Agency: Pool drain covers may be improperly tested

AP News
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Posted: Mar 18, 2011 7:45 PM

The Consumer Product Safety Commission on Friday warned pool owners to keep children away from drains because the protective covers may pose a risk of trapping young swimmers.

The commission said it discovered some laboratories may not have correctly tested the "flow rating" of pool and spa drain covers, giving them improper certification.

The agency is reviewing 17,000 pages of documents collected from subpoenas regarding testing procedures at three labs. The agency has scheduled a public meeting April 5 to question industry officials as part of its investigation into drain safety.

The agency said it hopes to identify covers that have improper ratings by the traditional start of the summer swimming season, Memorial Day weekend. Meanwhile, the agency is encouraging pool owners to keep children away from drains and other openings and to discuss the certification of their drain covers with the manufacturer. The commission said the risk is greatest in shallow wading pools or those with single main drain systems.

A law that went into effect in December 2008 requires that all public pools and spas have covers to prevent entrapment. Residential pools manufactured in the past year also should have the new covers. The law was named after Virginia Graeme Baker, the 7-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker III who drowned in 2002 after being trapped by the suction from a spa drain.

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Online:

Consumer Product Safety Commission Pool Safely site: http://www.poolsafely.gov/