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Backyard pools also pose dangers
Daily Herald Staff Report
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Published: 8/4/2010 12:00 AM

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Only public pools are required to make changes to protect swimmers from dangerous drainage systems that can suck them under water.

Yet, many of the entrapments that have led to someone's death occurred at backyard pools.

Most of those pools can be made safe with parts carried in almost every pool store in the country, said Paul Pennington, chairman of the Pool Safety Council, an advocacy group.

To make home pools compliant with the federal law, homeowners need a pressure release device for the pump that can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 and a domed drain cover that can run between $60 and $120, according to Peter Anis, a service manager at Arvidson Pools and Spas in Crystal Lake. Most work can be done without shutting down the pool. The modifications would likely cost less than $200 for the labor, he said.

"We have done in-house seminars about it and have fliers up at our counter," Anis said.

But that doesn't mean private pool owners are making the changes.

"Off the top of my head, I'd say most pool owners don't have a clue about it," said Don Lauterbach, owner of The Swim Store in Lisle. "No one has ever queried me on that."