Credit: Juan Carlos Chan
Credit: Juan Carlos Chan

At its every-other-year meeting, the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code decided to extend the time period to comment on changes proposed for its namesake code. Because of this, voting will take place later than planned.

The CMAHC is charged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide suggestions for updating the first federally sanctioned model pool and spa code.

Approximately 190 professionals gathered in person or virtually Oct. 6 and 7 to discuss the more substantive of the approximately 150 change proposals that were submitted earlier in the year. Members of the CMAHC requested more time to comment, so the committee added two more periods – one for substantive changes, the other to provide background information or correct minor details.

The first public comment period ended Oct. 23. Changes suggested during that time will be posted Nov. 6, after which members have until Nov. 19 to post additional comments. This last round is meant only to supply additional information to help voters make their decisions, or to correct small details such as incorrect code references or unclear word choices. No substantive changes will be made from that round of comments.

Voting on the proposed changes will then take place Nov. 21 to Dec. 20. Polling will occur electronically and be weighted so public health officials and industry professionals have equal influence.

Only CMAHC members can vote. Membership costs $40 for two years. Change proposals, comments and reports from the Technical Review Committee on some of the more major suggestions are accessible to CMAHC members on the organization’s website. Three caucus groups – one each for public officials, designers and contractors, and manufacturers – also have their comments posted for reference.

Results of the voting will be posted sometime in January and ultimately will be supplied to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which administers the code, to consider for the next edition of the Model Aquatic Health Code, which is due out before the 2016 swim season begins.

Some members of the committee requested that the group meet annually rather than every other year, and officials are exploring that possibility.

Though it is a federal code, the MAHC is voluntary, so it only goes into effect in states and municipalities that choose to adopt it.