The Consumer Product Safety Commission was mistaken in saying that suction-blocking devices would be required on all residential pools.

In fact, the devices will be optional for those residential pools required to comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

In late August, CPSC released its initial interpretation of the residential requirements of the federal law. Unlike the commercial requirements, these need only be followed in states wishing to receive grant money from CPSC. The final draft will come after a public-comment period.

The incorrect statement read that, in addition to multiple main drains per pump, every residential pool would require a safety vacuum release system, vent system or automatic pump shut-off by December 2008.

“There were some errors within the agency,” CPSC spokesperson Scott Wolfson said. “It was brought to our attention, and we worked as quickly as possible to get the revised information to key stakeholders. We apologize.”

In actuality, the law would mandate either multiple main drains, unblockable drains or a drainless system. These changes would be required on new pools only — those built more than one year after passing of the state law seeking to comply with the act.

The Pool and Spa Safety Act still requires all residential pools to be outfitted with drain covers approved according to ASME/ANSI A112.19.8.

Because of the error, the public comment period has been extended to Oct. 14.