MAHC (4th Edition) Updates and Interim CDC Guidance for Surf Parks and Artificial Lagoons

Presenters: Samaria Aluko, MPH; Michele Hlvasa, RN, MPH; Commander Joe Laco, RS/REHS, MSEH; and Dewey Case

Thursday, October 13, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
1 Hour | 1 PHTA CEU | 0.1 IACET CEU



CDC partnered with public health officials, aquatics sector experts, and researchers to create and update the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC). The MAHC aims to prevent illness, injury, disability, and death by addressing the design, construction, operation, and management of public aquatic facilities. The MAHC’s vision is to promote healthy and safe aquatic experiences for everyone in the United States. This session will examine change requests made in the 4th Edition. Key revisions in this edition address topics such as enclosure requirements (e.g., height minimum), cyanuric acid concentrations requiring venue closure, lower minimum pH, secondary treatment (including filtration), and standardizing terms (e.g., rope and float line). We’ll also discuss MAHC updates for consideration for the 5th edition, including addressing surf venues and artificial lagoons, further developing CRs that did not pass membership vote (e.g., tall platform safety), and standardizing terms (e.g., use of “pool” versus “aquatic venue”).


Learning Objectives

  • Examine updates for the CDC's 2022 Model Aquatic Health Code.
  • Discuss CDC voting behaviors on change requests.
  • Discuss MAHC adoption.


Presenter Bios

Samaria Aluko, MPH, is the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow with the Healthy Swimming and Model Aquatic Health Code. She has assisted in outbreak investigations of recreational water–associated illness and collaborates with public health authorities and the aquatics sector to develop science-based prevention and control measures. She has a Bachelor Degree in Biological Science with an emphasis in global health from the University of Georgia and a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from Temple University. Prior to joining Healthy Swimming, Samaria served in the Georgia Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 response.

Michele Hlavsa, RN, MPH, is chief of CDC's Healthy Swimming Program. Her areas of expertise include recreational water–associated illness, particularly when caused by Cryptosporidium. She has worked on a number of investigations of outbreaks of recreational water–associated illness and collaborates with U.S. and international public health authorities and the aquatics sector to develop science-based prevention and control measures. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the College of New Jersey and a master’s in public health/epidemiology from Emory University. Michele was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at CDC prior to joining the Healthy Swimming Program.

Commander Joe Laco, RS/REHS, MSEH, is active duty service-member of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) and is stationed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. CDR Laco is an Environmental Health Scientist in the National Center for Environmental Health’s Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch. He provides Environmental Health technical support and expertise to state and local health departments, U.S. Territories, and tribes. CDR Laco works closely with the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, the Center for Preparedness and Response, the Center for Global Health, and the CDC Emergency Operations Center. His work focuses largely on recreational water, emergency and outbreak response, food safety, drinking water, wastewater, vector control, safety and PPE, and hazardous materials. He was the 2017 USPHS Environmental Health Officer Responder of the Year and the recipient of the 2019 Edward Moran Award. CDR Laco has more than 25 years of experience working in federal government, state government, clinical and research laboratories, and private industry. He earned his bachelor's degree in Biology from Ohio University in 1995, and a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Health from East Tennessee State University in 2001. He is a Registered Sanitarian and Registered Environmental Health Specialist through the National Environmental Health Association.

Celebrating over 20 years of full-time service to the aquatics industry, Dewey Case serves as the Technical Director for the Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC). His career started as a part-time lifeguard, evolved into servicing pools, and then into aquatic facility management while in college. Upon graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi, Dewey worked in the pool management industry and then transitioned to work with the YMCA at the local and national level, where he served as the volunteer project lead for the 2011 revision of the Y-USA Aquatic Safety Guidelines. He has also served on multiple aquatic safety committees, including the American Red Cross local Preparedness, Health & Safety Committee and State Quality Assurance Committee. Dewey has earned multiple instructor trainer certifications from the American Red Cross, as well as instructor credentials with PHTA, and was recognized as a “aquatics lifer” by Aquatics International in the 2018 Power Issue. Dewey was a member of the Lifeguarding and Bather Supervision Technical Committee for the MAHC 1st Edition and the Technical Review Committee for the MAHC 3rd Edition. In addition to his duties at CMAHC, Dewey is the Commercial Division Manager for Adcock Pool and Spa in Hattiesburg, MS. He enjoys helping other aquatic facilities improve operations and helping young aquatics professionals hone and develop their craft, whether in rescue and response, pool operations, management, training lifeguards, or teaching swimming. Dewey resides in Hattiesburg, MS, with his wife Lisa.

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