Sunrise, Was I in Colorado? Mental cobwebs courtesy of a late night arrival into Denver slowly dissolved as my morning espresso ritual achieved its intended results, Just where was I supposed to be? A quick scan of my schedule revealed that I was to meet in a couple hours with key influencers in the pool, spa, and hot tub industry at a hotel about 30 minutes north of the city. The occasion was the triennial conference of the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC), a group that I recognized were the magicians behind efforts to maintain and improve the hospitality industry's recreational water health and safety. What I didn't anticipate was a subsequent invitation to join their board of directors. What was I getting myself into?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) is the only all-inclusive model pool code in the U.S. Similar to restaurant owners and operators who reference food codes for guidance on how to keep food safe to eat, those who work in or with public aquatic facilities can reference MAHC to learn how to provide a safe swimming and aquatic environment. MAHC is comprised of a set of voluntary guidelines that are based on the latest science and best practices known to help make public pools healthy and safe for swimmers, visitors, and staff. If followed, the MAHC guidelines can help reduce the risk for disease outbreaks, drownings, chemical injuries, and other types of injuries at public pools.
What does this code mean for us? State and local government officials can use some or all the guidelines to develop and update their own pool codes. The last time I reviewed the adoption status, about half of the jurisdictions in the country had adopted or were considering adopting some or all of the code. Aquatics professionals can also use the code as a reference guide when they are designing and building new aquatic facilities or considering updates for their operation and maintenance policies. CDC releases an updated edition of MAHC every 3 years. The process to update MAHC is managed by CMAHC.
So, what is CMAHC? CMAHC is a nonprofit organization that was created to partner with CDC on a few key measures related to MAHC. First and foremost, CMAHC works with CDC to keep the code up-to-date with the latest science and best practices. This endeavor is achieved by managing the MAHC update process that happens every 3 years. During that time, aquatics and public health experts can...