Michael Beatty got his start in aquatics 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, literally. Involved in the treated water business and employed by The Walt Disney Co. since 1974, one of his first jobs was repairing the underwater animatronic figures that were part of the iconic Walt Disney World attraction (permanently closed in the mid-1990s).
“It was a beautiful place to dive, with colorful coral,
figures and 100-foot visibility,” Beatty says. “[It
was] my beginning in treating and maintaining a chlorinated water
Today Beatty is the regional engineering manager for Disney’s
Caribbean Beach and Pop Century Resorts. He’s also been
active with the ASTM F24 committee, which establishes standards for
the classification, design, manufacture, construction and operation
of water slide systems and aquatic play equipment. Additionally,
he’s a sitting member on the Association of Pool & Spa
Professionals’ new Standards Committee, which will be voting
on future APSP pool and spa draft standards through the ANSI
That combined experience made him a logical candidate to chair the
Facility Maintenance and Operation Technical Committee for the
Model Aquatic Health Code project. Beatty first became involved
more than two years ago.
Overall, that committee has been charged with examining all aspects
that are required for an aquatics facility to be maintained and
operated in a safe and sanitary manner to reduce illnesses and
“Our committee’s focus has been to provide a fact-based
document to support this,” Beatty adds.
To complete the task, his strategy was one of “divide and
conquer.” Beatty and his colleagues divided into smaller
subgroups, and each took on a small portion. The approach has
worked; however, “it’s still quite a challenge to get a
lot done on an individual call,” Beatty notes, referring to
the fact that all work was completed via teleconference and
e-mails. Another challenge has been bridging the gap between the
understanding, resources and needs of large facilities and their
“When you write a code, you have to think about everyone,
from the small mom-and-pop operations to the large
mega-waterparks,” Beatty says.