In The News: March 2008

APSP Starts Outreach For Pool And Spa Safety Law

APSP is developing communication plans for educating the industry on the recently enacted Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. The outreach efforts will strive to engage the thousands of pool and spa builders at the local level and encourage them to apply the law. APSP will educate pool owners/operators about the ANSI/APSP-7 standard and the protections that it affords. In addition to working with officials at the federal and state levels, the APSP hopes to help interested organizations, including other nonprofit membership organizations, whose constituents have commercial pools and need help in getting factual and accurate information about the new requirements.

The new law establishes a grant program for the states to be administered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Generally, the new law is directive, not mandatory, and it relies on state action for implementation. However, several provisions are now federally mandated. The law mandates that residential drain covers made or put into commerce as of Dec. 19, 2008, shall be in conformance with anti-entrapment drain cover standards. Additionally on Dec. 19, all public pools must be retrofitted with appropriate antientrapment drain covers.

According to APSP, highlights of the law include entrapment guidelines consistent with the new ANSI/APSP-7 American National Standard for Suction Entrapment Avoidance. These call for the use of one or more of several enumerated devices, including a vent line, SVRS or other comparable device on installations that have a single main drain, other than an unblockable drain. The law specifically exempts from these requirements installations that do not have a single main drain, such as those with more than one drain or no drains. The new law calls for the enclosure of all residential pools and spas by barriers and incorporates the widely accepted layers-of-protection approach to safety. The act recognized that safety is promoted only if homeowners implement the layers-of-protection approach, including barriers, natural topography, gates, locks, door alarms, pool alarms and covers, none of which - it should be noted - is a replacement for supervision.

BioLab Aligns North American Operations

BioLab recently announced plans to integrate select operations under a greater-North American umbrella. Shifting its customer care responsibilities and realigning its U.S./Canadian marketing efforts are two key changes and will result in the loss of some positions, according to a company press release.

"Expanding and growing our business in Canada remains a strategic objective for BioLab's pool and spa business," said Richard Scarpa, Bio- Lab vice president - international. "We are always investigating ways to improve the way we do business, and the unique similarities of language, geography and business strategies made this current realignment practical. We have made similar realignments in Spain and the U.K. in the European portion of our business this past year, and we fully expect their successes will easily translate to our North American group." BioLab will move its customer care responsibilities to corporate headquarters in Lawrenceville, Ga., where additional personnel, including bi l ingual representat ives, were added.

"These changes, though being made to maximize our opportunities continent-wide, are being implemented with the distinctive needs of the Canadian customers and consumers in mind and much remains the same," said Mike Godfrey, director of sales for Canada. "Sales, marketing, distribution and logistics will be led by veteran people dedicated to Canada and familiar with our customers, processes and tools. Unfortunately, some individuals will be leaving Bio- Lab due to reassignment of their duties elsewhere, and we truly appreciate their past contributions to our success."

LOOP-LOC Marks 30 Years In Business

LOOP-LOC, Ltd., will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2008 by giving a gift to its customers. The Hauppauge, N.Y., manufacturer announced that it will pick up the shipping charges for LOOP-LOC safety covers and inground pool liners sent in 2008 to dealers' addresses that are on file with the company.

"It's our way of thanking our dealers for 30 years of support and loyalty," said president and CEO LeeAnn Donaton-Pesta in a press release. The company also reported that it has added eight exclusive designs to its Luxury Liners range of in-ground pool liners.

NSPF Polyglot Offerings Expand

A CPO-Instructor class for English and Spanish speakers and a new French translation of the Certified Pool-Spa Operator Handbook are recent additions to the National Swimming Pool Foundation's lineup of education products.

The CPO-Instructor class is scheduled for April 19-21, in Puerto Rico. "The Spanish training materials make the information more accessible," says Fontaine Piper, chairman of the NSPF Instructor Education Committee. "It just makes good sense to make the instructor- training classes more accessible, too."

Guide de l'exploitant certifié de piscine/spa is the French translation of the NSPF's Certified Pool-Spa Operator Handbook. Thomas M. Lachocki, CEO of NSPF, said the French translation is in keeping with the organization's focus on sharing educational materials and training throughout the world.

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