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88-89 WORLD NEWS:SPN Master pages 13/9/08 02:15 Page 3
Victoria puts effort
into water neutral
The US National Swimming Pool “Even challenging economic free monthly e-newsletter Australia’s Victoria pool and spa
Foundationistoallocate$812,500 times do not diminish the need published by the National association has launched the
in research grants for the year to build science, prevent pain, SwimmingPoolFoundation.The Water Neutral Pool campaign to
2008-2009. The new budget andencourageaquatics.” service to pool and spa encourage and recognise the
matches the amount budgeted Added Bill Kent, Chair of the operators, service technicians, building of water-friendly pools –
thepreviousyear,andrepresents grants review committee, “The health officials, and other which can even mean harvesting
a134%increasesinceyear2004. precious research dollars we professionalsseekstohelpthem up to 6,000 litres of water each
The board has steadily invest create a foundation for to stay abreast of key year for use in the garden and
approved substantial increases healthier lives and sustained preventiontopics. around the home.
in the foundation’s research growth for the aquatic field. We Each month, the Prevention The association is calling on all
budget,basedonthebroadand arefortunatetohaveprominent Advisor contains information pool owners to take three easy
growing acceptance of all NSPF faculty investing their talents to which focuses on a specific steps to make their pools water-
educational products. Including benefitusall.” subjectsuchashealthandsafety wise. General Manager Brendan
the NASMI grant, the NSPF Aquatic professionals now information,regulationsandlegal Watkins says programmes can
boardofdirectorshasapproved have a source for current topics, training opportunities, deliver environmental, economic,
toallocateover$4mtoresearch information about pool and spa preventive maintenance tips, and most importantly water
since2004. accident and illness prevention research findings, and other savings. “This is about setting a
P. Cory Willis, President, said with the Prevention Advisor, importantsubjectmatter. new standard in responsible pool
ownership. Water Neutral Pools
utilise both water harvesting and
water saving devices to minimise
water use,” he says. “A Water
Neutral Pool has a water tank to
collect rainwater used to top up
the pool, a cover to conserve
A swimming pool company president from Connecticut charged with second-degree manslaughter in water lost through evaporation
connection with the drowning of a 6-year-old boy had been told about a law requiring a suction and a backwash minimisation
entrapmentsafetydevicebutfailedtoinstallitinthepool. system to prevent excessive
ShorelinePoolsPresidentDavidLionettiissaidtohave“recklesslycausedthedeath”ofZacharyCohn backwashing.
by not having his company install mandated safety devices in a pool built for the boy’s family. Police
alleged the safety devices would have prevented the boy’s death when his arm was trapped by the
suctionofapowerfuldrainpump. New Aussie property
Lionettihasdeniedallthechargesagainsthim. law tightens up pool
The vacuum release system prevents suction entrapment by detecting sudden suction pressure safety
obstructionandshuttingthefiltrationsystemdown.ShorelinePoolsclaimsitwasnotawarethatastate Australian householders will now
lawpassedin2003andeffectivein2004requiredthedevice. have to make sure their backyard
Prosecutors have set a high bar in which they must prove Lionetti knew about the law mandating the swimming pools or spas meet
safetydeviceandconsciouslydisregardedanunjustifiablerisk. safety standards before a house
Zachary Cohn drowned when his arm became stuck in an intake valve in the deep end of the family’s can be sold.
in-ground pool on 26 July 2007. Water entering the intake valve is pumped through filters before being A change to the law will mean
returnedtothepool. pool owners must have
An investigation determined that a plastic safety cover for the filtration system came loose and the adequate fencing and self-
boy’sarmwassuckedintothedrainalmosttohiselbow. closing gates before a house
goes on the market.
The safety standards previously
applied only to new homes.
Chief Executive of Kidsafe SA,
Helen Noblet, says there are
about 10,000 pools that fail to
meet requirements.
“Obviously our preferred
The Australian Government is becausemostwereavoidable. A550-pluspagereportfound position is that all pools are
threatening the pool trade with Many, they say were, very a“substantialdecline”insudden fenced with isolation fencing from
tougher fencing laws including preventable deaths with a unexpecteddeathininfancy. the house and the rest of the
regularinspections. combination of poor parental The opposition said the grounds,” she said.
The Commission for Children supervision plus poorly report would only be useful if “But at least this amendment
and Young People has maintained gates and fences so the government acted to help to the legislation will mean that,
completeditsfirststudyofchild that children could access the those in disadvantaged areas at the point of sale, all homes will
fatalities, examining the 6,879 poolwithouttheparentknowing. and ensure swimming pools have to be upgraded to the
deaths of those aged 0-17 Ithasbeencompulsoryforall wereproperlyfenced. current standard.
between1996and2005. pools to have a fence since the Opposition Leader Barry “So we’re quite hopeful that
Private pool drownings early1990’s. O’Farrell said legislation it’ll bring them all into line in a
remainedunchanged. Regularpoolfenceinspections relatingtoinspectingswimming reasonably short period of time.”
The Government’s view now would be no different to regular poolfencesalreadyexisted,but
is that 73 pool drownings over occupational health and safety the government was not
the decade were disturbing checksatbusinesses,shesaid. enforcing it.
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