The Food and Drug Administration?s national
codes revolutionized the restaurant industry, and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hoping a
national code for commercial aquatics facilities will have
a similar effect.
As planned, the code will tackle training and
certification for pool operators and health inspectors.
Municipalities that already have a code in place will be
able to adopt the new standards or cite them as
An unusually high number of cryptosporidium
outbreaks this summer brought urgency to the CDC project.
However, the problems are more deep-rooted.
?A large number of outbreaks are from pathogens
that are susceptible to chlorine. This suggests that if a
pool is properly operated and maintained, the problem
should not occur,? said Douglas C. Sackett,
director of the Aquatic Health Code and Risk Reduction
Program for the CDC.
Code creation will be overseen by a steering committee,
which is now in the process of establishing technical
committees. As part of developing the code, those
committees will review existing standards.
?We don?t want to reinvent the wheel,
but also don?t intend to just regurgitate existing
practices,? Sackett explained. ?We want to
use the expertise that?s out there pool
designers, operators, health departments and
The National Swimming Pool Foundation provided funding
for the project?s first year. The model code will
be available on the CDC Web site in increments. The first
part, a document on proper pool contamination protocol, is
expected to be available before the 2008 summer season,
In addition, the CDC plans to issue regular ongoing
updates to its aquatic standards as the industry continues
to evolve. For information and updates, and to offer your
comments, visit www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming and click on
the ?Model Aquatic Health Code.? If you are
interested in joining a technical committee, contact Doug
Sackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.