Michael Beatty
Michael Beatty

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 environment.”

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 consensus process.

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 injuries.

“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 smaller counterparts.

“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.