Why Virginia Graeme Baker ?

Virginia Graeme Baker was a 7-year-old girl, the granddaughter of the former Secretary of State James Baker. In June 2002, during a graduation party in McLean, Va., she drowned in a hot tub. Graeme, that’s what their family called her, was a member of swimming community and dive teams. But against the suction’s power of vacuum cleaner (hundreds of pounds of pressure), she was helpless. She was entrapped into the water. She died at the hospital. Since the tragedy, her mother Nancy devotes time to pool safety in order to parents don’t experience the horrors of the day of June

What are the safety requierements ?


  • Drain covers: All public pools and spas MUST have Drain Covers in compliance with ASME/ANSIA112.19.8 standards on or after December 19, 2008. The primary necessaries of the ASME/ANSI standards are:
    • Cover stuff must be verified for structural unity
    • Cover must be tried and true for body and hair entrapments
    • Cover must show a flow value in gals per minute (gpm) that points the maximum stream level for which the cover has been authorized
  • Unblockable Drain: An unblockable drain must be in compliance with testing operations presented in ASME/ANSI A112.19.8. It would have minimal proportions of 18” x 23”, the dimension of an adult male shoulder.

Along a drain cover or other anti-entrapment device that ASME/ASNI A112.19.8 compliant, public pools and spas owners which have facilities with only a SINGLE main drains must install one of the supplementary systems or devices below

  • Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS): A safety vacuum release system which stops operation of the pump, inverts the circulation flow, or otherwise allows a vacuum release at a suction outlet when an obstruction is noticed, that has been proved by an independent third party and found ASME/ANSI standard A112.19.17 or ASTM standard F2387 compliant.
  • Suction-limiting vent system: A suction-limiting vent system is also called an atmospheric vent. It is a hose tied to the suction way of the circulation system on one side and open to the standard pressure on the opposite side. The pipe is ordinarily water-full match to the same height as the pool. When an obstruction happens at the main drain, air is inserted into the suction line therefore inducing a pump lose of prime and decreasing the suction power at the main drain (suction outlet).
  • Gravity drainage system: A gravity drainage system using a collecting tank is a swimming pool/spa with a separate water storage vessel from which the pool circulation pump draws water. Water motion from the pool to the collector pit caused by atmospheric pressure, gravitational force and swimmer which takes away the need for direct suction. This kind of system is also mentioned to as a reservoir, surge tank, or surge pit.
  • Automatic pump shut-off system: An automatic pump shut-off system would be a device that could detect a drain occlusion and stops the pumping system. Some SVRS may match this definition

This intepretation of VGB Safety act has not been reviewed or approved by any federal authority and may not necessarily represent the views of the federal government, you can find the integral law text here: H.R. 6: TITLE XIV—Pool and Spa Safety (Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act)