poolBuilding a Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC)

The Centers for Disease control, the pool industry and public health departments have been working on a new uniform health code.  The goal of the Model Aquatic Health Code or MAHC is to prevent drowning, injuries, and the spread of recreational water illnesses at public swimming pools and spas.  The  is to be a guide and model  for local and state agencies needing to update or implement swimming pool and spa code.  This is a timely move as  some of the existing codes are based on decades old information and have only been minimally updated.  The new Model Aquatic Health Code is designed to aid  local and state authorities make swimming and other water activities healthier and safer.  A uniform code nationally may help eliminate some of the existing out dated rules and add more up to date standards governing the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and other treated or disinfected public aquatic facilities.  Our hope is the Model Aquatic Health Code will be written in a manner that is similar to the National Electric Code (NEC) which is a concise and precise code used nationally by electricians.

What stage is the Model Aquatic Health Code in?

MAHC is in the public review stage,  the creation, review, editing, and clearance process.   The finished code is expected to be published in late 2014. The Model Aquatic Health Code will establish a widely available [set of] best practices, that even if it is not adopted by all states, ignorance of the MAHC is not going to be an effective defense in case of an accident.  California has already begun borrowing from the not-yet-published code by incorporating language from the initial drafts into its own code relating to the maintenance and operation of public pools, Title 22.

Model Aquatic Health Code another costly Federal Law?

MAHC is not a federal law like the Virginia Graeme Baker Act.  It is a guide that can be adopted by states and municipalities at their own discretion, in the same way as model codes generated by the International Code Council and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials. Local governments will be able to adopt the Model Aquatic Health Code  in full, modify it or just incorporate parts of it into existing codes.  Unlike VGB and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) it will be a choice not a mandate.  The advantage of this type of code is that states will be able to up date sections of the pool code  to a current uniform national standard even if they do not adopt the whole code.  Commercial pool operators and contractors will be able to work across state line with out having to learn a whole new set of rules.

Aquajoy Spa and Pool has and will continue to follow the development of the Model Aquatic Health Code and will post updates as they develop.

Update, the code has been completed!  Model Aquatic Health Code, 1st Edition Posted on 08/29/2014.  This is a Pdf version.