Recreational Water

smiling little boy in blue swim-shorts sliding down a bright yellow water slideHealthy Swimming and Recreational Waters

Pools, water parks, and other water-related venues are great sources of fun and exercise, however, with aquatic activities there are risks of waterborne illness and injury. 

Pools and similar facilities can harbor pathogens that make us sick, and sometimes the chemicals intended to inactivate these pathogens can irritate our skin, eyes and lungs.  Fortunately, most of these risks are preventable.  Environmental health professionals can work with aquatic-industry leaders and the public to minimize these risks so we can all enjoy the benefits of recreational water safely.

CDC's Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

May 2020

According to the US Census, there are over 30 million swimmer visits each year in the United states. CDC's Healthy and Safe Swimming (HSS) week helps create awareness around potential illness and injuries that can occur when enjoying recreational waters. The 2019 HSS Week toolkit contains a cover letter, community outreach suggestions, list of resources, sample press release, sample op-ed, sample proclamation, and suggested social media messages that are available and free to use.

Health and Safe Swimming Week Toolkit

Aquatic Healthy and Safety Infographic

NEHA Aquatic health and safety infographic

Download Aquatic Healthy and Safety InfographiC (PDF) 

NEW! CDC Updates the MAHC

The updated MAHC incorporates revisions that were suggested at the bi-annual Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC). The suggestions were categorized, opened for discussion to the CMAHC membership, reviewed again and accepted revisions are added to the MAHC. The CDC website offers a variety of ways to review the changes made as well as PDF versions of the revised code.

The Model Aquatic Health Code

Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC)

MAHC is a collaborative effort of public health, academia, and industry. By providing a model code based on the latest science, the MAHC strives to keep swimming healthy and protect individuals, families, and communities from preventable waterborne diseases and injuries. The MAHC encourages stakeholder involvement, so please make your swimming pool program aware of the following resources and opportunities to get involved.

Updated Model Aquatic Health Code Now Available! 
CDC has released an updated 2018 version of the MAHC. The review process is organized by the Council for the Model Aquatic and will be done bi-annually.

To learn more about the MAHC, view the 2015 AEC presentation:


Meet the CMAHC

The Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC) will serve as a key CDC partner by serving as a national clearinghouse for gathering stakeholder input and advice on needed improvements to the MAHC. Consider joining today.

Questions? Email

EH20 Recreational Water Virtual Conference

January 18th - 19th, 2017
EH2O Recreational Water Virtual Conference Logo Beach Ball and Water Drop

The conference was designed to enhance the knowledge of environmental health professionals in order to help them respond to environmental events of public health concern as well as to provide an opportunity to network and learn about the latest in indoor and outdoor treated recreational waters. If you were unable to attend the conference, you can still view and download presentation slides below. 

Health and Safety

Recommendations for Reducing Cryptosporidium Infection Risk in Swimming Pools ; Transcript

Opportunities for Preventing Mass Chlorine Exposures at Recreational Swimming Pools ; Transcript 

Evaluation of Swimming Pool Treatment Chemical Health Effects Under NSF/ANSI Standard 50 ; Transcript

Dangerous Underwater Breath-Holding Behavior-Related Drownings in NY, 1988-2011 ; Transcript

Lifeguarding and the Model Aquatic Health Code ; Transcript

Innovation and Technology

Introducing Aquatic Inspector: A CDC iPad App to Streamline Pool Inspections ; Transcript

Advanced Chemistry and Its Impact on Disinfection ; Transcript

Swimming Pool Technologies: Are These the Answer? ; Transcript

Floatation Systems in the State of Washington ; Transcript

Inspections and Training

Reducing Drownings Through Epidemiology and Interventions ; Transcript

Network for Aquatic Facility Inspection Surveillance Data on Immediate Closures and Violations ; Transcript

Expanding Swimming Pool Educational Outreach ; Transcript

Understanding and Applying Lifeguard/Bather Supervision and Operational Entries in the MAHC ; Transcript

Questions? Contact or 303-756-9090 x 335.

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