Category Archives: Industry Mentions

Model Aquatic Health Code “Knitted” Version Released for Final Round of Public Comments

March 28, 2014

MAHC milestone reached!

Today marks an important milestone in the development of the MAHC, the nation’s first science-based model guidance for swimming pools and other aquatic venues. The first complete “knitted” version of the MAHC has now been released for the MAHC’s second of two 60-day rounds of public comments. This knitted version blends together the 14 modules that have been developed, opened for public comment, and revised based on your feedback.

Be a part of history—send us your comments

Are you an environmental or other public health professional, aquatics facility designer or operator, scientist specializing in waterborne disease or injury prevention, other professional, or a member of the general public interested in protecting and advancing public health at aquatic venues? If so, you are invited to review this version of the MAHC and submit your comments by May 27, 2014.

Spread the word

Please remind your colleagues that this complete, knitted version of the MAHC is now open for public comment. We encourage you to forward this email and/or to use your social media channels to spread the word. You may use, edit, or customize the following sample posts for use on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.:

  • Submit      comments on first complete “knitted” version of Model Aquatic Health Code      released today. Deadline 5/27.
  • Be part      of history! Submit comments on 1st complete national      science-based code for swimming pools.
  • First      complete “knitted” version of Model Aquatic Health Code released for      public comment. Submit comments by 5/27

Thank you for your review! We look forward to your comments. We will revise the knitted version of the MAHC based on the comments we receive and are excited to release the MAHC 1st Edition in summer 2014.

All Stories

In Memory of Tom Abel

Capture1Tom Abel passed away over the weekend.  Tom had a long relationship with the swimming community and Counsilman – Hunsaker. In 1997, he and his father, Ed were a part of a committee that was looking to help Columbia Falls, Montana build a new aquatic center.  Not long after the completion of this study, Tom joined the Counsilman – Hunsaker engineering team in St. Louis.  Tom’s experience in pool building blended with his engineering background was an ideal fit.  His passion for aquatics could not overcome his passion for the mountains of Kalispell, Montana and sailing on Flathead Lake.  After returning to Kalispell he started his own engineering firm, Abel Engineering, and the two firms worked together over the years.  Tom and I also worked together at the National Swimming Pool Foundation where he was a Certified Pool Operator Instructor.  Tom’s contributions and friendship will be missed.  We offer our heartfelt condolences to Sherry, his wife, and the family.

The services will be at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, at the Northridge Lutheran Church, 323 Northridge Dr., Kalispell, MT 59901.

Pools are closing? An issue we should all be concerned about!

Between 2005 and 2007 the Facilities Development Department at USA Swimming began noticing a trend in pool closings. In 2007 we started tracking the closings while keeping a short file on each one. The map of closings depicts a 2 year period between Spring 2011 and Spring 2013. There were almost 1,100 commercial or intuitional pools closed during this most recent 2 year period. The main reasons for the pool closings were:

  • Older pools ignoring or delaying upgrades and repairs to the point that the pool cost more to fix than any budget can handle.
  • Pools relying on simple “day pass” income and water rental rather than offering total aquatic programming options.
  • Budget cutbacks by cities and schools and rather than revamp the aquatic program offerings for the community, the “people in charge” of the budget simply close the pool.

Solutions the USA Swimming FDD Offers:

  • Educate the people responsible for the “fate of the pool” about programming offerings and pricing and maintenance escrows in budget.
  • Offer advice and assistance in the best practices for pool operations and renovations.
  • Supply an Aquatic Programming Manual (at no charge) to help increase the pools community value and revenue.
  • Do our best to make sure all new facility designs have at least 2 pools. The main pool and a warmer water smaller pool for teaching aquatic programming. Programming precedes design.

Pool Closing2

Revised MAHC Modules Posted: Disinfection & Water Quality, Regulatory

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent this bulletin on 1/24/2014

Model Aquatic Health Code

Thank you for your interest in the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), a collaborative effort of public health, academia, and industry working to protect individuals, families, and communities from preventable waterborne diseases and injuries through evidence-based guidance. Read below for the latest information.


The Disinfection and Water Quality Module and the Regulatory Module have been revised and re-posted after the first public comment period. View the revised modules and the response to comments documents.


The first full version of the MAHC is coming soon, and we want your feedback! We plan to release the first full version of the MAHC—a combination of all revised modules and supplemental information—in spring 2014 for a 60-day public comment period.

Get a head start!

Because the MAHC will be a long document, we encourage you to get a head start and begin compiling your comments now on the modules that have been revised after the first public comment period so that you have plenty of time to submit your feedback. The content of these modules will not change substantially, but we will have to reorganize information that may be duplicated in multiple modules and resolve conflicts where duplicate items make different recommendations. We will announce when the full version is posted and we are accepting public comments for 60 days.

Each module has a short synopsis or abstract highlighting the most critical recommendations.

You can monitor the status of all modules on the MAHC website.

2014 Pool & Spa Operator™ Handbook Released

The 2014 edition of the Pool & Spa OperatorHandbook, published by non-profit National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®), is now available and includes important updates and a new look. Offered in English and Spanish with both U.S. and Metric units, this fundamental training and reference manual is including operators, health officials, service who help keep pools safer, and open. Important updates to the 2014 version are found in Chapters 2, 6, 16, and Appendix C-3.

  • Chapter 2: Updated Material Safety Data Sheet section with information about transition to SDS (Safety Data Sheets) terminology and the Globally Harmonized System (GHS).
  • Chapter 6: A short section about the Ryznar Stability Index (RSI), another saturation index used by some industry professionals, has been added.
  • Chapter 16: Now includes a brief section, which describes the new Swimming Pool & Spa Routine Maintenance online course from NSPF.
  • Appendix C-3: A summary on two new Module Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) modules has been added: Fecal/Blood/Vomit Contamination Response module; and Preface/User Guide/Glossary modules are now included.

“NSPF has once again updated the Pool & Spa Operator handbook to be the most current reference manual in the industry. This will ensure that NSPF Instructors and professionals who focus on keeping pools and spas safer, and open, are educating to the most current industry standards,” said Alex Antoniou, Ph.D., NSPF Director of Educational Programs. The Pool & Spa Operator Handbook is also wearing a new cover with a copy of original artwork in pastel, titled “Swimmer” created in 1997, by acclaimed artist Mela Lyman, whose passion for swimming is often reflected in her artwork. Lyman has been on the faculty of The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the combined degree program at Tufts University for over 20 years. To see more of Mela Lyman’s art, visit www.MelaLyman.