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Decoding the MAHC

	MAHC infographic - decoding the MAHC


Decoding the Model Aquatic Health Code [PDF - 1 page]

Visit the Fact Sheets page to download individual fact sheets in this series.


Decoding the MAHC: The Model Aquatic Health Code

The MAHC is a free resource based on science and best practices. Government agencies and the aquatics sector can use the MAHC
to make swimming and other water activities healthier and safer.

300 Million: Trips people in the U.S. make to pools and other swimming areas each year.

People who swim can enjoy:

  • Increased physical & mental health.
  • Lower risk for chronic diseases, joint & muscle pain, death.
  • Increased quality of life & decreased disability in older age.

The Problem: But some places we swim aren't clean or safe. 1 in 8 pools closed immediately on routine inspection for critical health and safety problems.

Problems can lead to:

  • Drowning: A leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1–14 years.
  • Outbreaks: Recreational water illness outbreaks up from 15 a year (1993–2002) to 34 a year (2003–2012). A single outbreak can sicken thousands.
  • Chemical Injuries: Almost 5,000 people visited the ER in 2012 for an injury linked to a pool chemical. Almost half were under 18 years of age. Almost 1/3 of local health departments do not regulate, inspect, or license public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds at all.

The Solution: Use the MAHC

  1. To update existing codes for public swimming pools and other aquatic venues
  2. To incorporate guidelines into state and local aquatic programs
  3. However you want: use or modify the entire MAHC or pieces of it

The MAHC is NOT a federal law. It’s voluntary, model guidance to help reduce the burden on state and local pool programs that individually write their own codes.

The Public Health Impact:

The MAHC can help:

  • Prevent drowning, illness, and injury.
  • Raise minimum standards and reduce inspection violations.
  • Keep pools open for more summer and year-round fun.

Help make swimming healthier and safer. Learn more about The Model Aquatic Health Code.

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