Westside Pool and the Virginia Graeme Baker
Pool and Spa Safety Act
Stingl Installation
  • "ASME A112.19. 8 -
  • a flow rating "X GPM"
  • "Life: X Years"
  • Manufacturer and
New & Improved
Old & Busted


1) Replace all submerged outlets covers with ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 compliant covers.
No other device can provide protection against all five recognized forms of entrapment (pg 2)
Ensure that the covers have a flow rating capable of the full flow rate of the pump or the specific suction system and that
the sump meets the manufacturers installation guidelines and requirements for proper velocity and flow rate. Be sure that
the retrofit is done correctly, inspect the sump and frame for degradation and replace old, worn frames. It appears that
almost all of the entrapments and
all of the eviscerations were due to missing drain covers. In many cases this was the
result of shoddy maintenance. Uncertified and inexperienced staff improperly installed drain covers with non-stainless
steel screws into worn, inferior frames resulting in tragic consequences.
“The majority of suction entrapments and problems the industry is having are [because of] missing and broken drain
covers,” said Leif Zars, project team leader for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ committee for suction
outlet covers. “And they’re missing because they weren’t attached properly.”

2) Eliminate single main drains.
Replace single main drains with either Hydraulically Balanced and Symmetrically plumbed split drains or Unblockable
Channel drains utilizing the  
ANSI/APSP-7 2006 American National Standard for Suction Entrapment Avoidance
to ensure safe flow rates at the cover.

The APSP reports:
“Review of all reported incidents and communication with officials of all 50 states reveals not a single         reported
entrapment injury where properly spaced dual drains were in place.”

This is particularly crucial in spas. Where all that stands between a tragic evisceration is a missing drain cover and a split
second. The new covers are much safer and address all five entrapment types, but they are still secured by two easily
removed Phillips head screws. THERE IS NO BACKUP FOR A MISSING COVER.
CPSC will prioritize enforcement of the law to facilities that pose the greatest risk of drain entrapment to children,
specifically in-ground spas, where they use single main drain systems.

Los Angeles County is one of many jurisdictions requiring all pools and spas to split drains or install Channel drains.

3) Limit flow rate at the covers.
ANSI/APSP-7 limits flow rate to not exceed 6 fps (pg 3), or 3 fps when divided amongst dual outlets. This lower suction
force helps prevent hair entrapment and limits the differential pressure when one of the multiple outlets is blocked. The
state of Florida and other jurisdictions are requiring that the flow rate must not exceed 3 fps, or 1.5 fps when divided
amongst dual outlets and
drain manufacturers are now making covers that meet or exceed the 1.5 fps standard.

A good analogy for understanding velocity and flow rates at the drain cover is that of a garden hose. Imagine a garden
hose with the water running, you can take a drink or water a plant. But, to spray a younger sibling you need to place your
thumb over the end, restrict the flow, increase the velocity and soak your victim. The smaller the “area” the more velocity.
New covers have larger “area” they allow less restriction. Less restriction helps eliminate the number one cause of
entrapment, hair being sucked into and entangled in the cover.
(SVRS systems do NOT address hair entrapment -  pg 3, 16).

4) Frequent inspections.
Finally the most important thing that you, the pool owner/operator, can do to make your pool & spa as safe as possible is
conduct frequent inspections. A designated person should be assigned to inspect the pool & facilities before opening
each morning and periodically during pool operating hours. This inspection should check for damaged or missing drain
covers, inspect gate latches and fences, inspect water turbidity (clarity), enforce bather loads, hygiene rules and the
SNHD 444 regulations. In the event of a safety violation – CLOSE THE POOL IMMEDIATELY and secure with chains,
locks and closed signs. The pool area must remain closed until the problem has been resolved.

In Closing.
Failure to eliminate single main drains and maintain the utmost vigilance can result in tragic consequences. The 1993
evisceration of
Valerie Lakey resulted in a $25 million judgment and shed light on at least twelve other evisceration
incidents. The recent 2007 evisceration of
Abigail Taylor at the Minneapolis Golf Club helped push thorough the passage
of the
Virginia Graeme Baker legislation. The settlement in that case exceeded the $6 million limit on the club's
insurance, so the members had to vote to get a $2 million bank loan to pay the difference.
(SVRS systems do NOT address evisceration - pg. 3, 16).

All information is the opinion of Westside Pool Inc. and is intended for the informational purposes of our service
customers only. Please consult an attorney or "Certified Professional Engineer" for legal advice regarding VGB.

Westside Pool Inc.
January 2009
Westside Pool Inc. Update on VGB
January 2009.

All pools & spas are to remain closed
until they comply with VGB.

Westside Pool Inc advises splitting drains or installing
unblockable channel drains in accordance with SNHD
regulations and the
ANSI/APSP-7 2006 American National Standard for Suction
Entrapment Avoidance Guidelines
On December 19, 2007, the President signed into law the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. A
year has passed, and so has the deadline for compliance.  As usual, Congress passed realistic,
unambiguous legislation while appropriating sufficient funds for implementation, engineering and
enforcement. All pools have now been safely retrofitted ahead of schedule and under budget….
Just kidding.

Congress failed to appropriate any funds, delegated regulation to an understaffed
CPSC and ultimately left
enforcement & interpretation to already overwhelmed, cash strapped State agencies struggling in the worst
economic climate since 1929.

Over the last year there has been much discussion about the different ways to interpret and implement the
CPSC standards. Questions regarding alarms, sump depths, manufactured vs. field fabricated sumps, exactly
what is a “Certified Professional Engineer”,
skimmer equalizer lines, permits and fees etc. have generally
generated more questions and grey areas than answers. Many of these issues have not been resolved on
either the federal or local levels.
SNHD has issued this statement regarding enforcement & regulation.

Westside Pool Inc. has attended seminars with manufacturers, regulatory agencies and pool & spa advocacy
groups. We have reviewed standards and regulations adopted by other states as well as having read all we
can find on hydraulics and case histories of entrapments and eviscerations. We have installed and tested
SVRS systems.

As a result of this experience, Westside Pool Inc. believes the best course of action to make your pool and
spa as safe as possible and comply with SNHD and the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act is to
replace single main drains with either Hydraulically Balanced and Symmetrically plumbed split drains or
Unblockable Channel drains utilizing the  
ANSI/APSP-7 2006 American National Standard for Suction
Entrapment Avoidance guidelines.
Adventures in VGB
Photos from the Front Lines
What's the Velocity Kenneth?