As kids on break from school head to pools in droves this summer, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced the recall of one million pool drain covers. Although no injuries or incidents have been reported, the drain covers are being recalled because they were certified by labs that used incorrect safety standards.
In December 2008, federal law changed the standards for pool drain covers to reduce the risk of swimming pool drowning accidents. The previously acceptable flat style of drain cover has a greater capacity to trap a child against it because of the suction allowed by its shape, said Knox County Health Department official Scott Bryan. The new standards require different designs that make it more difficult for people to become trapped against pool drains, lessening the likelihood of submersion and drowning accidents.
Although it only takes one dangerous pool drain cover to create a tragedy, Bryan estimates that less than 5 percent of all pool drain covers installed after 2008 are affected by the recall. Eight manufacturers’ pool drain covers are being recalled, and the companies will replace or retro-fit the dangerous drain covers. One of the affected manufacturers is Rising Dragon USA, a Sweetwater, Tennessee company.
When public pools at community centers, apartments and hotels are open, county health officials inspect them at least once a month. The inspectors are only required to check state regulations on pools, which currently do not include the new type of drain cover in Tennessee, but Bryan said inspectors will check pool drain covers to ensure they are in safe working order.