Virginia Graeme Baker Safety Act
VIRGINIA GRAEME BAKER SAFETY ACT (VGB Act)
Swimming Pool and Spa Suction Entrapment Code and Law
IF YOUR SWIMMING POOL OR SPA IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE VGB ACT, THERE EXISTS THE SERIOUS POTENTIAL FOR INJURY AND DEATH FROM SUCTION ENTRAPMENT.
Congress has passed the Virginia Graeme Baker Safety Action (VGB Act).
The VGB Act is aimed at reducing deaths and injuries from suction entrapment hazards.
The VGB Act requires, in part, all swimming pools and spas:
(a) be equipped with anti-entrapment drain main covers that meet the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 performance standard;
(b) pool and/or spa constructed with a single main drain must be equipped with an additional device or system designated to prevent suction entrapment.
The VGB Act is divided into two categories: (1) public swimming pools/spas and (2) residential swimming pools/spas.
The public pools and spas portion of VGB Act has definite language and a mandatory compliance deadline of December 19,2008 for all public pools and spas nationwide and imposes stiff fines and penalties for non-compliance.
The residential pools and spas portion of VGB Act makes each state responsible to adopt the VGB Act. As of March 1, 2009, Pennsylvania and New Jersey had not adopted legislation mandating compliance with the VGB Act.
What this means for residential swimming pool and spa owners: Currently, complying with the VGB Act is not mandatory and does not impose any penalty to a homeowner whose swimming pool or spa are not in compliance with the VGB Act. HOWEVER, RAINES POOL SERVICE STRONGLY RECOMMENDS YOUR SWIMMING POOL OR SPA COMPLY WITH THE VGB ACT.
Raines Pool Service will inspect your swimming pool and spa for compliance with the VGB Act when the spring assembly is performed and notify each homeowner of any and all action that is necessary to bring the swimming pool and spa into compliance with the VGB Act. RAINES POOL SERVICE STRONGLY RECOMMENDS ALL NECESSARY ACTION BE TAKEN TO BRING YOUR POOL/SPA INTO COMPLIANCE.
The most common actions necessary to become compliant:
(a) Replace the bottom drain cover. Usually this can be done without draining the swimming pool and requires someone to dive to the bottom drain, remove existing cover and replace with new compliant cover. Occasionally, an existing bottom drain may require modifications in order to accept the new compliant cover.
(b) Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS): A mechanical devise installed to each swimming pool and spa pump which when activated releases suction at the swimming pool and spa intake portals. There are external SVRS systems that can be added to existing pumps. Also, equipment manufacturers have developed new high energy efficient pump systems that contain an internal SVRS system.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is responsible for the oversight of the VGB Act. For more information on the VGB Act, visit, www.cpsc.gov, keyword search, Virginia Graeme Baker.