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Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) Development

MAHC Development

The MAHC was initially developed as a set of 14 separate modules through a process involving a Steering Committee that guided the work of 12 Technical Committees which worked on specific areas of the MAHC. The linked Project Outline document describes the original MAHC vision, organization, goals, and objectives developed by the Steering Committee. The MAHC Process Diagram illustrates the sequence of events developed by the Steering Committee as part of the MAHC development process.

MAHC Organization

This draft MAHC outline or "strawman" provided a framework for discussing the MAHC content and helped the Steering Committee and Technical Committees identify where various parts fit within the overall code. The "strawman" delineated cross-cutting issues requiring collaboration and deliberation by multiple Technical Committees. As with any "strawman," the numbering format, organization, and structure changed as the MAHC progressed.

The MAHC was initially developed as a set of 14 separate modules. The intial drafts of these 14 modules were organized in a series of columns that contained a short keyword summary describing the information contained in the corresponding code language. Items deemed most critical to protecting public health were indicated in red font with an asterisk. The columns showed the section number and draft code language, and the far right column had a letter grade based on the perceived reliability and accuracy of the material presented. The grading system was divided into three levels:

  • Grade A: Practice supported by science/research/data.
  • Grade B: Widely accepted practice not supported by science/research/data.
  • Grade C: No widely accepted practice. Proposed language not yet supported by science/research/data.

This format was changed when the modules were combined into a single document. This complete draft MAHC dropped the column format, the public health-specific red font designation, and the grading system.

Finalizing the MAHC

The Technical Committees were responsible for the technical content of MAHC modules. As they created the modules they periodically sent them to the Steering Committee for input to ensure that the content and format was consistent and integrated with the work done by other Technical Committees and addressed the overall MAHC goals. This process involved many drafts of the modules before completion. Once the Technical Committee finished a module and the Steering Committee approved the product, it was passed to the MAHC Editor. The module was then moved into final formatting. Additional annex information was added by staff if further clarification was needed on the intent or direction of the MAHC and its associated code language. Following completion of this process, all modules were put through internal CDC clearance. CDC agreed to early and preliminary posting of the MAHC modules to truly maximize the impact of public comment on the committee thinking and direction. Upon completion of CDC clearance, modules were posted on the MAHC website, which is part of CDC’s Healthy Swimming website, for the first 60-day public comment period. After receiving public comments each comment was reviewed and addressed. The revised modules as well as the public comments and responses were then re-posted to the MAHC website for public review although they were not open for further public comment. After all modules were revised and reposted, they were merged and duplications and discrepancies removed or fixed. This "knitted" version of the MAHC was then reposted for another 60-day public comment period so reviewers could look over the wording again in the full context of the rest of the MAHC. This "knitted" version will then be revised based on public comment and re-posted to the MAHC website as the MAHC 1st Edition.

Current Version of the MAHC

The current status of the MAHC is summarized on the MAHC Status page.

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