In The News: May 20, 2010

CPSC Shifting Focus To Education

CPSC Shifting Focus To EducationThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will detail plans for a public education effort aimed at reducing accidents in swimming pools and spas during a press conference on Monday, May 24. The announcement will include the CPSC's annual report on child drowning and entrapment incidents in the United States, according to the agency.

Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the CPSC, will lay out the agency's plans, and will be joined by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL); Nancy Baker, Graeme's grandmother; and Olympic swimmers Jason Lezak and Janet Evans.

According to Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D., the announcement is in keeping with provisions in the VGB Act and signals a shift from last summer's activity, which was mostly centered on enforcement.

"Ultimately, the goal is prevention," he says. "And enforcement is really just a snapshot in time. I think the CPSC should be applauded for their efforts at moving toward education."

Lachocki adds that although he heard of some early public pool inspections by the CPSC, he's heard of few recently. Still, further inspections are likely as summer nears.

"I think when the CPSC went out and did inspections, they had a pretty high compliance rate," Lachocki said. "There just aren't a lot of people out there double-checking, so it's hard to tell. But I wouldn't be surprised if, come Memorial Day, they're out there doing more inspections."

The CPSC estimates that nearly 300 children under 5 drown in swimming pools and hot tubs each year, and that 10 times that number suffer non-fatal submersion injuries requiring hospitalization. "Pool Safely" will address those incidents along with ones specifically related to the entrapment incidents the Act was adopted to combat. For more information on the" Pool Safely" campaign, visit

VGB Compliance Isn't The Only Thing Closing Pools

VGB Compliance Isn't The Only Thing Closing PoolsWith an emphasis on how the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act affects public pools nationwide, it's easy to overlook another major factor that is shutting pools down throughout the country: budget cuts.

In an ongoing fight against overspending, the City of Phoenix recently announced it would close eight pools this summer in an effort to save the city $2 million. The city decided it would rotate which pools would be closed each year.

California's San Jose City Council also voted to cut its swim program down to two pools this summer in response to a $116.2 million budget shortfall. While the program draws nearly 60,000 swimmers each year to six area pools, the change was necessary, according to officials.

"It's a tragedy," Councilwoman Madison Nguyen told the Mercury News. "But given our budget constraints, I don't think there are any other options."

Gainsville State College in Georgia also had to close its pool because it could no longer afford to keep it open.

Pool closings diminish a community's ability to educate about pool safety, an effort the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and other associations, is pushing hard this year.

Additional reading: September 2009 Making Waves

Pentair Goes Viral

Pentair Goes ViralWhile many may not remember the '90s boom of AOL Instant Messenger and chat rooms - long before Facebook, Twitter and MySpace hit the mainstream - they began as media where people could communicate to anyone, anywhere. Nowadays, many can't live without that connection to their friends and family ... and companies continue to jump on the bandwagon.

Pentair Water Pool and Spa is the latest company to launch a social media Web site. Pentair says its Innovation Lab,, represents a unified online strategy that leverages today's online conversations and provides a forum for customers and industry professionals to express their views.

"The Innovation Lab is much more than a social network," says Carlos Del Amo, president of marketing. "This is a direct channel to some of the best minds in the industry. For pool owners, this is a new way to experience the pool lifestyle. Meanwhile, the trade is going to gain a clearer sense of its customers' opinions, and we gain a new opportunity to learn how we can best serve the trade."

Innovation Lab provides a variety of benefits to its members. Visit to register and find out more information.

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