Many suction pool and spa drain covers that were replaced or modified to comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act are now in need of replacement. Depending on their installation date and whether or not the drain covers were modified or completely replaced, your covers’ life span could be over. Faulty drain covers are the cause of numerous entrapment drownings every year.
Unfortunately, these safety devices have their genesis in tragedy. In 2002, seven-year-old Virginia Graeme Baker, granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker III, became stuck in the powerful suction of a hot tub drain and was unable to free herself. She drowned by suction entrapment due to a faulty drain cover.
Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Safety Act required the installation of anti-entrapment drain covers and other safety devices. Cardinal reiterates the criticality of keeping current on the lifespan information of your pool and spa drain covers.
According to the USA Swimming Foundation, California led the country in drowning deaths in pools and spas for children younger than 15 in 2014. In California, each commercial pool must have a form on file certifying Virginia Graeme Baker compliance. Throughout the state, drain cover replacements need to be documented with county health departments.
If you don’t know the answer to the question about whether or not your pool and spa drain covers are still doing their jobs, ask your pool and spa service provider to check…NOW!