for pool building and maintenance. Currently, each state has its own series of complex, sometimes contradictory codes that are hard to even understand, let alone enforce.

"We can write all the codes we  want, but enforcing them is a big task," says Ron Gaffner, co-owner of Aqua Safe, a safety consulting firm in, Houston. "[Safety] inspectors are being pulled in a lot of different directions and we, as an industry, have to educate: them on what to look for."

Some of the solutions offered include the elimination of single source suction. Remember the vacuum cleaner hose mentioned earlier? Imagine there are two hoses connected to the same motor, and one is covered by your palm. Air would travel through the other hose, interrupting the suction to your hand. The same concept can be applied to pools by building dual main drains instead of a single on

Another solution lies in a number of safety vacuum release systems, aka SVRS. These devices are designed to shut off the pump when they sense an excessive vacuum buildup.

Finally, there are anti entanglement drain covers, a type of fitting that is molded in a particular way to prevent hair entanglement.

These systems make up what anti entrapment advocates refer to as "layers of protection." Many believe that

such measures become mandated standards, the suction entrapment problem will go away.



Minority report: Collecting data on suction entrapment is difficult because the Incidences often are reported as generic drowning. This document, the actual investigation report from the Graeme Baker case, is typical of the forms rescue personnel are required to fill out. However, this report did mention suction entrapment as the cause of the drowning.

Lawmakers in California, Texas, Florida, Ohio and New Jersey have recently legislated all or part of these protections. However, there are still states, such as Texas, that don't even require contracting licenses for pool builders, allowing anyone with a back- hoe and a business card to join the industry. It's states such as these where pool builders are more likely to either not know or care about standards  mandated or otherwise.

Safety in numbers

The saying goes that one suction entrapment death is one too many and, consequently, lawmakers should mandate safety requirements for the way pools are constructed. .

But the reality is that solid data revealing the true extent of suction entrapment would go a long way toward persuading the cynics. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, the federal agency charged with gathering such data, says its numbers are not completely reliable. This is due to a lack of awareness on the part of emergency personnel, who often report entrapment casualties simply as drowning victims.

The quandary is that entrapment incidences are relatively rare and this makes it easy for the problem to slide under the radar.

Pat Taaffe, an engineer with the Cedar Hammock Fire Department in Bradenton, Fla., says a majority of rescue workers just aren't savvy about the suction entrapment issue. "The personnel in my company didn't know about [suction entrapment] until about two years ago," he explains. "In the past, we would have reported it as a drowning or near drowning."

The problem is that rescue workers have more pressing tasks than worrying about the reports they fill out hours after the incident has taken place, according to Dan Schmidt, director of public information at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Virginia the department that responded in the Graeme Baker case. A rescue worker's primary focus is saving lives.

Picture a busy emergency room in a suburban hospital. Paramedics wheel in a critical patient, lungs filled with water. An overworked doctor tries in vain to save the young victim's life. In the wake






New Water Solutions, Inc., Drainsafe nor I, Ron Schroader recommend the use of one product or device over another.
 Products must be implemented as per system/job specific application . It is the obligation of the installer to understand the intended use and application prior to installation of any product or device.
We do however recommend the use of products certified via (NRTL) Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories as per ASME/ANSI A112.19.17 & ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 2007 Standards.
 All products must be installed as per manufacturers instructions and be job site specific to meet the criteria of each individual application.

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A Swimming Pool Suction Safety Corporation


Aquatic Professionals:  (561) 433-2580 or 1-800-513-4372 

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