The first revision of the Model Aquatic Health Code is in the works.
The Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code will take a vote among its members to determine which of the more than 150 proposed changes to adopt in the second edition. Before that, the group, which aids the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by shepherding the continual improvement of the first federal aquatics standard, will meet in October to discuss the revision requests.
The meeting takes place Oct. 6-7 at the World Aquatic Health Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“We want as broad a base from all different sectors to bring their knowledge and expertise to the table and have a say on the code,” said Douglas Sackett, CMAHC's executive director.
At the sessions, the CMAHC Technical Review Committee will make presentations on some of the proposals, indicating whether it believes they are supported by the provided documentation. Some parties who suggested more significant changes are expected to present their reasoning.
“The conference is to inform the membership and attendees of the more significant items that need discussion,” Sackett said. “Some of them, frankly, are just editorial in nature. Some would be kind of non-controversial, but there are others that spark discussion, that there should be some awareness by the membership.”
The Scottsdale meetings will be streamed via the Internet.
Proposals are accessible to CMAHC members on the organization’s website. Reports from the Technical Review Committee regarding some of the suggestions will be posted at least two weeks before the meeting, Sackett said.
In order to vote, an individual must be a member of the CMAHC. Voting will take place electronically over a two-week period that starts during the meeting. It will be weighted so public health officials and industry professionals have equal opportunity to influence the language. Within the industry, various sectors will have a predetermined weighting.
“Everybody’s vote is going to count, but it’s going to be weighted so it reflects the sectors accordingly,” Sackett said. “So you can’t have one sector maybe get together a bunch of folks so that the pure numbers overwhelm everybody else.”
After the results are tallied, the CMAHC will send its recommendations to the CDC for consideration. The code, first published in summer 2014, will be updated every other year.
While some suggestions are strictly to refine language for clarity, others stand to carry more impact. One would change the sizing of chlorinators. The CMAHC identified this as a major item and assembled a group to collect and evaluate available data to address this issue. As proposed, the multi-step process for calculating the chlorine dosing would first take into consideration the pool’s gallonage, number of bathers and whether it is indoors or outdoors to create a base number. That figure then would be adjusted for factors such as high temperatures, greater than average dust and dirt load, and aeration from special features such as waterfalls, wave pools, water slides and kiddie pools.
Other proposals involve acceptable cyanuric acid levels. One would reduce the cap from 100 parts per million to 20. Another would remove the requirement for CYA in indoor pools that are never in direct sunlight.
Another suggested that handhold requirements not apply to lazy rivers. When users grab on, the submission stated, it will force those behind to stop, causing a backlog on crowded rivers and potentially spurring some to force their way past or get into confrontations.
One aquatics professional proposed making surf pools its own category to account for the much different ratio of users to water surface. Another suggested language stating that any features and items not specifically mentioned in the MAHC must be built to a nationally recognized standard.
Regarding water slides, the council will consider whether to require scales on those where more than one person can ride on a raft or tube so that these riders will not have to be relied upon to assess their combined weight and determine whether it will exceed the posted maximums.
Like other model codes, the MAHC only applies to areas that adopt it.
CMAHC membership costs $40 for two years.