New law makes drains safer in public pools

By Alex Shabad - bio | email
Posted by Sarah Harlan- email

EVANSVILLE, IN. (WFIE)- New safety regulations on the draining systems of swimming pools and spas are forcing many operators nationwide to make some quick changes.

The law is scheduled to take affect this weekend, leaving many people wondering whether their pool might be shut down.

It is meant to make draining systems safer for swimmers.

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, named after the seven-year-old granddaughter of a former secretary state who was trapped by a spa drain and later died, was signed into law a year ago.

The new draining systems are humped instead of lying flat so no one body can be lying on top of it and be sucked in.

Dwayne Caldwell with the health department is in charge of enforcing the new law.

"If a pool can show that they are trying to be in compliance that they've already ordered their larger cover then they're not going to be shut down," said Caldwell.

The installation process can be long and tedious, not to mention expensive, plus some of the products aren't even available.

So now many are playing the waiting game, hoping those problems drain out.

The health department says inspections won't begin on pools and spas until January.