What is the MAHC?

Owned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the MAHC is a voluntary set of guidelines to prevent injury and illness at public aquatic venues, such as pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds. These guidelines bring together the latest science and best practices to help jurisdictions save time and resources when they develop and update pool codes. The MAHC outlines specific rules that designers, builders, and managers of public aquatic venues must follow to maximize the fun and the health benefits of water-based activities.

The MAHC addresses such topics as how aquatic facilities are built and managed, how chlorine levels in the water are tested, and how lifeguards are trained and certified. It serves as a voluntary model and guide for local and state agencies needing to update or implement swimming pool and spa code, rules, regulations, guidance, law, or standards governing the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of public swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and other disinfected aquatic facilities.

How does the MAHC stay current?

The MAHC is unique in that it is kept sustainable, current, and complete because the people who use it vote on its content every three years via CMAHC membership. It is based on scientific data and best practices gathered through a strong partnership between public health and aquatics industry experts, which makes it easier to adopt and implement. Unlike legislation, the MAHC is voluntarily adopted wholly or in part and driven by the expertise of CMAHC members. It is free, accessible to all, and backed by the CDC.

Why was the MAHC created?

The MAHC was created by the CDC based on a need from health departments, the aquatics sector, and researchers to provide scientifically-based guidelines at the national level. After working with industry experts from across the United States, CDC released the first edition of the MAHC in 2014. To learn more about how the MAHC was created, click here

Decoding the MAHC

This infographic from CDC gives an overview of the problems the MAHC helps to address, the process for updating the MAHC, and what implementing the MAHC can help accomplish: healthier and safer swimming experiences for everyone.

To download the infographic, click here.

Decoding the MAHC - CDC infographic

Decoding the MAHC - CDC infographic

Writing for the MAHC

Click here for information on how suggested edits to the MAHC, including change requests submitted to CMAHC, should conform to the scope, principles, and style guidance outlined by CDC.