CPSC Sets Public Hearing on Pool Drains Guidance

The agency will hear comments from stakeholders on Nov. 4 in Bethesda, Md., and says it intends to amend the guidance, adding a sentence about the importance of proper flow rates and drain cover fastener integrity.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Wednesday it will hold a public hearing Nov. 4 in Bethesda, Md., to hear from "all interested parties" about a planned update of its July 2009 technical guidance on unblockable pool drains. The guidance specifies requirements for a drain cover that constitutes an unblockable drain, preventing drain entrapments and eviscerations as required by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, a federal law signed Dec. 19, 2007, and in effect since Dec. 19, 2008. Anyone wishing to make an oral statement at the hearing should submit the text by 5 p.m. EDT Oct. 28.

Commenters suggested two changes in the guidance, and the commission intends to make both of them by adding this sentence to it: "In reaching this definition for an unblockable drain, the characterization of a suction fitting is taken from the standard to include the sump and cover as a unit, along with the following: (1) The blocking element dimensions and the diagonal measure to define a minimum size requirement (in excess of 18 x 23 or a diagonal measurement greater than 29); (2) the need for the remaining open flow area of the cover, once shadowed, to provide sufficient flow to prevent entrapment; and (3) the general requirements of the standard for fasteners and fastening integrity (i.e., the cover must stay in place)."

For more information about the hearing or to request an opportunity to make an oral presentation, contact Todd A. Stevenson in the Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; e-mail cpsc-os@cpsc.gov; phone 301-504-7923; or fax 301-504-0127.

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