Students in a lifeguard class at Vernon Hills High School might have to go elsewhere for training. The pool will be closed Saturday because the school is not in compliance with a 2008 federal law requiring pool drains that prevent swimmers from getting trapped under water. (Keri Wiginton, Chicago Tribune / September 28, 2011)
By Robert McCoppin and Amy Alderman, Tribune reporters
8:16 a.m. CDT, September 28, 2011
About 400 pools statewide are in danger of closing this weekend because they do not have legally mandated drains designed to keep swimmers from getting trapped, regulators warned Tuesday.
Some schools, park districts, hotels, and condo and apartment complexes may have to shut down their pools and hot tubs, potentially disrupting swim teams, lessons, exercise classes and recreational swimmers.
State officials said they warned pool managers about the new requirements six times over the past three years and would not extend the deadline beyond Saturday. Pools that aren't in compliance could remain closed for two months or more pending state approval of their plans.
New drains or covers that can't trap swimmers with powerful suction are required