Feature Article - June 2009
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A Look at Trends in Aquatic Facilities

Is VGB Act Compliance a Problem?

Many media reports have focused on pools' difficulty in coming into compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Act, a law that requires pools to install anti-entrapment drains and devices to protect swimmers. Our survey, which was completed over a one-month period in late February and early March, revealed that in that time frame, more than half believed they were in compliance with the Act. (See Figure 35.)

Tom Lachocki, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the National Swimming Pool Foundation, said it's good to see that so many are in compliance. "As we're approaching the summer season, people are paying a little closer attention," he said. "Many of the pools are opening, and we're getting a lot of people scratching their heads and asking questions. They're not really knowledgeable about what's required. There's also a lot of people out there who say they're compliant but might not be. If the facilities are taking steps—even if the flow isn't perfect through those new covers, at least the risk is reduced."

Lachocki added for those not yet in compliance, "You don't want to give up on quality for the customer or the safety aspects to protect the customer. With VGB compliance, it's clearly focused on protecting the safety of the customer, so coming into compliance is important."