Safety Grate Rule May Close North Carolina Pools

May 24, 2010

A federal safety law has led some North Carolina counties to close their public pools and could keep hundreds more from opening this summer.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that state officials are enforcing the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, which helps protect children from injuring themselves in public pool drains.

The act is named after the 7-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker, who drowned in 2002 when she was caught in a hot tub drain.

The law requires grates designed to prevent body parts and jewelry from being sucked into drains. Counties which oversee pools have begun to close those not in compliance.

State pool program supervisor Jim Hayes says that 1,000 pools across the state could easily be shut down.

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