Virginia Graeme Baker Act. Waterpark Industry. Overview. We support the goals of the Act Single, blockable drains should comply with the Act. Water attractions are not traditional pools Waterparks currently employ multiple layers of anti-entrapment features
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Virginia Graeme Baker Act
What is a typical swimming pool?
From Section 1403
Swimming pool; spa. The term "swimming pool" or "spa"meansany outdoor or indoor structure intended for swimming or recreational bathing, including in-ground and above-ground structures, and includes hot tubs, spas, portable spas, and non-portable wading pools."
Smaller systems and drains
Few walking surfaces
Few interactive features
What is a waterpark attraction?
Class D, other pool: Any pool operated for medical treatment, therapy, exercise, lap swimming, recreational play, and other special purposes, including, but not limited to, wave or surf action pools, activity pools, splasher pools, kiddie pools, and play areas.
Class D-1, wave action pools: Wave action pools include any pool designed to simulate breaking or cyclic waves for purposes of general play or surfing;
Class D-2, activity pools: Activity pools are those pools designed for casual water play ranging from simple splashing activity to the use of attractions placed in the pool for recreation;
Class D-3, catch pools: Catch pools are bodies of water located at the termination of a manufactured waterslide attraction provided for the purpose of terminating the slide action and providing a means for exit to a deck or walkway area.
Class D-4, leisure rivers: Manufactured streams of near-constant depth in which the water is moved by pumps or other means of propulsion to provide a river-like flow that transports bathers over a defined path that may include water features and play devices.
Class D-5, vortex pools: Circular pools equipped with a method of transporting water in the pool for the purpose of propelling riders at speeds dictated by the velocity of the moving stream.
Class D-6, interactive play attractions: Only water treatment and filtration for these attractions are within the scope of this standard. A manufactured water play device or a combination of water-based play devices in which water flow volumes, pressures, or patterns are intended to be varied by the bather without negatively influencing the hydraulic conditions of other connected devices. Class D-6 attractions may incorporate devices or activities such as slides, climbing and crawling structures, visual effects, user-actuated mechanical devices and other elements of bather-driven and bather-controlled play. Class D-6 attractions do not incorporate captured or standing water greater than 12 inches deep as part of the bather activity area.
Class D-7, amusement park attractions: Attractions or rides traditionally found in amusement parks that are designed to permit bather contact with water.
Class D-8, natural bodies of water: Those natural or man-made aquatic play areas normally regarded as oceans, lakes, ponds, streams, quarries, or bodies of water that the local jurisdiction has designated as Natural Bodies of Water. The design or construction of these facilities is not included in the scope of ANSI/NSPI standards.
What makes waterpark attractions different from a typical swimming pool?
~30+ drains, various sizes
Typical swimming pool
~3 drains, <18x23
Large bodies of water
Moving, shallow water
Use of tubes, rafts, mats
Partially submerged skimmers
Several anti-entrapment features are utilized
Large unblockable drains
Water velocities at drains less than 1.5 ft/sec
Drain grates, larger than 18”x23” are prevalent in waterparks.
Compliant grates in sizes larger than 18x23 are not available.
Year-round operations will be in violation of the law without alternatives on December 20th
Commercially available, compliant drain grates are domed or raised.
Domed drain grates on walking surfaces pose a tripping hazard. Play areas need flush mounted grates.
Entry/exit to zero depth attraction
ASME compliant grates would protrude creating trip and fall hazards
Drain cover has specific sized opening to achieve flow velocity
ASME compliant grate could have smaller openings resulting in change in flow velocity
Challenge:Even if the cover meets the requirements of the standard, there is a reluctance by licensed engineers to certify existing drain grates.
1 - The ANSI/ASME standard was not written with waterpark facilities in mind.
2 - Our industry supports laws that enforce anti-entrapment compliance. Consideration of the unique features of water attractions is needed.
3 - Technical requirements for anti-entrapment should be addressed in other ANSI and ASTM standards specific to waterpark attractions.
4 – Rushing to implement ANSI/ASME 112.19.8 for water attractions may lead to additional unanticipated safety hazards.
Addresses design and testing of drain grates and sumps
Defines anti-entrapment based on water flow velocity and drain dimensions
Refers to ANSI/IAF-9 for other anti-entrapment solutions
Test methods limited to 18x18 grates
Written by commercial pool suppliers, manufacturers, consultants, etc.
Addresses design and construction of Aquatic Recreation Facilities (waterparks)
Defines anti-entrapment features required of the entire system, regardless of drain size.
Written by waterpark operators, designers, safety consultants, and suppliers.