The industry is still struggling to figure out the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.


So which pools are affected by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act?

As most professionals know, every commercial pool and spa was to have been brought into compliance by Dec. 19, 2008. This means that all drain covers are to be VGB-approved, and all pools are to have either dual-drain systems, unblockable drains, or single drains backed up with an SVRS or similar device.

On the residential side, there is only one stipulation that applies across the country: Any drain cover being installed after Dec. 19, 2008, whether as part of new construction or a renovation, must be VGB-approved.

Other residential stipulations will come into effect in states seeking grant money from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. To gain these funds, states must pass pool and spa safety legislation that meets or exceeds minimum requirements established by the CPSC. These minimums include at least one more form of entrapment prevention, whether it be dual drains, an unblockable drain or a back-up device.

Beginning a year after enactment of a state law, all new pools and spas must have multiple drains, unblockable drains or no drains at all. The model bill also stipulates drowning-prevention measures, such as fences at least 48 inches above grade, and an alarm or power safety cover if the house serves as one side of the barrier.

So far, no states have applied for the grant. So, when it comes to residential pools and spas, other than the drain cover requirement, professionals are only beholden to state and municipal codes for the time being.