Press Release

September 30, 2011


Deadline to Make Swimming Pool Drains Safer – October 1, 2011

State health department closing non-compliant pools  

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – On October 1, 2011, licensed swimming facilities in Illinois must comply with state suction entrapment regulations or they will be closed in an effort to protect the public’s health. Roughly 85 percent of all licensed swimming facilities in Illinois have already complied, but there are approximately 500 municipal, park district, school and hotel pools still out of compliance.

In December 2007 the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was signed into law, mandating the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) enforce mandatory suction entrapment regulations for all pools and spas.

Starting in 2008, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) issued six memoranda to all swimming facility licensees addressing the need to comply with suction entrapment regulations.

  • August 2008 – reminder that all licensed swimming facilities must comply with all state and federal laws, including Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. Failure to do so may impact their license.
  • March 2009 – the Department intends to adopt rule changes to eliminate difficulty complying with both state and federal requirements.
  • May 2009 – adoption of emergency rules to comply with standards for submerged suction outlets. Reminder to facilities of the requirement to obtain a permit if construction is needed to comply.
  • March 2010 – adoption of Illinois Swimming Facility Code rules concerning suction fittings and safety vacuum release. Facilities not actively working toward compliance of these rules may be ordered to close.
  • February 2011 – reminder that pools not in compliance with the Illinois Swimming Facility Act may be ordered closed by the Department anytime. Pools not complying with suction entrapment by October 1, 2011 will be closed.
  • June 2011 – reminder that federal requirements were implemented in 2008 followed by state regulations in February 2010. Non-compliance of these regulations on October 1, 2011 will result in an order to close the swimming facility.

A list of facilities not complying with the code is posted on the Illinois Department of Public Health website at

Current list:

idph online home
idph online home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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