Wilmington Personal Injury Blog

Personal Injury Attorneys

blog home Premises Injury Beware These Pool Drain Dangers

Beware These Pool Drain Dangers

On behalf of Joel Rhine of Rhine Law Firm, P.C. posted July 31, 2018

Of the many ways to enjoy summertime in Wilmington, jumping into a pool is one of the most popular. Unfortunately, swimming pools can be a place of real danger. While diving in shallow water can cause swimming pool accidents, there is another cause that does not get the same attention as others.

That danger is swimming pool drains.

The Risks of Pool Drain Suction

Pool drains have an immense amount of suction behind them. This suction is needed in order to drain the pool and allow the water to be filtered through so it can be cleaned. But this suction can be dangerous. When hair, fingers, or other body parts get too close to the drain, the person can get sucked into or onto the drain. Because the pressure of the suction can be up to 700 pounds, it can then be impossible to remove the person from the drain.

Pool drains often have grates, but when the holes on those grates are too large, a person’s fingers or toes may get caught in the drain, keeping him stuck to the bottom of the pool. Drowning, near-drowning, and brain damage are a real risk, but not the only ones. In 2007, a six-year-old girl in Minnesota almost had her intestines pulled out by a pool drain. While children may be most at risk for these accidents due to their smaller size, anyone can suffer these tragic consequences.

Preventing Pool Drain Suction

After the tragic death of one child in 2002, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was enacted federally to require all public swimming pools to include back-up anti-entrapment systems to prevent the risks of pool drain suction.

In North Carolina specifically, the Rules Governing Public Swimming Pools (15A NCAC 18A.2500) take suction dangers very seriously. Even pools constructed prior to May 1, 1993 (which is close to the time this rule was adopted) are not exempt from the “requirements related to the abatement of suction hazards” and need to be remodeled or retrofitted to comply. Section .2539 spells out exactly what’s required of NC public pool owners and operators. Public pools must have anti-entrapment covers/grates on suction outlets. Pools with certain pumping systems must also have at least one second method of preventing entrapment, such as the ability to disable and reverse the suction flow. Operators of public pools have to inspect the drains daily to make sure they’re in good condition. If not, the pool cannot be used until the drain is fixed.

Further, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services must inspect public swimming pools at least once per year during their period of operation. A violation related to suction hazards would warrant immediately shutting down the pool.

Who Is Liable in Pool Drain Suction Accidents?

These pool safety acts only apply to public swimming pools and spas. In addition to rules about suction hazards, there are other measures public swimming pools and spas must follow, such as providing lifeguards or posting that lifeguards are not present and that children must be otherwise supervised. If a pool owner fails to comply with any of these safety rules and someone is injured as a result, the owner will likely be negligent as a matter of law, meaning the injured party would only need to show that the rule was violated and the violation caused the injury.

While private citizens are not bound by the same regulations, they still have a duty to correct or warn of dangerous conditions that they know about or should know about. If a private pool has a pool drain, then it can be argued that the owner should warn guests about the dangers of the pool drain.

In rarer instances, the manufacturer could also be responsible if the drain was defective or it was designed in a dangerous manner.

How a Lawyer Can Help

While seeking compensation may not undo injuries that were sustained, it can help ease some of the financial burden on the victim’s family. These cases are extremely complicated, but an attorney can take care of all the legwork that goes into filing a lawsuit, and will work hard to protect the rights of those injured and determine who was ultimately negligent. The drowning accident attorneys at Rhine Law Firm, P.C., also understand the intricacies of swimming pool laws in North Carolina.

Suction from pool drains has already caused too many deaths and injuries around the country. Those who have been injured have rights, and an attorney can ensure those rights are protected. If you have questions about a swimming pool incident, please call (866) 772-9960 for a free consultation with our legal team.

Additional Information

North Carolina Department of Insurance: Safe Kids North Carolina

Related Articles:

Posted in: Premises Injury

“They worked hard for me after I was involved in an auto accident. I appreciate their efforts and making me feel like family.”

ReviewerFive Stars

-Becky, posted at Google Review

When it Really Matters When it Really Matters

Contact Rhine Law Firm, P.C.

Working with our firm means your needs will be met and your questions answered by someone who knows your name and the details of your case — every time you call.

Contact Rhine Law Firm, P.C., at (910) 772-9960 or (866) 772-9960 toll free for a free initial consultation. Evening and weekend appointments upon request. Office hours 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evening and weekend appointments also available. We also offer Spanish interpretation and translation services.

Rhine Law Firm, P.C.

1612 Military Cutoff Road, Suite 300
Wilmington, NC 28403
Toll Free: (866) 772-9960
Phone: (910) 772-9960
Fax: (910) 772-9062

Rhine Law Firm

Connect With Us

Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, Rhine Law Firm, P.C. represents clients statewide. We Regularly Meet With Clients After 5 P.M. And On Weekends

*Disclaimer: This is an advertisement by Rhine Law Firm, P.C., 1612 Military Cutoff Rd., Suite 300, Wilmington, North Carolina, 28403. The Rhine Law Firm, P.C., is licensed to practice law in the state of North Carolina and does not seek to practice in any other state or jurisdiction. To the extent that you reside in a state other than North Carolina, the Rhine Law Firm, P.C., may associate counsel licensed to practice law in that jurisdiction if necessary to comply with any and all rules of professional conduct.

No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. This advertisement does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, either express or implied. Prior outcomes do not guarantee any future results. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Do not rely on this advertisement in making any medical decision. Please call your physician before making any medical decision, including altering your use of any drug or treatment.

© 2020 Rhine Law Firm, P.C. - All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Blog Sitemap | Website Design and Legal Internet Marketing by SLS Consulting

Contact Rhine Law Firm, P.C.

During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. Our attorneys also remain available to our clients via phone, email and other means, ultimately focused on doing what is truly in their best interests.

Free Consultation Form