For many, Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff to pool season. Though swimming pools are synonymous with summer fun, they can be fraught with danger. One potential hazard is pool drains, which demand proper maintenance by pool owners — commercial and private — to avert injury, or worse.
Potential Dangers Of Pool Drains
The suction created by a pool drain can exert 350 to 500 pounds of pressure on anyone situated in its vicinity. Noncompliant, damaged, disconnected, or defective drain covers raise the risk of the following entrapments … and drowning-related injuries/deaths:
• Hair entrapment — especially for those with long hair.
• Fixture entrapment includes swimmers’ jewelry or bathing suits (e.g., straps, drawstrings) getting snagged in the drain outlet.
• Extremities can get stuck, too, which might result in lacerations, fractures, and possible amputation.
• Small children may be subject to body entrapment, which can damage soft tissue and internal organs and sometimes result in horrific disembowelment injuries.
The federal VGB Act of 2008 (named after Virginia Graeme Baker, a 7-year-old drain-entrapment victim) requires all commercial pools and spas to have compliant drain covers — a dome shape instead of a flat design. This makes it more difficult for a body to completely block the drain and reduces the force of the suction. However, because residential pool owners are exempt, many danger zones still exist. All drain covers sold after 2008 must comply with the VGB Act.
Contact Our Peachtree City Law Office
In cases of pool-drain entrapment, immediately shut down power to the pump (or pool as a whole) to stop the suction pressure. If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence of a pool owner or drain-cover manufacturer, contact our offfice by calling (404) 474-0804 or by filling out a contact form here to protect your rights.