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PHTA Issues Call for Participation on Revision of Suction Outlet Fitting Assemblies Standard, Successor Standard for VGBA

  • Apr 25, 2022

April 25, 2022

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Amy Willer
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PHTA Issues Call for Participation on Revision of Suction Outlet Fitting Assemblies Standard, Successor Standard for VGBA

(Alexandria, Va.) – The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) has issued a call for participation on the PHTA-16 Standard Writing Committee (SWC) to develop a revision of the ANSI/APSP/ICC-16 2017 American National Standard for Suction Outlet Fitting Assemblies (SOFA) for Use in Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs that is the Drain Cover Standard referenced in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA). The standard was designated the current U.S. Consumer Product Safety Standard effective May 24, 2021. Proposed revisions will be submitted to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). After ANSI approval, the revised standard will be submitted to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), who will determine if the changes are in the public interest.

The VGBA and the Drain Cover Standard have proven effective in the prevention of drownings and injuries for both public and residential pools, according to U.S. CPSC data. The review and revision processes are conducted in conformance with ANSI Essential Requirements for due process and development of policy consensus.

The standard establishes materials, testing, certification, and marking requirements for new or replacement fully submerged drain covers for use in any body of recreational water. These include, but are not limited to, swimming pools, hot tubs, spas, portable spas, non-portable wading pools, storable pools, or any other aquatic venue intended for swimming or recreational use.

“PHTA is seeking subject matter experts (SMEs) who are willing to share their knowledge and experience to develop this revised standard which will have an impact on the industry and the general public,” says PHTA Program Director of Standards and Technical Services Genevieve Lynn. “Committee members will bring their unique perspectives to write language for the standard.”

All stakeholders, including drain cover manufacturers, certifying bodies, pool designers, public health and building code officials, local municipalities, pool and spa operators, and service companies, are invited to apply for the PHTA-16 SWC. The appointment criteria seek to establish a sufficiently diverse SWC to ensure reasonable balance without dominance or imbalance by a single interest category, individual, or organization. Priority will be given to applicants from the various interest categories with the most personal experience using, applying, and enforcing the ANSI/APSP/ICC-16 2017 standard.

“Subject matter experts wanting to serve on the SWC must be willing and able to actively participate in the language drafting process and have a working understanding of the current standard,” says PHTA-16 SWC Chair Steve Barnes of AquaStar Pool Products. “It is imperative that we gather perspective from all stakeholders in this matter to ensure the best proposal is put forth for this revision.”

Interested parties, who may not be SMEs or active users of the standard, are encouraged to attend meetings as observers who can offer comments and insight throughout the revision process.

Application forms are due to PHTA by May 9 and may be sent to For more information, visit the Standards Department page on the PHTA website or email PHTA Program Director of Standards and Technical Services Genevieve Lynn at


About the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance
The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), a non-profit organization with over 3,600 members from around the world, was established in 1956 to support, promote, and protect the common interests of the $36.5B pool, hot tub and spa industry. PHTA provides education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge and profitability. Additionally, PHTA facilitates the expansion of swimming, water safety and related research and outreach activities aimed at introducing more people to swimming, making swimming environments safer and keeping pools open to serve communities. For more information, visit

Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Strategic Partners:

  • Fluidra
  • Hayward
  • Heritage Pool Supply Group
  • Lou
  • Lyon Financial
  • MCC
  • Pentair
  • Raypak
  • WatkinsWellness

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