Many fitness facilities struggled to comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker (VGB) Pool & Spa Safety Act, which was enacted and signed into law in 2007. Some of the struggles dealt with the costs associated with VGB compliance.
In October, several pools in Illinois closed temporarily after fitness facilities, including Life Time Fitness, Bally and the Springfield YMCA, appeared on the state’s noncompliant list. The Illinois Department of Public Health said that 15 percent of the pools licensed by the state had yet to install drain covers or other anti-entrapment devices required for VGB compliance.
Although some operators agreed on the importance of preventing suction entrapment, others said that drowning should be the main focus of a federal aquatic safety law.
Operators of public swimming pools, wading pools and spas also began preparing to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design, issued by the Department of Justice. The act, which goes into effect March 15, 2012, requires a lift or sloped entry in pools measuring less than 300 lineal feet. Pools larger than 300 lineal feet must have two means of access.