Virginia Graeme Baker Act
By now you have heard of the Virginia Graeme Baker Act and have probably had some frustrations. If they rose from lack of determining just what is needed for compliance, consult the flowchart that concludes this document. It will provide a basic roadmap by answering just five questions.
If you know what to do but have been unable to find appropriate covers, most of the common sizes are now available—a listing with manufacturers’ names and contact information can be found below. Similarly, a list of approved safety vacuum release system (SVRS) manufacturers follows later in this document.
You may have an irregular drain cover—one for which you cannot readily find a suitable replacement. The following steps may be useful.
- If your drain cover is floor-to-sidewall or unique in some other fashion take some underwater pictures and send them along with the measurements to some drain cover manufacturers to check on the availability of a replacement. A list follows for your convenience, but the most current list is located at http://www.cpsc.gov/BUSINFO/draincman.html. Remember to keep copies of the photos and your letters for file documentation.
- If you have multiple pool drains you should confirm water flow through each, thus ensuring that some are not shut off allowing all return water to flow through one drain. This can be done several ways:
- by verifying the in-deck T-valves are in the open position
- by introducing simple food coloring underwater just above the drains and visually observing the flow
- by having a flow meter installed on each line that leads into the common return pipe which goes to the pump—sometimes this method is infeasible
- If you have a single main drain and you cannot easily obtain a suitable drain cover, consider adding both a vacuum release system for the pool and an on-deck emergency pump shut off button. By providing multiple layers of entrapment protection you demonstrate a good faith effort to comply with the legislation even though you currently cannot obtain replacement drain covers.
- If your pool is a gravity drain pool, i.e., the pump draws water from a pit or basin instead of directly from the pool then step 3 is unnecessary—you still need to show good faith and attempt to obtain a drain cover that meets the legislation.
- When the above steps have been completed, your CEO should draft a letter and send it both to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), to the attention of Scott Wolfson, [email protected] and to your state/local health department. The letter should describe your existing pool situation in as much detail as possible (number and size of main drains, depth of water, distance between drains), the lack of available drain covers, who you have contacted for replacements, and the layers of protection you have added to try to meet the legislation requirements. Finally ask CPSC for recommendations to remedy your situation and explain that the cost to reconstruct your main drains (citing the specific amount) would be a hardship or devastating burden to your organization.
Whether or not the jurisdiction having authority in your area inspects or enforces the statute, it still applies and until compliance meets the letter of the law you are still liable for any injuries that may occur. The above documentation will hopefully show good faith in abiding by the legislation and requesting guidance from CPSC, but it does not absolve your but it does not absolve your compliance responsibility.
Manufacturers of ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 Approved Drain Covers
The following companies, listed alphabetically, manufacture pool and spa drain covers of various sizes and have represented to CPSC staff that their covers meet the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 standard, as required by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, Section 1404©(1)(A)(i).
This information is provided as a convenience to pool owners and operators. The CPSC does not provide approval or endorsements for any of these companies or their products. Other companies not listed may also manufacture products that meet the requirements of the law. Last updated 11/05/2008
Current Systems Inc.
23679 Calabasas Rd.
Calabasas CA 91302
Tel (866) 372-8886
Paddock Industries Inc.
555 Paddock Parkway
Rock Hill, SC 29730
Mike Schuett, Executive Vice President
Tel (800) 849-2729
World Wide Sports LLC
112 South Hanley Road, Suite 101
St. Louis, MO 63015-3418
Tel (314) 863-0040