A recent article noted that the Federal Government is again rethinking what commercial pools – those at hotels, apartment and condo complexes, gated communities, parks and recreation and others that fall under the guidelines of a commercial pool versus residential pools – have to do to keep those who use their pools safe, especially children. This means revisiting pool trains and entrapment.
The Associated Press released an article recently that stated: “The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted 3-2 to revoke guidance it provided pool operators nearly 18 months ago about how to comply with a sweeping 2007 law aimed at preventing drain suction from trapping swimmers under water. The law was passed in response to several horrific child entrapment deaths, including the 7-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James A. Baker.”
Drain Entrapment Changes
Government figures report that, between 1999 and 2010, there were approximately 80 injuries because of pool and hot tub drain entrapments and twelve deaths. However, no fatalities have been reported in the last three years. Yet, further improvements are being regulated anyways.
Now, public pools that have a single main drain will need to also have a back-up system that would shut the suction of the drain. Prior, the ruling was that commercial pools could use what is called an “unblockable” drain cover. However, there have been cases where this didn’t work because the drain cover broke off or it was not installed properly and did not protect swimmers. Those pools that already have multiple drain systems are not affected by the new ruling.
The new equipment must be installed by May 2012 or many commercial pools with the single drain systems will have to close down. With the article reporting that the country has at least 300,000 public pools and spas with single-drain systems, there is a lot to get done to reach the compliance on safety.
Is it Necessary?
The debate is clearly not over as many claim the back-up systems will kick in too late to save a child who has been suctioned into the drain. However, not much is yet known on the real impact that these back-up systems would have on safety and drownings. Others note that the cost and burden in the face of economic hardship will simply result in closed pools and fewer swimming lessons, which they feel will actually increase drownings in the long run.
Find Out What You Need to Be Compliant
Whether it’s necessary or not remains to be seen, but, in the meantime, commercial pools need to be aware of the new compliance they are now expected to adhere to. Check with the local health department office that covers your area to learn more.
If you have questions regarding your commercial pool and compliance, please contact us so that we can provide an inspection and install the equipment, if necessary, so that your commercial pool in Palmdale, Lancaster, Acton or Southern California is compliant.
Tags: commercial main drains, commercial pools, main drain compliance, main drain regulations, palmdale commercial pools, palmdale swimming pools, swimming pool safety