Notwithstanding the December 2008 deadline, reports surfaced in California from pool owners who experienced problems and unreasonable demands and fees by local officials when it came to retrofitting their pools. In response, the California Legislature introduced, and the Governor signed, AB 1020, a California version of the VGBA, which provides more clarify and guidance for pool owners and local governments. Here is an overview.
Under AB 1020, every public swimming pool must be equipped with anti-entrapment devices or systems that comply with ASME/ANSI performance standards, as in effective December 31, 2009, or any applicable ASME/ANSI performance standard adopted by the California Department of Public Health.
A "public swimming pool" includes those outdoor and indoor structures, whether in-ground or above-ground, intended for swimming or recreational bathing, including a swimming pool, hot tub, spa, or non-portable wading pool that is open to residents of a multifamily residential area.
Every public swimming pool with a single main drain that is not an un-blockable drain must be equipped with at least one or more of the following devices or systems:
For those public pools built on or after January 1, 2010, there must be at least two main drains per pump that meet specific requirements under the law.
The new state law declares the Legislature's intent to "occupy the whole field" of health and safety standards for public swimming pools. This means that a uniform standard will prevail and will prevent local governments from requiring standards above and beyond state law.
The new state law grandfathers in those pools deemed to be in federal compliance prior to the enactment of the state law.
A public swimming pool owner who meets the grandfathering exception must, however, do one of the following before to September 30, 2010:
Pursuant to this law, the California Department of Public Health must develop an internal public swimming pool compliance tracking system. That system is to track pool owner compliance with anti-entrapment requirements. By March 31, 2010, the Department must also issue a form (and post it on their website), which form is to be completed by pool owners to verify their compliance with the anti-entrapment standards.
The form must include the following information:
Each public swimming pool owner must file this completed form with the local enforcement agency within 30 days of completing pool construction or safety equipment installation. If the construction or installation is completed prior to the date that the Department issues the form, the form must be filed within 30 days after the form is issued.
The Department of Public Health is authorized until January 1, 2014, to assess an annual fee not to exceed $R6 to defray the Department's costs of compliance. The fee will be collected by the local health department.