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Recreational Water

CDC's Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) – Science-based guidelines to help government agencies and the aquatics sector make swimming healthier and safer at public pools and other aquatic facilities.

Cryptosporidiosis Outbreak Response Evaluation (CORE) [PDF - 224 KB] – Guidelines for health departments, aquatics operators/managers, and child care program operators.

Environmental Public Health Online Courses (EPHOC) – Comprehensive online courses for environmental public health practitioners on swimming pools and recreational facilities, among other topics.

Health Hazard Evaluation Report: Investigation of Employee Symptoms at an Indoor Waterpark, Mason, OH [PDF - 1.3 MB] – Results of the NIOSH investigation on the cause of symptoms reported at the Great Wolf Lodge indoor waterpark resort in Mason, Ohio.  

Healthy and Safe Swimming (HSS) Week (May 18-24, 2015) – Educate your community about healthy and safe swimming during this annual healthy observance (formerly known as Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week.

Healthy Housing Reference Manual – Revision addressing the impact of housing on health and safety and includes a chapter on swimming pools and spas.

Healthy Swimming/Recreational Water – CDC's portal for information about swimming and recreational water illness prevention including brochures, and videos.

Model Pool Code Video – Short video on the Model Aquatic Health Code as a tool to prevent outbreaks, drowning, and chemical poisoning.

Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis Associated with a Manmade Chlorinated Lake--Tarrant County, Texas, 2008. [PDF - 317 KB] – Assessment of cryptosporidiosis cases associated with a manmade lake in Texas.

Prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia intestinalis in Swimming Pools, Atlanta, Georgia; EID – 2008 examination of public pools in Atlanta for the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp.

Recommendations for Preventing Pool Chemical–Associated Injuries – CDC recommendations for preventing pool chemical-associated injuries.

Journal of Environmental Health (JEH) Articles Related to Healthy & Safe Swimming Week (formerly Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week)

For JEH articles in earlier years please visit our JEH publications page.

May 2014 [PDF - 452 KB] – Column on the proposed operational guidelines for the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) and progress to date.

May 2013 [PDF - 520 KB] – Column on preventing health events associated with pool chemicals, including pool chemical posters as well as information on the Model Aquatic Health Code. 

May 2012 [PDF - 385 KB] – Column on how the Model Aquatic Health Code and the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code complement each other by clarifying the respective roles of building and health officials in maintaining healthy aquatic venues.

Selected Articles from MMWR - Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports

Announcements: CDC's Model Aquatic Health Code, First Edition

Announcements: Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week — May 19–25, 2014

Communitywide Cryptosporidiosis Outbreak --- Utah, 2007

Drowning — United States, 2005–2009

Microbes in Pool Filter Backwash as Evidence of the Need for Improved Swimmer Hygiene — Metro-Atlanta, Georgia, 2012

Pool Chemical--Associated Health Events in Public and Residential Settings --- United States, 1983--2007

Promotion of Healthy Swimming After a Statewide Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis Associated with Recreational Water Venues — Utah, 2008–2009

Recreational Water–Associated Disease Outbreaks — United States, 2009–2010

Surveillance Data from Swimming Pool Inspections — Selected States and Counties, United States, May–September 2002

Surveillance Data from Public Spa Inspections --- United States, May--September 2002

Surveillance for Waterborne Disease Outbreaks and Other Health Events Associated with Recreational Water Use — United States, 2007–2008

Violations Identified from Routine Swimming Pool Inspections --- Selected States and Counties, United States, 2008

Reports by Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute Graduates

We have many recreational water reports that were prepared by graduates of CDC’s Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute. These documents have not been revised or edited to conform to agency standards. The findings and conclusions in these reports are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For these reports and others search the EPHLI fellow projects page.

Links to information from outside CDC

Battling the Parasite in Your Local Pool (Wall Street Journal) – News article about new measures to battle the threat of Cryptosporidium.

Beaches (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) – Information about beaches, planning a trip to the beach, and beach protection.

Center for Watershed Protection – Technical tools for protecting some of the nation’s most precious natural resources: our streams, lakes, and rivers.

Nonhygienic Behavior, Knowledge, and Attitudes Among Interactive Splash Park Visitors [PDF - 417 KB] (Journal of Environmental Health) – Study of nonhygienic behavior among children at Idaho splash parks and the influences of signage and hygiene attendants.

Ocular and Respiratory Symptoms Among Lifeguards at a Hotel Indoor Waterpark Resort (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine) – Study to determine the cause of eye and respiratory irritation symptoms among lifeguards at an indoor waterpark

Preventing Recreational Water Illness Outbreaks (National Swimming Pool Foundation) – Article about a 2005 outbreak at a park linked to more than 3,000 illnesses and spread to 36 New York counties, 26 states, and two countries.

Prevention and Control of Recreational Water Illnesses [PDF - 85 KB] (Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists) – Position paper concerning the prevention and control of recreational water illnesses.

Statement of Policy on Recreational Water Safety [PDF - 325 KB] (National Association of County and City Health Officials) – Policy statement emphasizing the importance of pool inspection and other recreational water safety activities at local health departments and encouraging use of the Model Aquatic Health Code.

Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (Consumer Product Safety Commission [CPSC]) – Requirements for swimming pool and spa drain cover performance.

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