The Chicago Tribune reported last week that drain covers in pools and spas are being used even though the product “underwent flawed safety evaluations, then failed subsequent, more stringent, tests.” (P. Callahan, 2/7/11). The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates pools, “has received complaints for two years that some models weren't working properly…but the CPSC didn't launch an investigation until July.”

Subpoenas obtained by the Tribune show the CPSC “is investigating whether differing testing procedures at independent labs allowed drain covers to be sold even though they don't comply with the law.”

The Tribune reporter found that AquaStar Pool Products Inc., “which makes some of the more popular drain covers, did not issue a warning to the public after one of its products failed tests at independent labs last year. Nor did the company widely recall the product.” As a personal injury attorney in Chicago, I find this conduct wholly unacceptable. I encourage all pool and spa owners to research their drain covers to ensure that they have fully tested, safe models. As always, use pools and spas carefully, especially when children are present.