Credit: PHOTO COURTESY HOME ESCAPES
Safety Commission is extending by one year the deadline for
retrofitting unblockable drains in public pools.
In 2010, the CPSC determined that an unblockable drain cover could
be installed over a smaller sump to comply with the Virginia Graeme
Baker Act. But last September, the group reversed itself, requiring
that the sumps also meet certain dimensional and flow criteria. The
CPSC mandated retrofits on those drains that fell out of the
unblockable category, and set a deadline of May 28, 2012 for
compliance. Officials said a later date could be considered based
on public comments.
Last week, staff recommended to the four sitting Commissioners that
the deadline be extended to May 23, 2013, the Thursday before
“If a pool operator installed an unblockable drain system,
staff believes it is reasonable to allow them time to budget and
plan for the expenditure required to install a secondary
anti-entrapment system,” said a staff memo to
On April 5, the ruling passed 3-1, with the dissenting vote coming
from CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. The two Republican Commissioners
who opposed last year’s switch — Anne Northup and Nancy
Nord — voted for the extension, as did Robert Adler, a
Democrat who had called for more exploration on the deadline.
“Anne is more than happy with this outcome,” said
Northup’s spokesman, Mark Fellin. “She’s glad
that the Commission chose to move in this direction, and
she’s hopeful that this will help the industry in this change
of the interpretation.”
CPSC stated that this extension would apply only to those
facilities affected by the unblockable-drain change, and that
enforcement will continue uninterrupted on all other public pools
Though there have been many comments urging CPSC to go back to its
original unblockable-drain definition, no signs indicate that a
reconsideration will take place.