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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
August 26, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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August 26, 2009
 

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A6 WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 269 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS fix this' FI~OM PAGE A1 director. "I heard about it in October 2008, but there was nothing available on the market," he said. "We tried, but it wasn't until early in the year, like January or February, that anything was available." When drains became available, they pur- chased them immediately, installed them in April and submitted plans to the county, he said. County can't force compliance The Consumer Product Safety Commission, in Washington, D.C., is responsible for moni- toring and ensuring compliance. But since the state Legislature has not enacted its own law, regulating compliance is hard for county offi- cials, said Mark Rowe, with the county's Environmental Health Division. "King County does not have the authority to shut pools that are not in compliance with the requirement of the rule," Hilary Karasz, com- munications officer for the county health department, wrote in an e-mail. At Klahanie, engineers assessed the pools for what was needed to ensure compliance, Beard said. "We didn't want to Band-Aid fix this," she said, adding it will cost nearly $25,000 to re- install the pools' drain and pump systems. "We realize we could become compliant by just installing the drain covers, but we had our engineers evaluate everything we need to do to provide maximum safety to our patrons and Public pools inspected regularly, randomly Random, unannounced inspections are conducted at all permitted public pools in the county. Inspectors can shut down a facility if they believe public health or safety is in jeopardy. Inspectors check equip- ment and operations, water chemistry and chemical lockers, employees certifica- tions and expiration dates, lifesaving equipment, proce- dures and surrounding safe- ty measures, like fencing or secured doors. In 2008, 366 pools and spas were closed, according to Todd Yerks, of the county public health department. Some pools were closed more than once. None of the pools in this article were shut down by the county in the past decade, according to pool operators and county docu- ments. Eastside Fire & Rescue inspects pools for chemical and fire hazards. Chemicals must be stored properly and away from any heat sources. The city's insurance carri- er also inspects the Julius Boehm PooL Those inspec- tors might recommend mov- ing diving boards, or replac- ing tiles or lighting fixtures, all with patron safety in mind. Some aquatic facilities, like Klahanie pools or the Boehm Pool, have lifeguard programs to ensure public safety. Others offer learn-to- swim programs and water safety events. CONTRIBUTED A drain of one of the Klahanie Neighborhood Association's two pools is shown up close. The club's drains are far enough apart and don't produce enough suction to warrant a full construction project, Hagen said. Pools at public residential facilities, like apartments and condominium complexes, have also made changes to keep up with the law. The pool at Summerwalk Apartments in Terry Clements, a county employee who helps recreational aquatics facilities conform, said officials are working through paperwork .they are receiving. However, some reports are incomplete and will be sent back to pool oper- ators to finish. County officials said they don't have submit- tals from The Sammamish Club, Klahanie, Julius Boehm Pool or Columbia Athletic Center's Pine Lake facility, and that operators who had a third party draw up the plans, like Klahanie did, may want to check with that provider. Plans that have been submitted and are complete are in the evaluation process, Rowe said, Review and approval takes about four weeks, Clements said. But many local pool operators said they mailed their paperwork this spring and are still waiting to hear from county officials. County officials estimate about 15 percent, about 270, of the 1,800 permitted pools and hot tubs operating in the county have submit- ted plans. Pool operators for the remaining 85 percent, or 1,530 pools, haven't. ensure full compliance." Klahanie installed drain covers and was County officials know at least some of those Klahanie does not have drain covers on recently inspected by King County officials, have had drain covers replaced. As they do either of its main pools. Once permits are said a complex manager who asked not to be regular inspections, inspectors are noting granted and construction is finished, both will named because she is not supposed to talk to replacement of drains without plan submittals the media, as a violation, according to Karasz. meet all requirements of the law. Beard said a drain cover was put on the children's wading pool's one main drain. That cost can make it prohibitive for pool operators to make necessary changes and the public may see a lot of pool closures, said James Tripp, the manager for Klahanie's Homeowners Association. Others are moving quickly toward compli- ance. "I'm for anything that makes our facilities safer," said Margot Navarre, general manager at the Sammamish Club. "So, we made the changes as soon as possible." Facilities manager Barry Hagen said once they were able to get the drain covers, they were purchased immediately and installed in May. Workers also plugged the club's suction vacuum system, he said. About $275 has been spent to make changes. Owners at Overlook at Lakemont and Lakemont Orchard have also had new drains installed to meet requirements and keep peo- ple safe, said regional manager Brett Stevens. "From our perspective, it is an amem:ty offered when you lease an apartment here, he said. "There is not a choice to shut down. It is a cost of running a business." Plans need to be approved by county Each pool operator must inspect drains and drainage systems, and submit plans for county officials to approve. The inspection report Those who receive violations will get assis- tance from county officials to come into com- pliance. "If they cannot or will not, there is an esca- lation that can eventually result in fines, though that is not our goal, whether we are talking about food safety or pool safety," Karasz said. While Klahanie workers have yet to finish their drain system, they haven't been fined because they are working with county officials to come into compliance, Beard said. "We're open because we are still working includes clear engineering plans, detailed through the process," she said. "It's one of schematics of a pool's layout, types of drains those slow and steady things." and suction or flow rates, photos and plans for compliance. Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or Once plans are approved, a pool operator clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment atwww.issaquah- can complete construction or installation work. press, com. BY GREG FARRAR CANINE ICE CREAM SOCIAL Bodhi, short for Bodacious Boo, enjoys a cup of sweet po- tato-and-molasses ice cream held by employee Stephanie Dutch, as her owner Kim Crane looks on Aug. 20 during All The Best Pet C are's ice cream social, at the Meadows Shop- ping Center on Northwest Gilman Boulevard. About 70 pets enjoyed cups of either sweet potato-and-molasses, or peanut butter-and-honey ice cream. Humane Teen Club accepting applications for program The Seattle Humane Society is now accepting applications for the Humane Teen Club, a program for volunteers ages 13-17 who are Society's volunteer core, work at special events, assist with kennel operations, serve as counselors every summer at Animal Adventures Day Camp and help with many other programs. The Humane Teen Club meets on interested in and passionate about the first Saturday of each month dogs, cats and critters. The mem- from October to June at the shelter bers are chosen at the end of the in Bellevue, 13212 S.E. Eastgate summer and the program runs Way. Space is limited and applica- throughout the school year. lions are due Aug. 31. Learn more Humane Teen Club graduates, at www.seattlehumane.org or an important part of the Humane download an application. O O O OO0 e o To better serve their customers, Broadstripe has invested thousands of man-hours and tens of millions of dollars upgrading their network. And now they've eliminated annual cable bill increases once and for all! With Broadstripe Forever, you can lock in one low price -- for life -- on video, Internet and home phone service. No price increases. No contracts. 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