How to comply with the VGB Pool and Spa Safety Act

By Ben Basch October 25, 2013 ,


Entrapment hazards are among the most dangerous aspects of a pool, and are often caused by suction flowing through drains. As a pool manager, you likely know how serious of a liability noncompliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act is, and that enough attention to detail will ensure that visitors can take a safe and comfortable dip whenever they please.

However, keeping up with this process is somewhat difficult, especially as the compliance statutes continue to evolve amid the increased prevalence of drowning among children in pools. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 10 people die from unintentional drowning every day in the United States, translating to thousands annually.

Managers can ensure that their environments are safe and compliant with regulations by using a professional pool management provider. This way, experts will be managing the entirety of the pool situation, while the supervisor will be free to tackle other projects.

Drain covers will expire

The Greater Dayton Apartment Association reported that suction outlet covers that were once deemed compliant with the VGB Act are set to expire in the coming months. According to the organization, the original covers were decided upon with a five-year deadline, which falls in December, to ensure that all commercial pools are safe and aligned with the law.

Members of the professional pool management community have already started to see what issues commercial pool operators might run into without the necessary support. For example, the association noted that it will often be difficult to distinguish between a compliant pool drain cover and one that isn’t up to code, especially if original records weren’t kept up properly.

What’s more, the GDAA added that there was a massive recall back in 2011, which led to even more headaches among commercial pool managers. Furthermore, these statutes are consistent in terms of adherence across the nation, although enforcement measures taken by local municipalities tend to vary on a state-by-state basis.

Without exceptional knowledge of both the law and its enforcement protocols, as well as the actual drain covers and how they work, a commercial pool manager might be running the risk of fines or, even worse, drowning hazards.

What needs to be done?

Pool managers should first establish a game plan to ensure that their pool drain covers comply with all of the requirements under the VGB Pool and Spa Safety Act as they were originally written, as well as the updated components that are set to take effect in December. Record-keeping and persistent attention to detail are critical to ensure the most efficient management process.

As pool operators tend to have a variety of other matters to worry about on a daily basis, many will benefit from using professional service providers. These firms will be able to help comply with regulations, as well as adequately maintain the swimming environment’s water and structure throughout the year.

From cover selection to weekly filter checkups, professional pool services get the job done.