VIRGINIA GRAEME BAKER POOL AND SPA SAFETY ACT

Written by jordan on . Posted in Blog

COMPLIANCE REQUIRED BY 12/20/08

Please be aware that the Graeme Baker Safety Act will be effective 12/20/08. This is a federal law that helps eliminate the possibility of pool, spa and wader main drain entrapment and or entanglement. This Federal law requires full compliance no later than December 20, 2008. Pool areas that do not comply with these regulations are required to be closed per the Federal Government. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is the primary enforcement agency for the Act.

Aqua Blue Co. has respected the request of the County to wait to release any information as far as repairs that will be needed according this mandate. Due to the number of inquiries we have received, we felt it necessary to inform the association of the most up-to-date information. Note: Orange County Environmental Health has yet to release final recommendations to the Virginia Graeme Baker Safety Act, but the surrounding counties have set guidelines that will most likely be adopted in Orange County.
Outlined below in two steps is the Federal information that mandates public swimming pools, spas and waders be retrofitted or modified to meet new anti-entrapment guidelines and meet specific ASME/ANSI A112.12.8-2007 performance standards.

SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS
Graeme Baker Safety Act Sections 1404 (a), 1404 (b), 1404 (c)(1)(A)(i & ii):

1. ANTI-ENTRAPMENT/ ENTANGLEMENT MAIN DRAIN COVER INSTALLATION:
All pools, spas and waders must be equipped with anti-entrapment main drain covers that comply with ASME/ANSI A112.12.8-2007 performance standard. All existing suction/intake covers will be replaced prior to 12-20-08.

Flow rates must be checked and be in complete compliance with the ASME/ANSI and the Graeme/Baker Act. The new covers will have maximum flow rates printed on the cover. Flow rates will be determined upon inspection to be properly retro-fitted prior to installation of the new cover. It is necessary to assess the flow rates for proper calibration to eliminate the possibility of entanglement issues (such as hair, etc.). If flow rates are outside the recommended Gallon Per Minute (GPM), which is indicated on the cover, a solution will be proposed to the association in order to comply with regulations. (In Most cases flow rates will not be a concern).

2. EXISTING SINGLE MAIN DRAINS MODIFICATION OR RETROFITS:
Per Federal requirements, in addition to the anti-entrapment main drain covers any swimming pool, spa and wader which is constructed with a single main drain must be equipped with a device or system designed to prevent entrapment such as one of the following:
Safety vacuum release system
Suction limiting vent system
Gravity drainage system
Automatic pump shut-off system
Other systems determined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to be equally or more effective than one of the above systems.
Two or more Split Main Drains
Un-blockable drain cover 18×23

Note: At this time the Department of Environmental Health for Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Diego are requiring that pools, spas and waders currently constructed with a single main drain recommend the above option of (splitting) into a minimum of two main drains. As mentioned, we are waiting Orange County’s decision as to the available options but assume they will follow suit of the surrounding counties.
It is our opinion that the counties will eventually adopt the recommendation given by the federal act to allow SVRS (Suction Vacuum Release Systems) to be installed as either the primary preventative source for entrapment liability and/or used in conjunction with splitting of the main drains. Aqua Blue Company feels that more than in the near future both precautions will be necessary splitting of the drains and also installation of an SVRS. Currently the IBC (international building code) requires both to be installed.
The new law mandates that only a contractor possessing a valid C-53 Contractors License with the State of California may provide certified inspections and perform any retrofit of the main drains, covers or pump intake systems. Aqua Blue Company possesses a C-53 contractors license and are PADI Licensed SCUBA Divers. Aqua Blue Company is fully qualified to perform all mandated inspections and retrofits and modifications in house without any subcontractors.

Aqua Blue Company is in the final stages of inspecting your Association for Graeme Baker Safety Act Compliance and will be providing a full written report upon inspection. Within the report the following items will be outlined in detail:
Number of Covers requiring replacement
Main Drain split or modification recommendations
If and how many suction lines need to be retrofitted
Flow Rates, and Current Pump Systems
Number of Flow Meters on Suction lines that do not currently have them
Option to install SVRS in conjunction with suction retrofit, if applicable
Some pools spas and/or waders are unique, and will be necessary to perform underwater tests, possible drainage and may require plumbing line assessment and determination.

Please contact us should you have questions or need further clarification as to this federal mandate. We will be happy to discuss via telephone, or meet you onsite to review. We can be reached at (949) 582-5494 and welcome your call.

Todd Noesser, President
Aqua Blue Company
CL# C53-811648

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