Pool law goes into effect this week - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pool law goes into effect this week

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

December 18, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A federal law, requiring specific drain covers on public pools goes into effect Friday. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was signed into law last December.

Public pools had one year to comply with the rule which requires special equipment to prevent children from getting stuck underwater by the vacuum of a pool drain. Virginia was the granddaughter of former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker. She drowned in 2002 after getting trapped at the bottom of a pool by the suction of the drain.

Environmental Health Director Dewayne Tanner said, "It's a suction hazard. There's many deaths throughout the country because of that in pools in spas."

Lee Mullins said, "It's a great idea." Why? "It saves lives. You can actually become disemboweled. I've seen many drains with the main cover missing."

The law, which takes effect Friday, includes all public pools, including those at hotels, apartment complexes and country clubs. If pools are closed for the season, they must be in compliance on the day they re-open.

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