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How Changes to Federal and State Law Impact Golf and Country Clubs
Michael DeMarco
August 31, 2009


The federal law affects clubs with on-site public pools or spas, which pose dangers if the drains aren't properly covered. The 7-year old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker was killed when suction from an insufficiently covered drain pinned her underwater. In response to this tragedy, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) enacted the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act in December 2008.

Under the Act, every pool and spa must have drain covers that conform to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (AMSE) standards and each public pool and spa with a single main drain must have at least one additional level of entrapment protection. The maximum federal penalty for one or more related violations of this rule is currently $1.825 million, but Congress is considering legislation that would increase it to $10 million or higher. Under most insurance policies, fine/penalties or punitive damages are not insurable, so the club will be responsible for paying these amounts out of its own pocket.


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The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.

More water safety tips