The World Aquatic Health Conference
From a Pool Man’s View
The 8th Annual World Aquatic Health Conference (WAHC) was held in Seattle, Washington and attracted a record number of registrants this year. Over 400 industry leaders came together at this unique Conference to participate in over 40 different seminars covering 5 different symposium topics: Aquatic Health Benefits, Recreational Water Illness Prevention, New Industry Technology, Drowning and Injury Prevention, and Facility Management.
The Conference included a wide-variety of leaders in the recreational aquatic industry; namely, researchers, scientists, microbiologists, and other PhD’s from various related fields. Representatives of the aquatic health and safety industry were there, such as the American Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross, the YMCA-USA, medical doctors, and health officials from across the country. And some very special attendees came in from our nation’s top health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For the past several years, the CDC has been developing a twelve-module aquatic operational guideline, called the “Model Aquatic Health Code” (MAHC). The MAHC will establish guidelines for all aspects of swimming pool operation, maintenance and construction. Three modules of the MAHC have recently been released to the public, while the other modules are currently in various stages of development. To help the Steering Committee along in this regard, they were given the opportunity to conduct a special all-day meeting in conjunction with the Conference, thus allowing them to make more progress on the MAHC in person than in their usual conference call procedure.
The CDC also presented two excellent seminars about the MAHC and held an open luncheon round table discussion, entitled “Identifying & Prioritizing Research Gaps.” It was truly amazing to listen to these industry scientists, researchers and leading health officials as they discussed the need for research and changes to the aquatic industry. And it was encouraging to hear them show a genuine desire and commitment toward working together to share information and achieve some goals that would improve recreational water health and safety.
The World Aquatic Health Conference is a unique venue where top health officials, industry experts, and research/academia all meet to exchange and assimilate new ideas and information in the aquatic industry. By its very nature, the WAHC will always deliver the latest information, making each year’s conference different and unique. Anyone in the industry, in any capacity, should attend the conference to learn about, participate in and contribute towards making recreational water healthier and safer. So, save the date: October 10-12, 2012. The next World Aquatic Health Conference will be in Norfolk, Virginia. Hope to see you there!