Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act


Pool Pros wants to inform all our Pool and Spa customers that Congress has approved the “Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.” With minor modifications, it is materially the same as the bill that passed the Senate unanimously in 2006 but narrowly failed in the House. The current bill, approved by the Senate Commerce Committee, was incorporated as Title XIV of H.R. 6, the omnibus energy bill approved by the Congress and signed by the President on December 19, 2007. The House of Representatives in July passed a slightly different version of the bill, but it is the Senate version that has now been enacted, with the full support of The Association of Pools & Spas Professional.

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (Act) promotes the safe use of pools, spas and hot tubs by imposing mandatory federal requirements for suction entrapment avoidance and by establishing a voluntary grant program for states with laws that meet certain minimum requirements as outlined in the Act. Effective December 19, 2008, the Act is being administered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

1. Mandatory Federal Requirements for Entrapment Avoidance. By December 19, 2008, the Act requires:

2. Voluntary Grant Program for States. The CPSC will also establish and administer a grant program for eligible states. A sum of $2 million is authorized to be appropriated to the CPSC for each of the fiscal years 2009 and 2010. In order to be eligible for a grant, a state must impose certain requirements by statute, including:

ANSI/APSP-7 Standard Exceeds Federal Requirements. All pools and spas configured to comply with the ANSI/APSP-7 Standard will conform to these provisions and any state that adopts the Standard will meet the Act's minimum state requirements. This ANSI/APSP-7 Standard is the only comprehensive approach to engineering swimming pools and spas to avoid all five suction entrapment hazards: hair entrapment, limb entrapment, body suction entrapment, evisceration/disembowelment, and mechanical entrapment. The design requirements and construction practices in this Standard are based upon sound engineering principles, research, and field experience that, when applied properly, provide for a safe installation that exceeds the requirements of the Act.

3. Public Safety Education: The Act requires the CPSC to establish and carry out a public education program on methods to prevent drowning and entrapment in pools and spas. $5 million is authorized to be appropriated for each of the fiscal years 2008-2012 to carry out the education program.

Pool Pros has been building and remodeling pools in compliance with these standards for over 15 years and will continue to be the leader by exceeding the requirements set by our industry. This commitment to staying current and abiding by the regulations of our industry is one more reason Pool Pros should be your first choice when considering your new investment.