Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spreading The Word

Here are two unsolicited letters we received opposing the recovation of our previous interpretive rule on pool and spa drains. These letters make it clear that the CPSC would have received relevant information on this issue if we simply had placed the revocation up for public comment.

In particular, the unblockable drain cover manufacturer and the CPS both talk about new products that ensure the drain cannot be removed through the use of more and stronger fasteners and sturdier materials. To illustrate this point further, the removability of the covers was a principal argument put forth by consumer groups and repeated by one Commissioner in opposition to the original interpretation.

Had we put the issue up for public comment, we would have learned some of the valuable information provided by Ms. Snow, as well as NSPF’s important points, in time to take them into account.

NSPF Recommendation to CPSC - Revocation of Unblockable Pool Drains

Bonnie Snow Letter to CPSC


You know that we designed the BeeSafe System to be the best, safest solution for all of the entrapment hazards in swimming pools. We even attempt to eliminate the problem of covers coming off by using lock tite on the stainless steel screws to eliminate vibration loosening the screws of the lid. The CPSC panel only saw our product and while not unanimous their vote favored allowing our product as a stand alone solution. If the issue now is the possibility of the cover coming off then I have a better solution than adding a back-up. This would be to use the Mr. Sticky Industrial Adhesive (the adhesive that makes our product a permanent installation for the body of the product) on the lid as well in the final step of our installation. I can send specifications for the product to justify this making our product free from the hazard of broken or missing covers in that it is designed for repair of submarines, used as a permanent strong bond on pvc, and that it has a long lifetime. We can get the adhesive to every customer who has purchased our product and have them secure the lid permanently before the time required in your new interpretation of unblockable. What we want and what is appropriate is to classify our BeeSafe Systems as equal to or better than the alternative solutions. What would it take and to whom do I need to contact to have our product considered as equal to or better than dual drains? The separation across our product is equal or better than the separation of dual drains. Dual drains could be blocked by two children attempting to race to see who can cover each of the drains, but BeeSafe cannot be blocked even if several children sit on it together. The tubes have the unique feature of emptying when covered and suction is broken faster than the detection of a back-up device. With this feature, our products are equal to or better than the back-up systems as well.

We have had several sales to customers who were very dissatisfied with a breaker system. One that took theirs out and replaced with the BeeSafe System told me that the breaker had to be turned off daily for maintenance, false triggered many times during the night which resulted in no chemical mixing, and then in the fall when the drain was completely clogged with leaves, the system failed to turn off the flow. It seems prudent to consider that entrapment isn't the only issue that CPSC should consider. If dependence on a breaker can and often does false trigger and leave a pool without adequate chemical mixing then other water borne disease will increase. It might be worthwhile to do some monitoring in some of the health districts to collect data on the number of bad samples taken with specific information on the type of VGB compliant product used. When I was working for the Utah County Health Department this was the reasoning for not wanting back up systems on the pools. Once they became popular we saw a dramatic increase in pool samples that had too high a bacterial count and detection of e-coli.

Our main reason for getting into this was to save lives. Our company is barely surviving but we had hopes of possibly breaking even or making a small profit with our second model that is now in testing. It is being molded by Custom Molded Products. They are also willing to help us with sales to the distributors. CMP is now concerned that there is no market for a product that costs more than a few dollars to produce. The customers who have been seeking an unblockable drain are those who have pools that cannot easily be remodeled with dual drains and that recognize the downfall of the secondary back-up systems. BeeSafe is more expensive, but a safer alternative and we lose our niche in the market if a back up is required.

Most of our sales have been to community pools, especially in Illinois, where they have no sump, or have aluminum lined pools, and also large pools that need the high flow rate that none of the smaller products have been able to reach. Many chose our system because they could not afford the expensive remodel that would be required for drain line as well as the additional modification of the drain for a dual system. The community pools are where most children learn to swim and with the problems of increased water borne diseases with the secondary devices we may lose many of these facilities. Some of the districts have based their decision on what unblockable product to use simply on the cost. Requiring them now to add a less than adequate back-up system will result in many of these facilities shutting down their pools. Please help us to get our information out to the right people and let us know the procedure for getting our product classified as "Equal to or Better Than" so we can continue to produce the best solution available in the pool industry. If necessary we would come with our products to demonstrate that our products should be classified this way as they are much more than just unblockable.

Bonnie Snow, Owner/CEOBeeSafe Systems

No comments: