MAHC Updates Matter to You

By: Nicole Van Winkle

Published in World Waterpark magazine, December 2015 issue

You have no doubt heard rumblings about the Model Aquatic Health Code and its potential impact on the waterpark industry, but what do you know about the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC)? The CMAHC is the non-profit organization tasked with the challenge of managing updates and revisions to the MAHC.  Their mission is to keep changes and revisions based on scientific evidence and presenting it in a way that is easily understandable by operators.  Over the past few months, interested parties have submitted Change Requests to the CMAHC to ask for modifications or clarifications to the 1st edition of the MAHC. Over 160 change requests were submitted for consideration and CMAHC members had the opportunity to comment on the change requests. On November 21st, the first official ballot for MAHC revisions became available and members of the CMAHC will have the opportunity to cast their votes until December 20th.  Once the voting period has closed, the changes will go through a board review process, be submitted to the CDC, and incorporated into the 2nd edition of the MAHC, which is anticipated to be released during the swim season of 2016.

The Government Relations Committee has been reviewing the change requests submitted and have determined which ballot items may have a negative impact on the industry and our operations and which will serve as a benefit to the overall safety of our patrons. For those of you who have been actively following the CMAHC process, thank you for being involved!  There may be many of you who do not have time to wade through all the change requests and just want a general idea of how to vote.  A recommended voting guide is available from the Government Relations Committee.  Only CMAHC members can vote, but at $40 for a biennial membership, it is well worth the money as it directly impacts our industry.  Visit and click on “Register to Vote on the Code” to begin the process.

What can you do?

The MAHC is designed to serve as an industry standard for health and safety guidelines in the aquatics industry. Because public health is the primary goal of the CDC, public health officials are given a weighted vote of 50%, manufacturers and suppliers 10%, Designers 20% and Operators 20%. Besides voting, you can make the greatest impact by educating your local public health officials on your needs and how they can be useful when voting on the code.  There are several states looking to adopt the code as-is, but the all or nothing adoption is not a requirement.  Each city, state, or governing body can adopt pieces, sections, or modify as they see fit.  Even if your local health department does not adopt any portion of the MAHC, it is likely that the MAHC will become the industry standard and your standard of care and operations will be measured in accordance.  Working with your local health officials will help to ensure that you are part of the solution for your area and not on the receiving end of regulations that are difficult or unreasonable for you to comply with.  The Government Relations Committee will continue following the CMAHC process and updating the membership on important revisions and updates.  Now go vote on the code!