Swimming is a popular activity that can bring hours of enjoyment for you, your family and your friends. However, while swimming can be fun, it can also be dangerous. For this reason, you should take steps to ensure that your family and friends are safe when swimming. Below are some important tips to help with your pool safety.

Keeping the Pool Clean

Pool drains play an important role in keeping your pool clean by allowing dirt and debris to exit the pool into the filtration system. A clogged or blocked drain would cause dirt and debris to accumulate in the pool which could pose health hazards. A cleaner pool is a safer pool for everyone. If you notice that your pool is not as clean, the drain could be malfunctioning.

Preventing Drain Entrapment

Pool drains are capable of producing a suctioning force strong enough to trap a body, while faulty drains can snag clothing or hair, potentially resulting in serious injury or death. The main drains for a pool are usually located at the lowest point of the pool and the pool is usually slanted towards these drains to maximize drainage. 

Drains are typically covered with grates or anti-vortex devices to prevent entrapment or drowning. Anti-vortex devices are designed to divert the flow of water to prevent a vortex condition from developing. Any signs of damage such as cracks, looseness or warpage are signs that your drain cover needs immediate repair or replacement. If the serviceability date that is stamped on the cover is expired, the cover should be immediately replaced. You should discontinue use of your pool if any problems are found with the drain covers.

VGB Compliant Drain Covers

It is critical that your pool drains are Virginia Graeme Baker (VGB) compliant. The VGB Act was passed when a young girl drowned due to suction entrapment. You should not use any pool that is not VGB compliant. Older non-compliant drain covers are flat and can create a strong and dangerous vortex that can lead to entrapment. New, compliant drains have a curved design to prevent body entrapment. If you are unsure about what type of drain your pool has, contact a pool professional. 

While inspecting your pool drains may not be something that you typically think about, it should be done regularly to keep your pool clean and to prevent injury or a tragic accident. 

There’s a lot that goes into pool and water safety. Learn more about how Upstate Splash is working to raise water safety awareness with our Charity Open Water Swim