Campgrounds Versed on a Pool/Spa Safety Act
Campground owners with swimming pools were warned recently about the need to comply with the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VBG) by Carvin DiGiovanni, senior director technical and standards for the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals.
“Up until recently, most regulations impacting pools and spas have been at the local level — state and county,” DiGiovanni told state campground association leaders during the recent National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) 2009 Issue Conference in Washington, D.C.
The law is named for Virginia Graeme Baker, the 8-year-old granddaughter of former Secreatry of State James Baaker who drowned in a hot tub after being entrapped by the drain.
The VGB, which went into effect last December, is the first time Congress has gotten involved in pool safety following incidents where children drowned or were severely injured after being sucked into single-drain systems by the vacuum they create.
“(VGB) is having a tremendous impact across our nation,” DiGiovanni said.
The law requires that public pool and spa owners install drain covers, automatic shut-offs, gravity drains or safety vacuum release systems to prevent “entrapment.”
“There are different technologies in play,” DiGiovanni said. “Part of your job is to get educated about what these options might be and how they might apply to your system. The bottom line is that whatever option you put on, you must be able to make sure that the system works.”
Although enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, inspections will be carried out by individual state health departments, he said.