In many areas of the country Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and the swimming pool season; however many pools throughout the nation are not yet up to par with new safety regulation enacted since last summer. The new Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, named for former secretary James Baker’s granddaughter who drowned after being sucked to the bottom of a hot tub by the suction force of the drain, is aimed at increasing pool saftey for all pool goers by ramping up saftey measures with particular focus on drain suction saftey.
"To give you a sense of how much force this is, two grown men tried to pull Graeme Baker off that spa drain and couldn’t get her off," says Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson.
The new law requires pool operators to install new anti-entrapment filters which are designed to ensure that hair, jewelry, and swimsuits do not become caught in the filter or drain. The new filters are dome shaped and look more like a cover than a traditional grate seen at the bottom of pools.
While most pools should have been fitted with the new filters already, high demand and the need for custom sizes and work has created a delay in getting many pools up to regulation.
While this may put a dent in some people’s plans for the early part of the summer, I think we can all agree that it is small price to pay for increased safety at our local swimming areas.