Local

Park District Still Has To Upgrade Several Pool Drains

Swimming Pool generic sized image

(CBS)

Mike Krauser Mike Krauser
Mike Krauser has been a reporter, anchor, producer, writer, managing...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Park District is up against a deadline to have its outdoor pools ready for the swimming season.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the problem with some of the pools is that they have high-suction, flat drains that can hold people underwater.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

Because people have been killed by the drains, they now require domed drain covers that make it physically impossible for them to trap someone.

The Chicago Park District has 26 outdoor pools in various stages of repair, with two weeks before they are scheduled to open.

The Park District says most of the repairs have been fairly simple – just fitting the new drains over the old fixtures – and they should all be ready by opening day on June 15.

Safety advocates have said that high-suction flat drains had killed 36 people and seriously another 150 by 2009.

Among those who died was Virginia Graeme Baker, 7, the granddaughter of former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker III, who died after being stuck to a hot tub drain with a faulty cover in McLean, Va., in 2002.

An April 3 list showed 240 pools not in compliance as of that date, out of the 4,000 across the state.