Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

March 2020

Revised VGBA Drain Cover Standard Approved

By Chandler Garland

The Pool and Hot Tub Alliance has announced that a revised ANSI/APSP/ICC-16 2017 ”American National Standard for Suction Outlet Fitting Assemblies (SOFA) for Use in Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs” was approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Originally published in the Federal Register (Vol. 84, No. 101) on May 24, 2019, the updated standards will go into effect on November 24, 2020. This 18-month deadline is longer than the usual, but not restrictive, 30-day implementation requirement of the Administrative Procedure Act because there has been a low injury rate under the APSP-16 2011. And, because the changes made in APSP-16 2017 are minor, the PHTA didn’t feel immediate implementation was warranted.

“Providing a smooth transition is a very high priority for everyone involved,” said PHTA-16 SWC Chair Steve Barnes. “Unlike 2007, this revision is not retroactive. Instead it is a product manufacturing deadline.”

The Virginia Graeme ŹBaker Pool & Spa Safety Act (VGBA) is a federal law that requires all public pools and spas, both new and existing, to be equipped with compliant suction outlet fitting assemblies. Under the VGBA, drain covers manufactured on or after Nov. 24, 2020, will be required to comply with the new standard. In the meantime, products certified to one of the prior versions of the standard will continue to be compliant until they expire, or the product is damaged or degraded in any way. It is important to note, this only applies to products that were installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and are in full compliance with the VGBA. Non-compliant installations are not grandfathered and must be replaced before the pool can be opened to users.

The APSP-16 2017 standard establishes materials, testing, use, installation and marketing requirements for new or replacement bather-accessible suction outlet fitting assemblies designed to be fully submerged for use in any pool. It contains changes to hair and body testing requirements; new definitions and new cover labeling requirements; an updated foreword; a non-mandatory Appendix E to help manufacturers, test laboratories and registered design professionals achieve more consistent certification results; and a non-mandatory Appendix F to outline specific sections beyond the authority of the CPSC.

“The PHTA fully recognizes the importance of this standard (as) the only aquatics industry standard referenced under any federal law. We are working closely with test labs, regulators and manufacturers to provide certification consistency across all SOFA product categories,” Barnes added. “These important changes to the VGB Act will help improve public safety, which is everyone’s top priority.”

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

NAYS Offers Free Training on Sudden Cardiac Arrest - March 2020

New CDC Initiative Aims to Boost Activity for Americans - March 2020

NRPA Launches Mentoring in Parks and Rec - February 2020

AOAP Recommends MAHC Adoption - February 2020

ACE Examines Effectiveness of REHIT - February 2020

RTC Shares Progress Toward Completing Great American Rail-Trail - February 2020

18 Cities Earn Grants for Parks - January 2020

USA Swimming Recognizes Top Swimming Clubs - January 2020

Study Finds One-Third of U.S. High Schools Have No Access to Athletic Trainers - January 2020

Philadelphia Kids to Get More Play Options - January 2020

People's Choice Awards Honors Whirligig Park in North Carolina - December 2019

NSF International Adds New Standards for Interactive Water Play - December 2019

ACSM: Wearable Tech, HIIT Are Top Fitness Trends for 2020 - December 2019

TPL Looks to Schoolyards to Improve Park Access - December 2019

Meet Me at the Park Grant Program Reaches More than a Million Kids - November 2019

PHTA Recognizes Achievements in Aquatics - November 2019

Know the Dangers of Unauthorized Entry - November 2019

Survey Says: Americans Love Their Parks - November 2019

NRPA Awards Grants to 10 Communities to Expand Park Access - October 2019

CPSC Awards Pool Safely Grants - October 2019

NCAA Announces AASP Grant Recipients - October 2019

$170.6 Million in LWCF Grants to Support Parks & Outdoor Recreation - October 2019

High School Sports Participation Declines for the First Time in 30 Years - September 2019

TPL Suggests Schoolyards as Park-Access Solution - September 2019

New Study May Change Use of Chlorine Stabilizers in Swimming Pools - September 2019

High School Sports Participation Declines for the First Time in 30 Years - September 2019

City Parks Alliance on Park Funding & Equity - September 2019

Survey Reveals Top Outdoor Recreation Activities - August 2019

Pediatricians Urge Communities to Provide Swim Lessons for All - August 2019

Report: Tennis Participation Remains Consistent - August 2019

Survey: Only Half of Collegiate Sports Programs Follow NCAA Model for Student Medical Care - August 2019

Fieldhouse Renovated, Expanded at UW-Platteville - July 2019

NRPA, Disney Award Play Space Grants - July 2019

Swim Clinic Teaches Water Safety Basics - July 2019

Nation's Pediatrics: Put More Emphasis on Enjoyment of Sports - July 2019

Diabetes Declines, National DPP Program Helped - July 2019

Washington, D.C., Unseats Minneapolis as Best City Park System - June 2019

Survey: Half of Americans Use the Pool as a 'Communal Bathtub' - June 2019

NFL Foundation Helps to Advance Youth Wellness - June 2019

Youth Sports Participation Holds Steady in 2018 - June 2019

Dog Parks Still on the Rise - May 2019

USA Swimming Grants Will Boost Learn-to-Swim Programs - May 2019

IHRSA: One in Five Americans Belong to at Least One Health Club - May 2019

New Program Aims to Grow Pickleball & Tennis - May 2019

IHRSA Reports on Health Club Compensation - April 2019

Grant Funding Brings Parks Closer to People in 10 Cities - April 2019

Note & Float Program Reaches Lifesaving Milestone - April 2019

Fund Established to Assist Aspiring Women Coaches - April 2019

Applications Open for ESPN RePlay Program - April 2019

NRPA Offers Play Space Grants - March 2019

Smarter Lifeguard Management - March 2019

U.S. Soccer Foundation Aims to Boost Female Participation - March 2019

In Oregon, Outdoor Recreation Saves $1.4 Billion in Healthcare Costs - March 2019