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Protecting Swimmers From Danger

By Paul Pennington
Article Launched: 07/12/2008 06:29:21 PM PDT

Public pools and spas with a single main drain (other than an unblockable drain) must be equipped at a minimum with one complying anti-entrapment device or system, as well as a drain cover. Since drain covers can become broken or deteriorated, additional anti-entrapment safety devices are required. The most popular anti-entrapment device is the Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) which ceases operation of the pool or spa pump and reverses the circulation flow when a blockage is detected. This device is easily installed into existing or new pools in under an hour for about $500-$700.

Most other options are not practical for pool reconstruction and are only practical during initial pool construction options. These options include the Suction-Limiting Vent Systems and Gravity Drainage Systems the Automatic Pump Shut-Off System. A final option is Automatic Pump Shut-Off System, a device that shuts off the pump system in a pool or spa.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also strongly recommends SVRS in their Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards. The International Code Council (ICC) and Safe Kids Worldwide, the only international nonprofit organization dedicated solely to preventing unintentional childhood injury, also mandate the layers of protection. In addition, parents should teach children to stay away from pool and spa drains and tie back long hair to protect again entanglement.

Paul Pennington is a founding member of The Pool Safety Consortium, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C.


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