Q: What are public pool and spa owners/operators obligated to do to comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (Act)?
A: As of December 19, 2008, all operating public pools and spas must have drain covers that meet the ANSI/ASME A112.19.8–2007 standard on every drain/grate. A list of drain cover manufacturers can be found at www.cpsc.gov/whatsnew.html#pool. In addition, if the pool has a single main drain (other than an unblockable drain), the operator must either disable the drain or install a second anti-entrapment device or system. This can take the form of an automatic shutoff system, gravity drainage system, Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) or suction-limiting vent system.
A pool may have more than one single main drain. If a pool has dual or multiple main drains more than 3 feet apart, it may be exempt from this second requirement. Pools and spas with single main drains that are unblockable are also exempt from this requirement. A list of SVRS manufacturers can be found at http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/draincman.html
(Jan. 30, 2009)