not be any vacuum outlets installed.
    6. Equalizer lines shall have listed fittings for vertical use.
    7. Each pump with a direct plumbed main drain outlet shall have an SVRS.

 

Existing Pools

  1. All existing commercial pools and spas serviced by SSG will be compliant with the following codes and standards as they relate to main drain safety:
    1. VGB Pool and Spa Safety Act 2007
    2. ASME A112.19.8-2007 Standard for Suction Fittings
  2. Requirements:
    1. All drain covers must be listed to ASME A112.19.8-2007 Standards.
    2. Maximum Flow on covers must not be exceeded.
    3. An unblockable cover must not be installed on a blockable sump.
    4. Covers shall be mounted on manufactured sumps or field fabricated sump where the clearance between the cover and outlet pipe is 1.5 x the ID of the pipe.
    5. Single Main Drains must be unblockable or a second layer of protection is required. A gravity drain system or SVRS would be two of the methods of protection.
    6. Vacuum Lines are to be permanently disabled.
    7. Equalizer Lines shall have listed fittings for vertical use.
    8. All Spas and pools less than 2 feet deep shall have a second layer of protection. SVRS or gravity drain system would be two of the ways of protection.

 

Disclaimer:

This is a guideline for to be used use in evaluating pool and spa compliance to the above listed codes and standards. It does not relieve the pool/spa owner from fully understanding the dangers of entrapment, evisceration, drowning and other pool/spa hazards. Nor does it relieve the owner of fully understanding the APSP standards and the Virgina Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

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