President George Bush signed into law on december 19, 2007 new legislation mandating safety drain covers be installed on all public pools and spas normally referred to as "Class C" pools in the State of Texas by December 18, 2008. The drains are anti-entrapment devices designed to prevent people from being trapped in pools to drains. The law also requires that a second anti-entrapment device system be added to each pool when there is only a single main drain.
The law allows seasonal pools an extension to the December 2008 deadline to extend to prior to their opening for business in 2009. Some entities are having trouble meeting the requirement because of supply and demand issues according to an article that ran in the Houston Chronicle on December 18, 2008.
The Department of Health Services has the responsibility in Texas to ensure that compliance occurs by all pool owners. A task that will not be easy, but necessary. The state will rely on other health agencies throughout the State to enforce the law.
My thoughts are that many pool owners will drag their feet in order to comply as evidenced by the recent shortage of supply. The law gave ample time to comply and it appears once again that business owners and management of public pools are waiting till the last minute to comply. The law is named "THE VIRGINIA GRAEME BAKER POOL AND SPA SAFETY ACT" signed and named after the late 7 year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker who drowned in 2002 as a result of her hair being entangled in a hot-tub drain.
I am thankful for the law, just sad that it took a famous politician’s relative to get something like this important safety law passed. How many unknown innocent victims had to die and suffer before such national attention was given is certainly one too many. I invite you to blog with me about this important new law and to actively engage in conversation with your pool manager at any pool you use to ensure that the pool does in fact meet the new safety requirement.
Every voice is important in saving future lives and ensuring that tragic situations are prevented. Your voice counts. Help me be a voice for the voiceless and lets get blogging.