Law Drains Pool of Swimmers

Facility closes until drains are replaced

Woodbridge families that use the town's indoor Beecher Road Pool have had to swim elsewhere because of a new federal safety law.

The reason is that the pool, built in 1971, has L-shaped drains, said Jim Franco of the Woodbridge Recreation Department. Because so few pools have L-shaped drains, the town was unable to find covers for them that would comply with the law.

"Currently, there's no anti-entrapment for those devices," said Franco. By anti-entrapment, he means drain covers that do not have openings large enough that they could entrap children.

Between 1999 and 2007, nine children died because they could not escape the powerful suction of uncovered pool drains. One of those children was Virginia Graeme Baker,  the granddaughter of Secretary of State James Baker.

It is for her the law requiring all public pools to install drain covers is named. 

Because Woodbridge can't find covers, the town plans to install completely new drains, at a cost estimated between $50,000 and $80,000.

Until Woodbridge's pool complies, its members can swim at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven or at the Orange town pool.

You can read more on the drowning that prompted the legislation here.

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