In The News: March 18, 2010

SPEC Legislation Proposes Separation of Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs from Definition

SPEC Legislation Proposes Separation of PoolsJohn Norwood, President of the California Spa & Pool Industry Education Council or SPEC, announced the introduction of AB 2409 in the California Legislature, intended to separate pools and hot tubs from the definition of "water feature" for purposes of the state's Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance.

AB 2409, co-authored by Assemblyman Brian Nestande, R-Riverside, and Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, would require any model ordinance or any ordinance adopted pursuant to AB 1881 (enacted in 2006) to exclude swimming pools and hot tubs from the definition of "water feature."

AB 1881 required the state Department of Water Resources, by regulation, to adopt a model water efficient landscape ordinance by June 1, 2009. In addition, the bill required every public entity to either adopt its own water efficient landscape ordinance by Jan. 1, 2010, or mandate that the state model ordinance go into effect by default.

The problem with the model ordinance is that the definition of "water feature" includes swimming pools, spas and hot tubs. "This is a dangerous precedent," explained Norwood. "We are concerned that this definition of 'water feature' could be adopted by local agencies for drought ordinances and inadvertently lead to all public and residential swimming pools, spas and hot tubs being ordered to shut down in certain emergency situations.

"There is nothing in AB 2409 that would undermine the purposes of the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance," added Norwood. "We just believe there should be a separate definition of pools, spas and hot tubs under this ordinance that is consistent with the current definitions in the California Health & Safety Code."

SPEC has met with DWR representatives and is confident that working together they can reach a compromise resolution.

Water Features Course Available Online

Water Features Course Available OnlineIf you've picked up the last few issues of AQUA, you may have noticed a few vignettes on Crystal Fountains' colorful projects adorning cruise ships and city streets. The company is now offering a 1.5-CEU accredited online course, presented by senior associate Robert Mikula.

"Lighting Water: Effects and Design Considerations" provides designers with an overview of different methods and key design factors to achieve desired effects in lighting water, along with detailed technical and costing information. It is an AIA/CES and CSI CEN approved course.

"Lighting water is both a science and an art," says Mikula. "The options increase yearly: from natural light sources to LEDs, effective lighting on water creates atmosphere, visual interest, excitement and entertainment."

For more information, visit

CPSC Adopts APSP Language On Unblockable Drains

CPSC Adopts APSP Language On Unblockable DrainsThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission approved a final Technical Guidance document on the implementation of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, with a vote on March 1. The document includes the APSP-advocated interpretive rule on unblockable drains, which was based on the testimony from the APSP's Carvin DiGiovanni and public comments submitted by the Association.

The approved-CPSC staff definition is as follows: An unblockable drain is a suction outlet defined as all component, including the sump and/or body, cover/grate, and hardware such that its perforated (open) area cannot be shadowed by the area of the 18x23 body blocking element of ASME/ANSI A112.19.8200i and that the rated flow through the remaining open area cannot create a suction force in excess of the removal force values in Table 1 of that standard. All suction outlet covers, manufactured or field-fabricated, shall be certified as meeting the applicable requirements of ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 standard.

As a result of this vote, drains with covers that meet these criteria will be recognized as unblockable, even if the sump or pipe size is considerably smaller.

"This vote represents a significant victory for safety and the pool and spa industry," says DiGiovanni, APSP senior director, technical and standards. "This will make more options - and more cost-effective options - available to manufacturers, builders, owners and operators while ensuring that suction fittings or cover assemblies certified as unblockable are safe for use on a single outlet."

Pool Cover Specialists, Hayward Pool Products Unveil Rebate Program

Pool Cover Specialists National and Hayward Pool Products recently unveiled a national rebate program designed specifically for PCS dealers and distributors. The PCS Hayward National Energy Rebate Program enables PCS dealers to provide their customers with heated swimming pools that consume substantially less energy by equipping the pool with an energy-efficient Hayward heater and pump and an automatic cover system from Pool Cover Specialists.

The company says the new program creates a win/win scenario for the consumer and the environment by saving consumers as much as 83 percent on their pool heating costs and eliminating up to 93 percent of water loss through evaporation. The program is also designed to create a major market advantage for PCS dealers by enabling them to satisfy the growing consumer demand for energy-efficient pools.

For more information, contact your PCS or Hayward sales representative.

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