MACH Sample

Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC): The Layout

In Behind The Scenes, Healthy Water by Steve DonohoeLeave a Comment

In previous articles about the MAHC, I gave a brief introduction explaining what it is and why we need it.  I then wrote about the huge effort that it takes and the developmental process being used to put it together and complete it.   Let me now describe  a little bit about the layout of the document itself.

The currently proposed outline of the MAHC is made up of 9 major sections:

1.0 Preface
2.0 User Guide
3.0 Definitions
4.0 Design Standards and Construction
5.0 Operation and Maintenance
6.0 Policies and Management
7.0 Index
8.0 Annexes
9.0 Summary of Changes

As you can see from the top level outline, the core of the MAHC covers three major areas: section 4.0: Design Standards and Construction, 5.0: Operation and Maintenance and section 6.0: Policies and Management.

Once inside the document, you will find the text formatted into 4 columns: 1) the left most column: “Key Word,” will indicate the topic or “Key Word” that is being discussed.  Items deemed most critical to protecting public health are indicated in red font with an asterisk. The key word will be indexed for easy navigation through the document.  2) “Section” is the numbering /outline scheme of the MAHC. 3) “Code” is the actual code language.  And the fourth column is the “Grade”.  The letter grade is based on the perceived reliability and accuracy of the material.  The grading system is divided into three levels:

      • Grade A: Practice supported by science/research/data
      • Grade B: Widely accepted practice not supported by science/research/data
      • Grade C: No widely accepted practice.  Proposed language not yet supported by science/research/data.

You can look at the whole outline  or “Strawman” of the MAHC here.

The outline of the document may change during the code development, consequently, the final outline used in the initial release of the MAHC may be a little different.

The  image below shows an excerpt of the MAHC code and its layout.  It is taken from section 6.0: Policies and Management …. and  This section of the code describes what to do in response to a diarrhea fecal release in a pool without cyanuric acid, and what to do when the pool water contains cyanuric acid.

MACH Sample

Just a sample of the MAHC as it was being developed

Stay tuned for what the MAHC means to the pool operator/pool guy and for an opportunity to participate in the changes/evolution of the code.


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