General Contact Number: (530) 621-5567

Environmental Health

Swimming Pool & Spa Operators Safety Notice 
- Suction Hazards -

Recent deaths by drowning in swimming pools/spas due to hair entanglement have brought attention to wall equalizer lines. Uncovered or improperly covered equalizer lines are a health and safety hazard. An equalizer line is a suction line generally located in the pool wall below each skimmer. Skimmers are equipped with a float valve so that when the water level drops below the skimmer level, the float valve closes and the equalizer line continues to draw water from the pool. A cover must be in place over any suction line, including equalizer lines, to prevent an entrapment or entanglement hazard to bathers.

Prior to May 1, 2000 (or upon re-plastering the pool/spa if sooner), an anti-hair entanglement cover must be installed over any equalizer line. (In spas, all suction lines, including the main drain, must have an approved anti-hair entanglement cover). A list of pool contractors who have been notified of these requirements and may be able to help you install such as cover. Prior to installation, the pool contractor must submit information on the type of cover and the proposed method of installation for approval by this Division.

Note: Any existing suction line covers must be replaced with approved covers once the existing covers crack or break.

Please call your district Environmental Health Specialist at (530) 621-5300 in Placerville or (530) 573-3450 in South Lake Tahoe if you have any questions.