FM Alert: New Model Aquatic Health Code Released

aquatic facilities
Click to enlarge image. (Source: CDC)

Just in time for summer swimming, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the 2016 Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC). This second edition of the MAHC includes important updates to the first edition released in 2014.

The MAHC is a voluntary guidance document based on science and best practices that can help local and state authorities and the aquatics sector make swimming and other water activities healthier and safer. States and localities can use the MAHC to create or update existing pool codes to reduce risk for outbreaks, drowning, and pool-chemical injuries. The MAHC guidelines are all-inclusive and address the design, construction, operation, maintenance, policies, and management of public aquatic facilities. It is free, accessible to all, and backed by the CDC. The MAHC is updated every two years.

“For the 2016 edition, the CDC accepted 84 (91%) of the 92 MAHC change requests (CRs) that the CMAHC membership passed plus one editorial CR that was not passed,” explained Doug Sackett, Executive Director of the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC). “We are thankful for the thoughtful and detailed suggestions of our members during the review and voting process which continue to strengthen the MAHC. We are pleased that our membership, in partnership with the CDC, is improving the use and importance of the MAHC, thereby helping to improve the health and safety of guests and staff at public aquatic facilities across the United States,” he concluded.

What’s New

The 2016 MAHC includes structural changes, clarifying edits, and new or revised recommendations in the areas of disinfection and water quality; lifeguarding and bather supervision; risk management and safety; and ventilation and air quality.

The following information and materials are available on the MAHC website:

  • The 2016 MAHC including two documents – the model code language and the scientific rationale for recommendations.
  • A summary of key changes and a track changes version with line-by-line edits.
  • A MAHC-based inspection form.
  • An updated MAHC infographic, factsheet, and other health promotion materials.
  • An updated tool to help users compare their pool code and practices to those the MAHC recommends.