Remembering Virginia Graeme Baker
A pool contractor should verify that the pool and / or spa is in compliance with the federally mandated Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act which takes effect December 19, 2008.
Safety of commercial swimming pools is priority and goal number one for all management companies. There is one tragic event that contributed to achieve that goal. The victim was 7-year-old Virginia Graeme, an excellent swimmer and a member of her community swim and dive team.
In June 2002, Graeme became stuck to a hot tub drain and was unable to pull herself free. Efforts by her mother to pull Graeme from the drain proved unsuccessful. Two men who eventually freed Graeme from the spa pulled so hard that the drain cover broke from the force.
Graeme died from drowning, but the real cause of her death was suction entrapment due to a faulty drain cover. After her tragic death, her mother, Nancy Baker, worked tirelessly to advocate for pool andspa safety. Mrs. Baker, her family and Safe Kids Worldwide actively lobbied Congress to win support for a law to require anti-entrapment drain covers and other safety devices, as needed.
The statute, was signed into law by the President in December 2007. As of December 19, 2008 pools and spas are not allowed top operate if they do not meet new safety standards.
A pool contractor should verify that the pool and / or spa is in compliance with the federally mandated Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act which takes effect December 19, 2008. If the pool is not in compliance, the necessary steps should be taken to comply with the Virginia. Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act, that, in essence, specifies that:
“All public pools and spas, both new and existing, shall be equipped with drain covers compliant with the 2007 standard”
In addition, all public pools and spas with a single main drain other than an un-blockable drain, shall also employ one or more of the following devices: separated drain system, safety vacuum release system (SVRS); suction-limiting vent system; gravity drainage system; automatic pump shutoff; drain disablement;
The definition of un-blockable drain in the Act is a “drain sump of any size or shape that a human body cannot sufficiently block to create a suction entrapment issue.”
From 1999 to 2008 there were 12 victims, 94 reported cases.
Since 2009 there were only 0 victims. There were 39 reported entrapment cases.