Welcome to the Aquatics International State of the Industry issue. For this edition, we focused on a market segment that’s too often ignored — HMAC. This important area of aquatics is neglected mostly because, unlike a facility or waterpark, it generally has no dedicated staff, management or even contractors who build exclusively for that market.
Sure, there are thousands of amazing hotel and resort pools that function as destination spots in their own right. But those aren't the meat and potatoes of the HMAC market. Instead, it's an unremarkable pool in a generic hotel or multi-family dwelling. The amenity is designed for people to hang out and have fun, but the place itself is utilitarian — a hole with water in it rather than an aquatic experience.
Unfortunately, this pool-as-afterthought has resulted in a lack of management and oversight, which in turn, causes problems ranging from inconvenient to the far end of dangerous.
HMAC pools and spas account for most aquatic violations and RWI outbreaks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The problem has gotten so bad that some even recommend end-users test the water themselves before swimming. (To that end, I have a friend who's a service tech and a parent and, whenever he visits an HMAC pool with his family, he sternly orders his kids not to get in the water until “Daddy’s fixed it.” He then pulls out a test kit and goes to work.)
So what should be done to ensure that HMAC pools are safe and compliant? Will the upcoming Model Aquatic Heath Code solve the problem? Read on to find out.