Lawmaker urges review of private pool regulations

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- When a six-year-old boy drowned last month in a local apartment pool, Rep. Grant Burgoyne thought it might be time for the legislature to look at ways to make private pools safer.

The Boise Democrat's district includes the apartment complex where the boy died.

"Lax is a tough word," he said. "I think this may be a wake up call that we need to take another look at the issue."

The Idaho Legislature used to regulate both public and private pools, but in 2002 lawmakers voted to exempt private pools from their regulatory domain.

That effectively excluded state regulation of swimming pools at hotels and motels, apartment complexes, trailer parks, and other businesses.

But we found mixed feelings about the state stepping back into these areas.

"No the state shouldn't be involved at all," said Craig LaChance of Boise. "It's private property, so the state shouldn't be involved."

"Since there was a little boy who recently drowned, it's an emotional issue," said Mary Gabriel of Boise. "Some say maybe we need more regulation. On the other hand, how much regulation do you want? do you want it in your back yard. There's no clear cut answer."

And Burgoyne himself says new laws may not be needed, but he says it's worth a fresh look.