May 29, 2011 11:36 PM by John Romero
A nationwide crackdown on pool drains is affecting Colorado Springs. In 2007 the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act was passed. As part of that act, public pools had to start using newly approved drain covers to protect against entrapment. There's been only one problem. "You couldn't be compliant because the drain covers weren't made yet." explains Kevin Dessart with the Colorado Springs Swim School who runs the city's pools.
Even now manufacturers are backlogged with orders for the pool drains. Colorado Springs' two outdoor public pools are already compliant, but the pool at the recreation center at Memorial Park has yet to get one of the approved drains. "For some of our pools, the replacements were available." explains Kurt Schroeder with Colorado Springs' Parks Division, "Unfortunately there are a couple of them that's a very specialized and wasn't available from the manufacturer and hasn't been yet."
Since then, lifeguards at city pools have gone through extra training and the pool itself has had some preventative measures put in place. "We actually back off the main drain a little bit, the flow of the main drain so there's less suction in the main drains." explains Dessart, "Which should prevent the chance of any entrapment."
The city says they have the money for the drains. Now the ball is in the manufacturer's court. "We have the money set aside for those new drains." says Schroeder, "As soon as they're available we're going to get them and get them installed."