From 1995 to July 2000, there were 60
incidents of entrapment underwater throughout the country, according to the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Among those, there were 10 deaths. An
11-year-old girl died from hair entanglement in a Kendall pool in July.
The new requirements are
"excellent," Bertolami said.
After some discussion over the wording of
the proposed changes, the advisory committee agreed to several requirements,
which include the following:
All pool and spa suction inlets shall be
provided with a cover that has been tested and accepted by a recognized
testing facility and comply with the American National Standards
Institute/American Society of Mechanical Engineers requirements for suction
fittings for use in swimming pools, spas, hot tubs and whirlpool bathtub
appliances, with the exception of surface skimmers.
If the suction inlet system, such as an automatic cleaning
system, is a vacuum cleaner system which has a single suction inlet or has
multiple suction inlets which can be isolated by valves, then each suction
inlet will protect against user entrapment by either an approved anti-vortex
cover - 12-inch by 12-inch grate or larger - or other means.
In addition, all pools and spas will be
required to have an alter native backup system that will provide vacuum relief
should grate covers be missing. Alternative vacuum relief devices will
include an approved vacuum release system approved vent piping or other
approved devices or means.
A minimum of two
suction inlets will be provided for each pump in the suction inlet system,
separated by a minimum of 3 feet or located on two different planes, that is,
one on the bottom and one on a vertical wall, or one each on two separate
vertical walls. These suction inlets will be plumbed so that water is drawn
through them simultaneously through a common line to the pump.
Representatives of the Florida affiliate of the National Spa and Pool
Institute agreed with members of the plumbing technical advisory committee
about asking the state Building Commission to create a subcommittee for
ongoing review of entrapment issues. The commission approved the new
committee Monday afternoon.
"I'm very satisfied," said John
Brown, marketing director for Vac-Alert Industries, Fort Pierce based
manufacturer of poo1 safety equipment. The company has been pushing for the measures, or
what it calls "layers of protection.
With the new requirements Brown estimated
that the cost of new pools and spas may' be higher - about $1,000 or
less but he and several committee members said it's a small' price to pay to
prevent drowning deaths.
"The state of Florida now represents
the drain safety capital of the nation. At least it will after July
2001," Brown said. "What we've done here is going to open the door
to all pool and safety code throughout the United States, and that's
"I know that (the changes in the state code) will save
another life and have an impact on other little Jordan Bucys. He was a
compassionate child with a love for life. He would have wanted it that