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December 24, 2008 3:32 am

Timing of new law bodes well for Powell pool

Written by Tribune Staff

Pool operators around the country are scrambling to comply with a new federal law that affects every public pool in the United States.

The law, called the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, requires all public pools to incorporate anti-entrapment drain covers and other layers of protection.

According to Safe Kids USA, the law is named for former Secretary of State James A. Baker's granddaughter, who drowned at age 7 in a spa after a powerful suction of a drain trapped her under water in 2002.

Safe Kids USA hails it as a life-saving law. According to the organization, drowning is the second-leading killer of children under the age of 14.

Every public pool must comply with the law, which took effect Dec. 19.

The law helps ensure safety for both children and adults.

For some pool operators, the legislation is a headache, requiring thousands of dollars to install compliant drain covers and anti-entrapment safety devices.

It's for the good in the end, but some pools had to close recently because they weren't compliant with the new law.

Luckily for Powell, the timing of the law fits nicely with the construction schedule of its new family aquatic center.

The aquatic center still is in the early stages of construction, so it will be built with the new drain covers and safety devices that the law requires.

In addition to being a welcomed facility Powell can be proud of, the new aquatic center also will be a safe one.