Model Aquatic Health Code Guidance

Implementing MAHC-specific or aquatic health and safety programs? Check out the MAHC and other tools to reduce risk for outbreaks, drowning, and pool-chemical injuries.

Visit the MAHC website to access

  • The 2018 MAHC code.
  • Annex with scientific explanations.
  • Mini-MAHCs (aggregated code and annex language on a specific public health issue in a more concise document).
  • Tool for comparing the MAHC with existing pool codes.
  • MAHC-specific checklists.
  • Investigation and reporting forms.
  • Response protocols.
  • Information about how you can get involved in the MAHC.
Cover image of the Model Aquatic Health Code

How to Use the MAHC

The free, science-based 2018 Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) (3rd Edition) launched July 18, 2018. State and local government agencies and the aquatics sector can use MAHC guidance to reduce risk for outbreaks, drowning, and pool-chemical injuries at

  • Public swimming pools
  • Pools, hot tubs, and spas in hotels, apartment complexes, and neighborhoods
  • Waterparks
  • Other aquatic facilities

The MAHC guidelines address the design, construction, operation, maintenance, policies, and management of public aquatic facilities. States and localities can use it to create or update existing pool codes to reduce risk for drowning, waterborne illness outbreaks, injuries, and exposures to pool chemicals

Get Involved!

  • Explore the MAHC website to check out the 2018 edition and supporting materials.
  • Suggest and vote on changesexternal icon to the MAHC with the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code, which collects and votes on requested MAHC changes to recommend to CDC for final decision.
  • Join the conversationexternal icon with the MAHC Network, a community of MAHC users, subject matter experts, and those hoping to learn about the code (includes regular webinars).

Who Developed the MAHC?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention led a national collaborative effort with public health, the aquatics sector, and academic partners from across the United States to develop the MAHC. CDC input draws from expertise in the areas of environmental health, infectious disease, public health law, and injury prevention.

Environmental Health Services has been involved in this effort since the beginning, contributing subject-matter expertise to development of the MAHC, helping manage the MAHC’s technical and steering committees, and working with code-making organizations to align pool-related codes with key public health principles. In addition, Environmental Health Services helps develop tools to make it easier for environmental health professionals at local, state, tribal and territorial levels to use and customize the MAHC.

Federal and Partner Resources on Recreational Water

Page last reviewed: August 12, 2019