Pool Safety Law Now in Effect | NBC Southern California

Pool Safety Law Now in Effect

A new law requires that thousands of public pools and spas cover their drains and install anti-suction devices.

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20: Children swim in the LA Swim Stadium Pool on May 20, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. In a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that one in eight public swimming pools were shut down two years ago because of contaminated water or other problems, like missing safety equipment. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

    It's an accident we hear of too often; a person gets caught in the suction of a pool drain and drowns. A new law went into effect on Thursday to help prevent that tragedy.

    Last year the state enacted pool safety rules going a step further than the federal regulations, which say new pools must have two drains rather than one, in order to reduce the amount of suction a single drain is capable of producing, the Sacramento Bee reported. The new regulations are modeled after the 2008 federal law called the Virginia Graeme Baker Act, and apply to public pools.

    Residential pools are not covered.

    In Riverside County officials have made sure owners and operators of the approximately 7,500 public pools know about the law, and know there will be consequences if they don't cover their drains.

    "We will take progressive enforcement as necessary. Ultimately could be closure of the pool, but we do have other enforcement methods available to us," according to Keith Jones of the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health.

    However, due to the large number of pools, Riverside County has the option to give owners more time to install the covers, then follow up accordingly if they don't comply with the new law.