Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act
The Fairfax County Health Department is working with pool owners, managers, and contractors to ensure all public pools are safe when they open for the 2009 season. The county's 85 indoor pools were already inspected for compliance of the new federal law which took effect on December 19, 2008.
There are 650 pool facilities (which include over 1,200 separate swimming pools, wading pools, and spas) in Fairfax County. The 2009 plan review fee has been waived to encourage owners and pool management companies to comply quickly with the new law. Prior to a permit to operate being issued for the season, pool facilities must be inspected and found to be in compliance with the The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA). The Health Department will not issue operational permits to pools that have failed to make the federally mandated changes before opening to the public.
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act is designed to prevent the tragic and hidden hazard of drain entrapments and eviscerations in pools. The law requires all public pools to meet safety guidelines.Compliance Reqirements
First, all pools must have installed new anti-entrapment drain covers that conform to the entrapment protection standards of the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard.
In addition, some pools must also retrofit drain systems in one of two ways:
Any pool or spa with a single main drain, other than an unblockable
drain, shall be equipped, at a minimum, with one or more of the
following devices or systems designed to prevent entrapment in the
- Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS)
- Suction-Limiting Vent System
- Gravity Drainage System
- Automatic Pump Shut-Off System
Retrofit pools/spas with two or more properly installed main drains,
replacing the current single drain system. Two or more drains
are required for all public pools and spas constructed after December
Approximate cost: $5,000 - $10,000