I have been obsessively following the U.S. Supreme Court for most of my adult life.

Not only do I find the individual justices fascinating, but I also love to read about the cases themselves. Only the most complex and nuanced legal questions are heard by the highest court in the land, and it’s a lot of fun to weigh the merits of each side’s argument. (What can I say? I’m a bit of a geek.)

But a number of years ago, I discovered something important about how the justices’ decisions are depicted in the press. The case had to do with Oregon’s assisted suicide law, which was being fought by the federal government on the grounds that it ran counter to the Controlled Substances Act. The case received a lot of press, and the Supreme Court ultimately upheld Oregon’s law; however, none of the reports contained any analysis of the arguments that allowed states’ rights to triumph over federal law.

So I read the justices’ reasoning for myself, and what I learned surprised me. The actual details aren’t relevant here, but what’s important is that the issues are extremely complex, and by gaining a clearer understanding of them, I am much better informed about matters that may affect my life someday.

All this is to say that as a member of the pool and spa industry, you should make time to read the article on the recent drain cover recall.

Now you might be thinking, “Enough recall already. I don’t care about that mess.” But with all due respect, you’d be wrong.

First of all, every media report regarding what happened is biased and lacking in detail, much like the Oregon case. But unlike a distant law in another state, the drain cover recall continues to have a direct and profound effect on every single member of this industry — the bad publicity alone probably cost us millions of dollars collectively.

The special report in this issue explains, in an easy-to-understand format, exactly where the problems occurred and how they are being solved today. Not only that, but in my humble opinion, it makes for interesting reading.

For example, did you know that the hair entrapment test is conducted using fine, blonde, European hair because it tangles more easily? Or how about the fact that to determine if a finger can get stuck in the drain holes, the test calls for a sort of fake hand that is the width of a toddler’s with a “finger” that is as long as a basketball player’s.

“Covering the Drain” is the only place where the design of suction outlet covers, the standard that governs them, and the events that made national news are all explained with clarity and without bias.

To my mind, it should be required reading for everyone who deals with this high-profile and potentially lifesaving product.