The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (VGB Act) went into effect in 2008. This law was established to reduce the incidents of suction entrapment in swimming pools. It affected the main drains, equalizer covers and pool pumps. All commercial pools and spas had to make some modifications to become compliant. It also established that fittings in swimming pool must meet certain criteria and tested for its lifespan. Many pool owners will need to replace equipment in 2014.
How does this affect my pool?
In 2008 all suction covers had to be replaced with VGB approved covers. This would include main drain covers and skimmer equalizers. These covers should have a “VGB 2008”marking and indicate the type of use, gallons per minute, type of fitting, fitting life, wall or floor mounting and model number.
Is my pool compliant?
If you were using a swimming pool management company when the law was mandated, your pool most likely was made compliant. The life span of most fittings is five years. This means in 2014 you need to ensure your suction covers are updated with new replacement covers.
How do I verify compliance?
It is recommended that you speak to your swimming pool management or maintenance company. If they brought your pool into compliance they should have the records to verify what work was completed, what covers were installed and when. If these records cannot be located, the next step would be contacting your local health department. And lastly, if you are still searching for answers, you should coordinate with your swimming pool company to verify compliance, when the pool is drained for cleaning. Since the demand for inspections will be very high in the spring of 2014 this should be scheduled in advance.
Who is enforcing this law?
Usually local or state health departments are ensuring pools in their jurisdiction are compliant. In many cases they are issuing permits establishing the type of equipment that was approved and the installation date. While you are ultimately responsible, the local and state health departments and the Consumer Product Safety Council are conducting unannounced inspections to verify compliance. If your pool is not updated you could be facing strict fines and potential law suits.
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