Pool opening delayed by entrapment law
The Eudora Aquatic Center likely won’t open for Memorial Day weekend as planned.
Parks and Recreation Director Tammy Hodges said a new federal law that requires all public pools to be retrofitted with suction entrapment detection device to prevent the number of suction entrapment incidents that lead to injuries and deaths.
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was enacted in December after 5-year-old Virginia Graeme Baker drowned when she became stuck in the suction drain of a spa.
Hodges said she and former Eudora city administrator Cheryl Beatty were aware of the law and called engineering firm BG Consultants, who oversaw construction of the pool in 2007. BG said the pool was up to code.
However, Hodges said Richard Ziesenis, environmental health director for Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, told her last week the pool would need to be brought up to code.
If the city were to have suction entrapment detectors installed, the pool would be in line with the law, Ziesenis told Hodges. The devices would cost about $1,500.
At Monday’s city council meeting, Brian Kinsgley proposed a $35,000 project that also would install grates over suction drains in the pool.
Mayor Scott Hopson said he would like “all the information the city can get from all of the experts in the field.”
City council members, Hopson, a BG engineer, Ziesenis and Hodges will try to meet early next week to come up with a solution.