More evidence that are lawmakers are completely nuts.  It’s called the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.  It was enacted by Congress and signed by President Bush on December 19, 2007.  The law is designed to prevent the tragic and hidden hazard of drain entrapments and eviscerations in pools and spas, the law became effective on December 19, 2008.  Under the law, all public pools and spas must have ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 compliant drain covers installed and a second anti-entrapment system installed, when there is a single main drain other than an unblockable drain.

See the Arizona Republic’s story called “New drain-safety law may close some pools.”

Supporters of the act have said that in the past 20 years, at least 36 children have died and 147 others were injured after becoming trapped underwater by the suction of a pool or hot-tub drain.

Fred Wagner, president of Poolman, a pool-service company in Phoenix, said several of his clients including Vogel Place Condominiums in north Phoenix are closing their pool “because they don’t have the money to bring them up to standards.” Others are ignoring the law and taking serious liability risks, he said.

The government cannot regulate everything that might cause harm.  Why single out the pools for big brother regulation when there are many other activities that result in more deaths and injuries?  For example, an average of 24 people die each year from fires caused by Christmas trees versus 1.8 children a year who die from getting caught in pool drains.  Wouldn’t more lives be saved if everybody who gets a natural Christmas tree has to install a heat activated sprinkler system over the tree?

Besides the fact that governmental regulation takes away our freedom, it also causes unintended adverse consequences such as closing public pools and causing organizations to simply not build a new pool.

The Billings City Council . . . killed plans for a pool in Sahara Park in the Heights. . . . City Administrator Tina Volek said the city wasn’t willing to accept the financial risk and legal liability of owning a large aquatic center.

The government is now criminalizing ordinary citizen activity.  See the letter from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission dated September 11, 2009, sent to six public pools in Ohio recently.  The letter states:

you and the pool or spa owner could be subject to fines of $100,000 for each violation up to a maximum of $15 million for any related series of violations, imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, and/or forfeiture of assets, pursuant to Sections 20 and 21 of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. §§ 2069 and 2070.