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    Swimming Pool Main Drain & Suction Safety Laws

    05.28.2008

    Swimming Pool Main Drain & Suction Safety Laws

    Minnesota Pool Law
    The recently passed Abigail Taylor Pool Safety Act is meant to ensure that every commercial/public swimming pool in Minnesota is as safe as possible. It requires many of the same provisions as the federal pool safety bill, but goes one step further by requiring dual main drains to be installed on any single outlet pool suction. Swimming pools with unblockable suction outlets/drains or gravity outlets/drains are already in compliance.

    June 1, 2008— All drain covers and grates must be installed with screws that meet the manufacturer’s specifications. Daily the drain cover(s) must be physically checked and noted on the daily log sheet.

    July 1, 2008— All outlets, except for unblockable drains, must be equipped with covers that are in compliance with the most current ASME/ANSI standards and stamped accordingly. Annually pool owners must certify on a form pre-scribed by the commissioner that all covers, grates, and mounting rings have been inspected to ensure that they have been properly installed and are not broken or loose.

    Jan. 1, 2009— Pools with single outlet drains and the deepest water being less than four feet must install at least two suction outlets (dual main drains) with covers that meet the most current ASME/ANSI standards.

    Jan. 1, 2011— All other existing pools of any depth must install at least two suction outlets (dual main drains) with covers that meet the most current ASME/ANSI standards.

    Federal Pool Law
    The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act passed in December of 2007 and must also be complied with. The provisions are very similar to the Minnesota Pool Safety Act, but have a different compliance date and allow for additional compliance options, including Safety Vacuum Release Systems (SVRS), which will not alone make pools compliant in Minnesota (dual drains will still be required for MN pools).

    Dec. 19, 2008—All swimming pools must be equipped with one or more of the following: Dual Drains, Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS), Suction Limiting Vent System, Gravity Drainage System, Automatic Pump Shutoff System, Drain Disablement System, or any other system determined by the Commission to be equally effective.

    Before Dec. 19, 2008 all suction outlets must be inspected and replaced with anti-entrapment drain covers that have the most current ASME/ANSI standard and maximum flow rate stenciled on the cover and demonstrate that the cover complies with federal law.

    Summary — What You Are Required To Do

    Already Compliant? If you currently have dual drains, an unblockable drain, or a gravity outlet/drain system, you are most likely already in compliance. Be careful though; having two drains in your pool doesn’t automatically mean they are connected in parallel and safe or compliant. Please contact your local inspector if you are not sure.

    Drain / Suction Covers. If there is an ASME/ANSI approved replacement cover available for your drain, you are required to install one, regardless of whether you have dual drains already or not. Also, the cover mounting rings must be in new condition and covers must be attached using original mounting holes per manufacturers specifications with stainless steel screws that meet the manufacturer’s specifications.

    Dual Drains. All Minnesota pools that have single outlet drains must install dual drains with approved covers by the specified dates according to their pool depth. Spas, kiddy pools, and other pools less than four feet must have dual drains installed by the end of 2008 by both federal and Minnesota laws. The federal compliance date for pools over 4 feet in depth is two years prior to the Minnesota compliance date. This means that pools over 4 feet in depth can opt to install a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS), or other federally approved system, by the end 2008 to be compliant with the federal law. These pools will still be required to install dual drains by the end of 2010 to comply with Minnesota law.

    Costs $$$
    There are estimates anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 to bring pools into compliance with dual main drains. Most pools will fall into the lower end of these estimates. Here are some more detailed estimates so you can budget accordingly.

    Covers (ASME/ANSI Approved) $100 each (add about $125 if install is required)
    Dual Drain Installation (most pools) $5,000 - $7,000 (most will be on the lower end)
    Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) $850 - $4,000 (most will be on lower end, includes install)

    Final Note
    Please visit our web site for more complete information on the new laws and swimming pool safety. You will find the laws and many resources for understanding the new legislation and solutions for becoming compliant including our new daily log sheet. Also, please be sure to plan well in advance for the installation of your dual drains. There are about 2,500+ pools in Minnesota that will require this work with very few qualified swimming pool contactors to complete it by the compliance deadlines. It is also fairly significant construction, so plan for 1-2 weeks of down time for the work to be completed properly.