The Conference for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC) aims to support and improve public health and safety by promoting aquatic recreational health and safety guidance and standards based on the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC). This newly formed nonprofit organization is operating exclusively for educational and charitable purposes.
The MAHC is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-sponsored document covering all health and safety aspects of aquatic facility design, construction, operation, maintenance, and management. Available for free on the CDC website (www.cdc.gov/mahc), the MAHC serves as a guide for local and state agencies or legislatures needing to update or implement applicable codes, rules, regulations, guidance, law, or standards.
The MAHC was developed over seven years with direct and exhaustive input from all related sectors of public health and industry. Over 150 owners, operators, regulators, academics, manufactures, suppliers and health care professionals participated on technical committees responsible for drafting the proposed MAHC language. In addition, over 3000 public comments were received during the MAHC’s national review, with 75% of these comments leading directly to improvements in the final publication.
Why is the CMAHC needed?
In order to ensure the MAHC remains a current, regularly updated and relevant document, the Conference for the Model Aquatic Health Code was formed. The purpose of the CMAHC is to support and improve public health by promoting healthy and safe aquatic experiences for everyone. The CMAHC is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization. The CMAHC’s role is to serve as a national clearinghouse for input and advice on needed improvements to CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC).
The CMAHC works to achieve this by:
- Collecting, assessing, and relaying national input on needed MAHC revisions back to CDC for final acceptance,
- Advocating for improved health and safety at swimming facilities,
- Providing assistance to health departments, Boards of Health, legislatures, and other partners on MAHC uses, benefits, and adoption,
- Providing assistance to the pool industry on uses, interpretation, and benefits of the MAHC, and
- Soliciting, coordinating, and prioritizing MAHC research needs
Check out the new website at www.cmahc.org.
Why is the MAHC important?
Today there is no one national regulatory authority responsible for disinfected aquatic facilities like swimming pools, spas, or waterparks. All pool codes are developed, reviewed and approved by local or state public health officials or legislatures. As a result, there is no uniform standard governing the design, construction, operation or maintenance of pools or other treated aquatic facilities. Instead, code requirements for preventing and responding to health and safety issues vary significantly across the United States. Worse yet, many of these existing codes disagree or outright conflict on key issues such as acceptable chlorination and pH levels.
The MAHC was created to give national level data- and best practices-based guidance to improve the situation. The ultimate goal is to transform the typical health department pool program into a data-driven, knowledge- and science-based, risk-reduction effort to prevent diseases and injuries and to promote healthy and safe recreational water experiences. The MAHC provides the best available guidance for protecting public health that can be adopted in part or completely by any interested agency. It provides agencies with uniform guidelines for all aspects of aquatic facility design, construction, operation, and maintenance.