The federal legislation requires public pools and spas to be equipped with anti-entrapment drain covers. Pools and spas with a single main drain must also be equipped with a device or system designed to prevent entrapment, such as a safety vacuum release system that provides a rapid release of vacuum created whenever it detects a blockage.
Health Clubs, Parks, Hotels and Apartments
Failure of public pools in spas, health clubs, parks, hotels and apartment complexes to comply with the law could result in immediate closure of the pools.
U.S. Consumer Product Commission
The law, which will be enforced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, was named after the 7-year-old girl who died in 2002 after the suction of a drain entrapped her under water.
How Entrapment Occurs
Entrapment occurs when a child is pulled under water by a pool or hot tub's filtration system. The suction, which can pull down a child's body or a limb or hair, has 400 to 500 pounds of pressure. The drains can also cause disembowelment.
There were seventy-four reports of pool and spa entrapments of children from 1999 to 2007, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Nine of those cases resulted in death. Children in the 5- to 9-year-old category had the highest frequency of entrapment.
Although the law went into effect on December 19, 2008,seasonal public pools and spas that are currently closed must be in compliance with the law on the day that they reopen in 2009.