IAPMO to Work With Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to Ensure Swimming Pool Safety

The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have signed a Memorandum of Intent to strengthen understanding and eliminate conflicts between CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) and IAPMO’s Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code  (USPSHTC).

ATLANTA -- The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have signed a Memorandum of Intent to strengthen understanding and eliminate conflicts between CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) and IAPMO’s Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code® (USPSHTC).

The agencies will work together to eliminate overlap and conflict between CDC’s guidance and IAPMO’s code. In addition, the agencies will clarify the roles of construction code and environmental health officials. They will also develop training and continuous compliance programs that support the goals of ensuring the environmental health of recreational aquatic facilities.

A variety of federal laws govern aquatic facilities, such as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, which governs the construction of drain covers and entrapment systems to prevent body and hair entrapment by drain suction. Many states and localities also have their own environmental health codes governing the construction and/or operation of swimming pools and spas. Some provisions of these different codes may conflict with each other, creating confusion among pool and spa designers, equipment manufacturers, regulators, pool owners and builders as to who holds jurisdiction.

“By collaborating, IAPMO and CDC are confident that the Model Aquatic Health Code and Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code each will be strengthened significantly,” said IAPMO CEO GP Russ Chaney, who signed the MoI on behalf of IAPMO.

Published by IAPMO since 1976, the USPSHTC provides sample regulations and guidelines for the structural integrity and safety of such aquatic facilities as swimming pools, spas, water parks and interactive water features. This includes plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems and components, and other items that make up a complete and safe facility installation, such as fencing, plumbing fixtures, heating equipment, venting, glazing, and suction entrapment protection.

“The MAHC will serve as a model for state and local environmental health agencies to transform their varied pool regulations into a set of nationally consistent standards that promote the health and safety of the swimming public,” said Robert Blake, Chief of the Environmental Health and Services Branch, who signed the MoI on behalf of CDC. “We welcome public comments on the draft MAHC modules posted at http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/.”

The MAHC also provides sample regulations and guidelines for overseeing the operation and maintenance of aquatic facilities. To prevent disease and injuries, the MAHC calls for environmental health officials, or their assigned agents, to conduct regular operational evaluations (inspections) of public and semi‐public aquatic facilities.

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