The Official Blog of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals

Dan Johnson knows a thing or two about pool construction.

Johnson, CEO of Swim, Inc., has served as chairman of the ANSI/APSP-5 Standard writing committee and is considered the nation’s leading expert on drainless pool technology. He recently participated in an interview with AQ The Magazine about the importance of drainless pool construction, an article that also served as a preview of his new educational program: “Drainless Pools: The Future of Circulation.”

Below are some highlights from the article as well as two videos on the subject produced for AQ and featuring Johnson. Be sure to read the story in full at, and to consult your local APSP professional about drainless technology.


Eliminating main drains in pool building can ultimately reduce entrapment hazards and save lives. Studies prove that main drains pose a variety of safety hazards, including body, limb, hair and mechanical entrapment. Even properly installed suction outlets with approved safety covers have the potential to become a hazard if a cover becomes missing or broken, according to Johnson, CBP. What’s the solution? Whenever possible, “design out” the main drain, he says.

North American pool builders continue to construct circulation systems using suction outlets.

“Drains in public pools [in Scandinavia and Australia] are outlawed because of the potential entrapment hazard to children,” Johnson says.

1. What are the construction considerations in designing a drainless system?

Skimmers are very important. When you eliminate the drain, you do still want to have a second suction point for the pump for circulation purposes. Add a skimmer, or multiple skimmers, depending on the size of the pool. Next, ensure that water is being pulled from the bottom of the pool and rolled back up to the surface. Read more at

2.  How can I maintain optimal circulation?

Water must be “rolled” to eliminate the possibility of dead spots, or areas where water is not being circulated. Water doesn’t have to roll or move quickly. When you move [water from] the bottom [of the pool], the top will move automatically. Read more at

3. Do I need to choose a different pump?

Size [pumps] as you normally would for a traditional pool. These days, with the advent of new energy standards and codes, multiple speed or variable speed pumps work very well in this application. Read more at


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