Source: Counsilman-Hunsaker The Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) effort began in February 2005 and the latest round of modules is being published for public comment. The MAHC will have a significant impact on the aquatic industry and we strongly encourage all industry members to take an active role in providing meaningful feedback to develop the best possible result. View the latest updates regarding the Model Aquatic Health Code. The first industry standard was issued in 1958. In the subsequent 50 years, there have been at least 50 different state codes and many independent county codes. What was required in one jurisdiction may be illegal in another. It is clear that this historic approach is not working. Thus, the National Swimming Pool Foundation took a leadership position and provided funding to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for the creation of the MAHC. The MAHC is intended to transform the patch work of industry codes into a data-driven, knowledge-based, risk reduction effort to prevent disease, injuries and promote healthy water experiences.\ On July 20, 2012, the MAHC released draft modules for Facility Design & Construction, Lifeguarding & Bather Supervision, and Contamination Burden for public review and comment. Comments will be due October 14, 2012. The Model Aquatic Health Code Steering Committee and Technical Committees appreciate your willingness to comment on the draft MAHC modules. Click here to download comment form. MAHC Facility Design & Construction Module Abstract The sound design and construction of swimming pools, spas, and aquatic venues are paramount to ensuring safety of patrons who use these facilities. The Facility Design & Construction module contains requirements for new pool construction that includes:

1) Design/construction aspects of the pool shell that include general shape, design, and slope requirements; 2) Design/construction aspects of the aquatic venue that include decks, lighting, electrical, wastewater, and fencing; 3) Design/construction aspects of specialty bodies of water and features that include spas, wave pools, slide pools, wading pools, and infinity edges; and 4) Design/construction parameters for pool equipment and under what conditions its use is acceptable including starting blocks, moveable floors, bulkheads, and diving boards.

In addition to the Facility Design & Construction module, an annex section provides support information to assist users in understanding the background of the provisions.

MAHC Lifeguarding & Bather Supervision Module Abstract Health and safety issues related to bather supervision and lifeguarding for both the patron and the potential rescuer of an aquatic facility are increasingly being documented. The Lifeguarding and Bather Supervision Module is a first step towards improving the consistency in training, lifeguard management and supervision, lifeguard competency for guarded facilities and proper bather supervision at unguarded facilities. The Lifeguarding and Bather Supervision Module contains requirements for unguarded and guarded aquatics along with the training necessary to be a qualified lifeguard. The module includes:

1) Standards for which aquatic facilities need to be guarded and which may not need to have professional lifeguard supervision but are still supervised. 2) An Aquatic Facilities Safety Plan guide including pre-service, in-service, staffing, single lifeguard, lifeguard management and Emergency Action Plan requirements. 3) Requirements for aquatic facilities to define, diagram, and document required zones of patron surveillance. 4) Determination of what constitutes proper staffing by the ability of the lifeguard to reach all areas of their zone of patron surveillance within a certain time frame. 5) Required lifesaving equipment, communications standards, and general requirements for lifeguards and lifeguard supervision/management training.

In addition to the Lifeguard & Bather Supervision module, an annex section provides support information to assist users in understanding the background of the provisions.

MAHC Contamination Burden Module Abstract Understanding the types of contaminants and the magnitude of disinfectant demand by various environmental factors (e.g., particulate) is an essential component to design and operate a recirculation and filtration system. Limited data currently exists, but a substantial research agenda has been created. The following is a summary of the existing data and areas where data is lacking. Since the Contamination Burden "module" is informational, this module is ANNEX-based only - NO CODE section accompanies it. After being posted for public comment, the information contained in this module will be merged into the appropriate MAHC modules upon final completion. The section numbering system will be different in this draft as there are no specific code sections yet assigned to any of this information.

Emily Attwood is Managing Editor of Athletic Business.