As pool service professionals for public swimming pools, we have the duty and responsibility to know and understand the operational guidelines and regulatory requirements set forth by the governing authority in which we provide our service. Usually this governing authority is the local county Environmental Health department.
While some counties do a pretty good job establishing and making available these swimming pool operational guidelines and regulations (or “pool code”), quite frequently it is inconsistent and varies widely between adjacent counties, within individual states and across the country. In some counties and states, the code is old and outdated, vague and contradictory or, in some cases, there is no pool code at all. So what is a pool operator to do?
Help is on the way. Through an initial grant from the National Swimming Pool Foundation in 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began working with public health and industry representatives from across the United States to build a federal standard code for the operation and maintenance of swimming pools called the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC).
According to the CDC “the MAHC will ensure that the best available standards and practices for protecting public health are available for adoption by state and local agencies. It will provide local and state agencies with uniform guidelines for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of swimming pools and other disinfected aquatic facilities.”
The MAHC is several years in the making, but according to the announcements at the World Aquatic Health Conference this past October, the final topical sections (or modules) will be completed this year. The entire MAHC will then be assembled and reviewed with the first edition scheduled to be released by the summer of 2013.
Keep checking back with us. I will be writing a series of articles describing how the MAHC was developed, how it’s structured, its content, its impact on you and our industry, and an opportunity to participate in its ongoing development and revisions.