Representing a first for the aquatics industry, it appears there may be two new sets of standards in place by 2012.
The Model Aquatic Health Code, spearheaded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is moving forward. Meanwhile, the Swimming Pool and Spa/Hot Tub Code (a joint effort of the International Code Council and the Association of Pool & Spa Profes-sionals) is set to wrap up initial draft phases later this the year.
Each set of codes is being developed with a different focus. But officials from both projects share concerns that creating two codes could create regulatory overlap and confusion.
By this summer, all the remaining modules planned in the MAHC will have been put up for a public comment period, said Doug Sackett, assistant director of the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Community Environmental Health & Food Protection, who is overseeing the project for the CDC.
The ICC-APSP partnership started ap-proximately two years ago, with a goal of getting the code fully in place by 2010, said Carvin DiGiovanni, senior director, technical and standards at APSP.
“The intent of the code is to primarily deal with issues relevant to code officials regarding the installation and construction of water vessels,” DiGiovanni explained.
The ICC-APSP code will focus on installation of pools and spas (commercial and residential), DiGiovanni said. “It’s not the purpose of the code to get into operations and management,” he added. “When it comes to healthy water, we need to defer to the CDC and what’s coming from health agencies.”
But according to Sackett, “standards for swimming pool design construction have typically been under the purview of the health department, so there’s a large body of expertise there. [Having two codes] is just adding an increased level or burden of regulatory overlap, and creating confusion and inconsistent requirements for regulated entities.”
DiGiovanni agreed there’s potential for overlap, but said efforts are in place to reduce any duplication of work. “We don’t want two codes that are going to conflict with each other,” he said.
Beth Hamil, vice president of corporate compliance/market development at DEL Ozone in San Luis Obispo, was involved in creating the codes. She hopes similar language is adopted in areas that apply to both codes.
“In the interest of public health, we [must] look at how pools are being operated and bring them into ... the 21st century,” Hamil said.