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We showcase the products that are worthwhile on our Recommended Products page and applaud the local servicepeople that have proven themselves in our Central Florida Registry.

Here we trot out the products you'd best watch your step around; the stuff that can mess up your whole day.


Listed in no particular order are the pool related products that have somehow caught the attention of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Everybody makes mistakes, it's only human. These are earnest people just like you and me, working hard every day, striving their best to correct their mistakes before any more of their customers suffer permanent injury, dismemberment or a senseless and horrifying death.

ALERTS (TV News Related)

(RWI) Recreation Water Illness

Public pools are now so often the center of Cryptosporidium outbreaks, they've earned their own acronym.

There's not much more you can do to make pool water any safer than we already do. An RWI episode starts when sick people; and I mean really sick people; that is, actively diaretic sickened people, insist on using the pool or changing a sick baby's diaper in the pool and causing the ol' brown tide to appear.

It happens often enough in Central Florida that every pool operator is familiar with the basic clean-up procedure: Immediately get everybody out of the water and drain the pool.

Your next response is to jump faster than the circling news crews can. Call the Center for Disease Control (http:www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming/outbreak/htm) and let them handle everything, including any public statements because you do not want your face to be appear on-air along with the words 'diarrhea outbreak'.

So, What's All This on the News About Every Public Pool in the United States in Imminent Danger of Being Shut Down for Safety Violations?

The Graeme Baker Pool Safety Act : Read It for Yourself.

The gist of the story is that one person a year drowns somewhere in the United States in a public pool or spa when they get snared in the main drain. Where a large pump is piped directly to the bottom drain, it's almost impossible to extricate someone from the main drain pipe with the pump running.

It is dangerous to have the suction-side of a pump connected directly to a main drain, especially in a kiddy pool where the grate is so readily accessible to the most vulnerable, trusting and curious among us. As anyone who's ever put their hand over a vacuum wall fitting to test if it was working can attest: It really hurts.

Most of the commercial pools built in Florida in the last 45 years feature the Vacuum DE filtering system. It does the best job of filtering, is easiest to service and happens to utilize an open separation tank that also serves as an ideal vacuum break, allowing water to flow naturally from the pool to the filter tank, where the pump connections start. With this filter, there is no direct connection between pool and suction-side of the pump. Dual main drain openings more than three feet apart have also been standard design in new residential and commercial pool construction for the last two decades, offering another assurance that no one can become trapped at the bottom.

Add a new 'unblockable' drain cover to the pool and you've done everything practicable to satisfy both letter and spirit of the law.

Spas are another matter.

It's just way too easy to hook a pressure Hi Rate Sand or a pair of cartridge filters to a spa and the job's done. No Muss, No Fuss and the equipment fits neatly into a broom closet. Commercial and residential spas are, almost exclusively, fitted with pressure filters and connected directly to the main drain and skimmer.

Most commercial spas in the last 30 years have been built with a vacuum break via either dual main drain fixtures or a side wall fitting T'd directly into the main drain line. An unblockable cover should satisfy the law but if you're worried about lawyers, I'd suggest a $750.00 SVRS (Safety Vacuum Release System) that shuts the pump off when there's a major pressure change in the main drain line.

And, that's the real problem.

One death per year in the entire United States for an activity that millions of people enjoy? Sad as one death is, this new law won't do as much for safety as it will raise the pay-off for pool-related lawsuits. Picture a slip and fall accident on the deck and how you will look when it can be proven both the pool and spa weren't as absolutely safe as they could have been and you were obviously, openly and maliciously flouting the law and safety of every bather using them? Then imagine a half dozen microphones shoved in your face to make that interview for the 6 o'clock news.

So, the News has it wrong and there is no problem? No, there is always a problem. And it's usually the News.

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