Commercial Pool Service

Lawmaker Seeks Relief for Noncompliant Facilities

By Dan Schechner

One of the states most active in implementing federal safety measures may allow pools to open this season regardless of whether they comply with the law.

Illinois Rep. Jason Barickman (R-Champaign) has introduced a bill that would provide temporary relief to scores of public and semipublic facilities that have shown good faith in moving toward compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, but have been held up by bureaucratic or financial roadblocks.

"While I understand the reason behind the law,

by Eric Herman

With the summer of 2011 and the great drain recall in the rear-view mirror, issues surrounding suction-entrapment accidents continue to challenge the pool and spa industry. Here senior editor and long-time industry observer Eric Herman raises some lingering questions and applies a helpful dose of common sense in an attempt to find a measure of clarity amid a decidedly confusing set of problems.

It's a subject that continues to dominate discussions in the pool and spa industry and cause no small measures of grief and frustration along the way. Any way you slice it, suction entrapment is a serious problem and until these incidents are completely eliminated, our industry is going to bear the stigma that comes along with it.

It's been nearly four decades since the CPSC began tracking


The Illinois Department of Public Health has shut down more than 500 swimming pools across the state, including 10 at Southland high schools and dozens of other area locations from hotels to condo associations to community pools.

The pools were closed as of Saturday because they were not equipped with new, safer drains. Pools that were closed include those at Argo, Homewood-Flossmoor, Mount Carmel, Reavis, T.F. South and Thornton high schools, and four Bremen Community High School District 228 schools: Oak Forest, Tinley Park, Bremen and Hillcrest.

District 228 Supt. Bill Kendall said getting the permits needed for the new drains