State to Close Swimming Pools for Not Fixing Drains

Sunday, Oct 2, 2011  |  Updated 10:51 AM CDT
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State to Close Swimming Pools for Not Fixing Drains

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Six pools around the Fox Valley are scheduled to close Saturday after the Illinois Department of Public Health announced they were in violation of the federal government’s drain regulations for pools and spas.

A press release from the Health Department said that since August 2009, the pools received six warnings that if they did not make federally required adjustments to the drain system by Oct. 1, the pools would be forced to close.

Roughly 85 percent of all licensed swimming facilities in Illinois have already complied, but about 500 municipal, park district, school and hotel pools are still out of compliance, the Health Department said.

The six pools in the Fox Valley on the Health Department’s list are: the pool at East Aurora High School in Aurora; Huntington Park Apartments in Aurora; Park Terrace Apartments in Aurora; Royal Fox Country Club in St. Charles; Holiday Inn Express in Yorvkille; and Hoover Outdoor Education Center in Yorkville.

The news came as a surprise to some of the pool owners contacted Friday. Kendall County Forest Preserve Director Jason Pettit said the pool at the Hoover center has been closed for several years. Someone who answered the phone at Park Terrace Apartments said the pool has been closed for a year. A manager at the Holiday Inn said the pool is open and they are not in violation of state rules.

East Aurora High School and Royal Fox did not return calls for comment. Huntington Park Apartments could not be reached for comment.

The federal requirements are outlined in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool And Spa Safety Act, named after a 7-year-old girl who drowned in 2002 when a hot tub drain suctioned her to the bottom of a pool. Pools are now required to install mechanical devices that ease the vacuum seals or turn off motors when entrapment or blockage is sensed.

A list of facilities not complying with the code is posted on the Illinois Department of Public Health Web site at www.idph.state.il.us.

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