On 17 December 2008, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act was put into force. The purpose of the legislation was to prevent pool entrapment & drownings (especially child drownings) in public swimming pools across the United States.
The law mandates certain "upgrades" be made to public pools including new main drain covers, suction grate covers, and safety vacuum release systems (SVRS). In a nutshell, any pool that was "open" & in use on December 17, had to meet the requirements. If the pool was closed or winterized, those upgrades have to be in place when the pool is again put into service.
The biggest problem with the legislation is the interpretation of the provisions. Pool builders, state & local building inspectors have spent months trying to untangle it all. A copy of the law can be found here. A summary of the legislation provided by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) can be found here.
We'll have more information as we are educated to this very important safety issue. Look for new products coming in February 2009.