Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act Information
On December 19, 2008 the Federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA) became effective. The VGBA requires all pool drain covers manufactured or sold in the United States to comply with new entrapment standards. VGBA also requires owners of all new and existing public swimming pool and spa suction outlet systems to install safety equipment, including ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 certified suction outlets and covers, designed to prevent entrapment.
Since the law took effect in December 2008, public pool and spa owners have been required to have their pools and spas in compliance with VGBA. While existing Texas requirements for public pools and spas are similar to the federal VGBA requirements, Senate Bill (SB) 1732, 81st Leg., R.S. (see below), which creates Health and Safety Code §341.0645, requires the Department of State Health Services to develop and implement safety standards and rules that are at least as stringent as those in VGBA. The process to adopt these rules in Texas is under way.
Information about compliance with VGBA can be found at: poolsafety.gov. Questions concerning compliance with SB 1732 and the Standards for Public Swimming Pools and Spas in Texas (25 TAC §§265.181 – 265.208) should be directed by email to PHSCPS@dshs.texas.gov, or by email to Andrea Garcia, or by telephone: (512) 834-6788, ext. 2362.
- 2018 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) (Weblink)
- ANSI/PHTA/ICC-7 2020 American National Standard for Suction Entrapment Avoidance in Swimming Pools (Weblink)
- A copy of the most current International Swimming Pool and Spa Code and the 2020 Suction Entrapment Protection Standard can be purchased: Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (Weblink)
- Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act
- S.B. 1732 (81R) - Safety Requirements for Public Swimming Pools and Other Artificial Bodies of Water(PDF, 36KB)
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Letter - May 6, 2008(PDF, 566KB)
- CPSC Staff Interpretation of Section 1404: Federal Swimming Pool and Spa Drain Cover Standard - June 18, 2008(PDF, 128KB)
- CPSC Staff Draft Technical Guidance on Section 1406: Minimum State Law Requirements - September 2008(PDF, 142KB)