I was contacted by a YMCA in Illinois that had corner drains after he found my website via Google. He was excited that my product might bring him VGB compliance. I designed a custom corner adapter/frame with one Aquastar 12X12 grate I sent a shop drawing with specifications for approval to IDPH on Thursday. They wrote back that I needed a P.E. among other things. I sent the following response:
I appreciate you taking the time to review my request. You are the first official to actually send me a point by point analysis of my product. I have been in the commercial swimming pool industry for nearly 30 years. In the last 1-1/2 years I have designed and installed many types of adapter/frames for existing non-standard drain covers with VGB approved covers. I would not have proposed this solution if I did not think it was SAFE.
I have heard estimates that there may be as many as 4,000 pools in the USA with corner drains. If my product or a similar one is not used, the only solution for these pools may be demolition of the existing system, pool wall and floor, and installation of a system on the floor only. In today’s economy I believe over half of these pools would be forced to close. I don’t think the VGB or the ASME intended to close pools, only to make them safer. If the Legislature and ASME thought this law would force the closure of 20,000 to 30,000 pools nationwide I believe they would both re-think their respective positions.
If 600 pools in Michigan are forced to close due to the VGB Act that is about 10% of the State’s pools. How many less pool maintenance jobs will there be? How many less Lifeguards will be required? How many less pool contractors will be needed? How many less health inspectors? This Law should not create an epidemic of closed pools and lost jobs. Particularly if there are viable, safe VGB solutions available.
The implementation of the VGB Act has been extremely difficult for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). They have non-profit technical standards organizations (ASME) telling them what is and is not acceptable. The pool industry is pushing their agenda. Public health officials are weighing in. Pool owners and many others with voices are complaining about budgets. Who is really going to be hurt in the end …… mostly children, who love to swim in swimming pools.
I have a 5 year old grandson I would like to see swim in the pool at the YMCA in Ann Arbor. I intend to see that happen. To that end I started a Pro-Bono program. We will donate a portion of our VGB compliance services back to the facility and offer free consulting services for one year to all pools in danger of closing.
I am willing to offer this program to any YMCA or other facility in Illinois that has corner drains