VGB and Grates

VGB and Grates

VGB and Grates

Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety (P&SS) Act

The current requirements for safety improvements at every public pool and spa were signed into law in December 2007. The law is HR6-303 to 309 Title XIV-Pool and Spa Safety Act, otherwise known as the “Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.” Intended to prevent the hidden hazard of drain entrapment and evisceration in pool and spas. Under the law, all public pools and spas must have a suction fitting that complies with the ANSI/APSP-16 standard; this is the successor standard to ASME/ANSI A112.19.9-2007, approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The ASME/ANSI standard, Suction Fittings for Use in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs defines the suction fitting as “all components, including the sump and/or body, cover/grate, and hardware” (fasteners).

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recognized the impact of the federal law on swimming facilities located in Illinois. It is the position of the IDPH that every regulated swimming facility in the state must comply with all applicable state and federal laws. Each affected facility shall evaluate its compliance with the regulations and take appropriate action. Should that action necessitate changes in the piping, main drain, main drain cover or any other modification as defined in the Illinois Swimming Pool and Bathing Beach Code (77 ILL. Admin. Code 820) then a permit must first be obtained from IDPH.

Since the Virginias Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act [15 U.S.C. 8003/1401] was passed into law on December 20, 2007 there has been much controversy over the law and still remains. As a whole, pool professionals, manufacturers and owners of public pool facilities have worked very hard at complying with the law.

Expiration Dates on Mandatory Grates

Federal Pool and Spa Safety ACT aka Virginia Graeme Baker ACT – passed into law December 19, 2007, to prevent swimming pool and spa drain entrapments, which became mandatory for all public pools by December 19, 2008. In February, 2010, the state of Illinois adopted amendments to the Illinois Department of Public Health Swimming Pool and Bathing Beach Code which added more layers to the regulations. Then in 2011 multiple manufacturers’ grates were recalled. Now we are faced with EXPIRATION DATES on those mandatory grates.

Aqua Pure Enterprises, Inc. can provide services to complete a sump survey covering all the suction fitting guidelines and provide you with recommendations to become compliant or ensure compliance. This process includes a compliance statement with proper documentation and digitalized photographs showing the results of compliance or non-compliance. Recommendations will be consistent with compliancy to the Virginia Graeme Baker Act. The process could include; the installation of VGB approved frame(s) and grate(s), modifications necessary to comply with sump dimension, flow regulations, and/or field fabricated sumps. Any and all modifications will require drawings from an Illinois Licensed Professional Engineer, certified by the IDPH and submitted for approval and permit. We currently work with an approved engineer, who has successfully assisted hundreds of facilities with this and many other drawings. For assistance and/or questions, please contact your Regional Account Representative or our office at 630-771.1310.

Do you know:

  1. Do the grates handle at least 100% of the TDH flow as per the pump curve chart?
  2. Is the sump suction outlet in compliance with the Federal Pool and Spa Safety Act, and are the current grates in compliance of the minimum 1.5 times the diameter of the pipe clearance?
  3. When were the grates installed? When will they expire?
  4. Are they fastened per the manufacturers’ recommendations?
  5. Are there any cracks, missing pieces or any other reasons for the grates to be replaced ?
  6. Have you budgeted for the replacement of the suction outlet grating?
  7. Do you need to apply for a permit?
  8. Is the vacuum safety release system working?

These are all very important questions and details that must be addressed. Prior to opening the outdoor pool, and for those indoor pools, it is a great time to start gathering this information to make plans for the replacements.

The APSP, the National Swimming Pool Foundation and the Illinois Department of Public Health all have check-lists, guidelines and regulation information. If Aqua Pure Enterprises, Inc., can be of any assistance, please contact us.