The Edge - Q3 2009 - (Page 10)

SAFETY ISSUES | by Ron Derven COMMERCIAL POOLS to Comply with Virginia The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act was signed into law on December 19, 2007, and mandated that public pools open year round would have to comply with the new law by December 19, 2008. Seasonal pools had somewhat of a reprieve and needed to comply on the opening day that occurred after the December 2008 deadline. Now that the seasonal pools are open, how is compliance with the new law going? The Edge asked Matt Cappello, PE, Counsilman-Hunsaker, St. Louis, Missouri, a full-service engineering, planning and design firm specializing in recreation and aquatic facilities since 1970, about the level of compliance. He responded that pools were struggling: “Facilities that are on the initial target list of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Matt Cappello, PE (CPSC) to come into compliance are the Counsilman-Hunsaker wading pools and the shallow water pools with one main drain,” he explained. “We see those pools trying to come into compliance. There is also a high level of activity of pools at community centers and schools. From our perspective, these pools have a long way to go; they are just at the beginning of coming into compliance.” in the CPSC answer, it does not, but the responsibility is shifted to a PE to okay it. The other frequently asked question concerns covers. Cappello explained: “Skimmer equalization lines are classified as suction outlets because they are submerged outlets. At this time, we are unaware of any small covers that can be installed on the existing inlets that are in compliance with the new standard. Right now, we are instructing previous clients that they need to block those suction outlets, those equalization lines. However, that is in conflict with some of the state codes. It is a quandary of how you address those items.” There are unusual designs for which there are no compliant covers: “We are looking at a project right now, for example, with a floor and wall sump. The drain is actually at the cove of the pool, the floor and the wall interface. Really, there are no solutions at this time in terms of providing a cover for that type of system. This facility will have to cut out the pool floor or cut out the pool wall and install a sump that is in compliance,” he added. Regarding cover manufacturing, Cappello said that when the act was first signed into law in 2007, there were so many CHALLENGES The greatest challenge is knowledge, according to the engineer. Facilities seem to not understand and are confused about the requirements of the law and what they need to do to get into compliance. Another big stumbling block to compliance is that every facility is different with regard to main drains and how they were constructed. “Even within the industry there is confusion with regard to the interpretation of the law,” said Cappello. “The law is the law and it references the standard – the ASME Standard. But even with that there are questions on each project and each facility on how it needs to comply.” TWO BIG QUESTIONS One of the questions that Counsilman-Hunsaker is asked time and again is “Does the pool need to have the main drain sumps replaced if the owner is not able to get one and a half times pipe diameter?” (See CPSP FAQ in this section.) As you will see 10

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Edge - Q3 2009

The Edge - Q3 2009
The President’s Message
Commercial Pools Struggle to Comply with Virginia Graeme Baker Act
Energy Crisis = Opportunity
Is There a Solar Energy Business in Your Future?
Project Focus
Five Sources of Error in Water Testing and What to do About Them
Perimeter Pool Decking
Pressure Testing to Detect and Locate Leaks
Index to Advertisers

The Edge - Q3 2009