Protect Guests & Obey Federal Pool Safety Laws

Is your property in compliance? The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SSAct) became effective in December of 2008.

The law enhances the safety of public and private pools and spas by aiming to reduce child drownings (nearly 300 each year involving children younger than five) as well as the number of suction entrapment injuries and deaths.

Whether your business is located in an area where pools are being drained for the winter or you keep your pool ready for guests all year long, now is the time to work through the details of the P&SSAct as well as any local regulations.

The Act requires all public pools and spas to be fitted with ASME/ANSI-approved anti-entrapment drain covers. In addition, those with single, blockable main drains or multiple drains less than 3 feet apart must provide an additional layer of protection by installing a safety vacuum release system, suction-limiting vent, or a gravity drainage system.

Figuring out which anti-entrapment drain cover is right for your pool can be challenging, but you won’t need a degree in hydraulic engineering. To begin, find the answers to these few questions (but remember to turn off the pumps first!):

  • Does your pool have round or square drains?
  • What size is the drain opening?
  • What is the flow rate (the amount of water in gallons that flows through the drain per minute)?
  • What is the manufacturer’s name and item number of the current drain?

With the answers to these questions, you can (in most cases) identify the correct drain cover for your pool. If not, a call to most pool supply distributors can help you get the answer you need. After all, nothing is more important than the safety of your guests. Obtain more detailed information on the P&SSAct at


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