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Pool Laws

The Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance of Public Swimming Pools (PDF - 473 kb) *

This 34-page booklet includes excerpts from the California Health and Safety Code, California Code of Regulations, California Building Code, and California Electrical Code. This booklet is for informational purposes only. Should the reader want assurance that the referenced material is current, the codes should be referred to directly.

To review the updated minimum standards for the design and construction of public swimming pools of the California Building Code, Title 24 click here...


Virginia Graeme Baker Act (VGB) Safety Upgrades

The VGB Act is designed to protect swimmers and bathers from injury or death caused by unsafe suction gratings in pools and spas. A recent article describing the problems caused by unapproved drain covers shows why the law has been enacted.

July 2010

January 2010

  • Emerson AB 1020 Public Swimming Pools: Anti-Entrapment Devices and Systems (PDF - 50 kb) * was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger as an emergency standard into California Law and is effective January 01, 2010.
  • AB1020 Flow Chart (PDF - 179 kb) *
  • AB 1020 FAQ from California Department of Public Health
  • Letter to Owners & Operators (PDF - 25 kb) * (State Surcharge on Public Pools)
  • Significant Dates Related to VGB Upgrades:
    • January 01, 2010 a $6.00 annual surcharge is to be collected for each pool facility until 2014.
    • Every public pool constructed on or after January 01, 2010 shall have at least two main drains per pump that are hydraulically balanced.
    • Public pools constructed prior to January 01, 2010 shall be retrofitted to comply with VGB requirements no later than July 01, 2010.
    • All pool operators that have completed a VGB retrofit between December 19, 2007 and January 01, 2010 shall file a statement (certification) that the work is completed before September 30, 2010.
    • Certification that the VGB retrofit is completed must be filed no later than 30 days after construction is done.

December 2008


* Portable Document Format (PDF) file requires the free Adobe Reader.



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