Concerns regarding the David Lionetti plea go beyond the particulars of the case.

Many Connecticut pool and spa professionals believe the legal outcome could affect current requirements for the pool and spa industry statewide.

Senate Bill 863, currently moving through the legislature, would require Connecticut pool contractors to obtain a building license specific to the trade. It is making its way to the full Senate, then will proceed to the House of Representatives. 

The bill is endorsed by CONSPA and the Northeast Spa & Pool Association.

“[The Lionetti case] will help put it over,” says John Romano, president of All American Custom Pools & Spas in Norwalk, Conn., a Pool & Spa News Top Builder. “I would think it’s going to have a positive effect because it [requires] continuing education … it professionalizes the industry and the people who are doing the work, and it’s good for the consumer. This [case] reinforces the need for it.”

On another front, the Lionetti case could influence Connecticut codes pertaining to safety vacuum release systems. The state began mandating the devices on all new pools when it adopted the 2003 International Residential Code’s Appendix G.

As Connecticut prepares to update its building code, CONSPA and NESPA are advocating adoption of the current IRC, which names SVRS’s as an option, but not a requirement. The effort to change the code has already hit roadblocks, and with the Lionetti decision, some believe that officials may want to adhere to the SVRS requirement.

“I’m thinking that they’re going to want to stick with what they feel is now a tried and true safety method,” says CONSPA President Holly Kulowski.