CMAHC in Colorado?

MAHCEveryone agrees, Colorado’s Swimming Pool and Mineral Bath regulations (5 CCR 1003-5) are woefully outdated. They were last revised in 1998 and much has happened in the pool and spa industry since that time. Currently, 17 counties (out of 64) in Colorado have full regulatory programs and 11 inspect on a complaint only basis. 

The Colorado Directors of Environmental Health (CDEH) started to make some changes to the regulations around 2012, but other programs became a higher priority and recreational water had to take a back seat. In October of 2015, National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were invited to discuss Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) adoption at a CDEH meeting. At that time the MAHC had been published for a little over a year.

From that meeting, a small working group was created to explore interest in changing Colorado’s outdated regulations, gathering data and perspectives, and most importantly to build a strong broad-based coalition. The working group also focused on MAHC adoption, who had already adopted it, how much the Colorado aquatic community knew about the MAHC, and the feasibility of adopting here.

Recently, NSPF attended a roundtable discussion on changing the Colorado regulations. There was a broad group of the aquatics industry represented at the discussion, from operators at Parks and Recreation facilities to a government official with the Water Quality Control Division for the state of Colorado and everything in-between.

Discussions revolved around 4 key questions:

  • What does the aquatics industry need/want from a regulatory program?
  • How do you view the draft legislation provided prior to the meeting? (drafted in 2014)
  • How do you view the MAHC and how do you see it being used for Colorado’s regulatory program?
  • What suggestion do you have for moving a regulatory change process forward?

It is clear from the discussion that everyone believes changes should be made, it is also clear that not everyone believes adopting the MAHC in its entirety is the answer. For example, the MAHC doesn’t address hot springs which have their own unique issues and Colorado has quite a few hot springs.

The most important action item from the roundtable discussion is to build a steering committee with representatives from larger organizations in the Colorado aquatics industry to move forward the initiative to change the Colorado regulations. The question remains: will the MAHC be adopted in Colorado? Stay tuned as the process continues.

Susan Wichmann Profile PicThis blog was provided by NSPF's Government Affairs Specialist and Environmental Health Assitant Susan Wichmann. If you would like more information about the CMAHC in Colorado, or Colorado's Environmental Health, please feel free to contact Susan at susan.wichmann(at)nspf(dot)org.

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