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updated: 9/30/2011 6:50 PM

Pool drain deadline is Saturday

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  • Sea Lion Park pool in Lisle is one of many licensed swimming facilities in Illinois to comply with new federal and state rules on pool drain covers. But approximately 500 swimming facilities statewide still haven't met the requirements.

      Sea Lion Park pool in Lisle is one of many licensed swimming facilities in Illinois to comply with new federal and state rules on pool drain covers. But approximately 500 swimming facilities statewide still haven't met the requirements.
    Daily Herald File Photo, 2010

 
 

Saturday is the deadline for licensed swimming facilities in the state to comply with state and federal safety rules that mandate outfitting pool drains with covers.

It's a move intended to prevent strong suction that can trap swimmers underwater, officials say.

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About 85 percent of all state licensed swimming facilities are in compliance, but some 500 municipal, park district, school and hotel pools still don't meet the requirements, according to the state health department.

On Friday, the health department released a list of the facilities that haven't met the requirements. There are 76 noncompliant facilities in northwest suburban Cook County, 16 in DuPage County, 13 in Lake County, 10 in Kane County and five in McHenry County.

State officials said facilities that haven't met the safety rules by Saturday will be required to close.

The deadline was set after passage of the Illinois Swimming Facility Act in February. State health department officials also said they sent a reminder to licensed swimming facilities in June about the new rules.

In 2007, the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was enacted, and called for a December 2008 deadline to enforce suction entrapment regulations.

The law was named after former Secretary of State James Baker's granddaughter, who drowned in a hot tub when suction from a drain held her underwater.

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