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Federal Pool Safety Law - What's Required

In 2008, the U.S. Congress passed the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act) to regulate safety at public pools. Virginia Graeme Baker was a 7-year-old girl who drowned in a hot tub after her foot was caught in a faulty drain cover.

At the Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger, we hope this information about pool safety helps keep your family safe from pool-related accidents this summer. If, however, you and your family need our personal injury lawsuit services, please contact us for strong representation. To schedule a private meeting, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333). Your first consultation is free.

The P&SS Act applies to all public swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas. The law defines public pools as:

  • All pools and spas open to the public, including water parks and fitness center pools
  • Pools and spas located at apartment buildings, condos, or other multifamily residential areas
  • Pools and spas located at hotels and resorts
  • Government pool facilities

The P&SS Act has three main requirements. It is a good idea to check with the pool manager where your children swim to make sure the pool is in compliance with the P&SS Act requirements. The three requirements are:

  • All pools and spas must be equipped with "compliant" drain covers (compliant drain covers are those that meet the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 standard).
  • All safety drain covers made after Dec. 19, 2008, must also meet the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 standard.
  • If the pool or spa operates with only one main drain, then it must also install at least one of the following safety devices:
    • A suction-limiting vent system
    • A disabled drain
    • A safety vacuum release system (SVRS)
    • An automatic pump shut-off system
    • A gravity drainage system

*If the pool or spa has more than one main drain, then it might be exempt from the last requirement.

Get more information about safety at public pools, including a list of questions to ask public pool managers, at the U.S. government's Pool Safely website.

If your child has suffered a serious pool-related injury in New Jersey, contact Mallon & Tranger for a free consultation.

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