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Show Highlights

The Model Aquatic Health Code is a document released by the CDC and has made waves throughout the float industry as this year it included a section on the ideal health department code for float centers as well as pools and spas. Some folks are worried about this because it may mean more rigid and unruly regulations in certain areas.

It’s been a few months since its release, so Graham and Ashkahn give an update to how it has impacted the industry and what it means going forward. Also, Ashkahn learns to abuse the show notes.

Show Resources

What is the Model Aquatic Health Code? – DSP 63

FTS Blog – The Relationship Between the MAHC and Float Tanks

The 2018 Model Aquatic Health Code (relevant float tank sections are 4.12.10A – 4.12.11A(pg.101-107) and 5.12.10A – 5.12.10.15.2.1 (pg. 138-147))

The GDP of the three fastest growing economies for fiscal year 2017 (better way of saying that, Ashkahn) is
1 Libya Increase 55.1%
2 Ethiopia Increase 8.5%
3 India Increase 8.2%

The difference between crocodiles and alligators are, most notably: A) the shape of their snout, alligators have wider U-shaped snouts, crocodiles are more pointy and V-shaped; B) Whether their teeth portude when their mouth is closed, crocodiles have a toothy grin; and C) crocodiles tend to live in saltwater, alligators tend to live in fresh water.

Today’s question was “What’s up with the MAHC?” and Ashkahn’s answer was “not a lot, really. It got released earlier this year and we’re expecting a slow roll of implementation” (I’m paraphrasing, of course).

For the ideal listening order to the episode, just listen to the intro, the question, and then skip to about 2/3 of the way through for the summary of their answer (at about ~6:40)

And finally, regarding my time doing this vs. other episodes, it’s in the top 10% of episodes of dedicated time to (the lists of book recommendations take longer).

Listen to Just the Audio

Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Ashkahn: Hey there everybody.

Graham: That’s Ashkahn over there.

Ashkahn: This is Ashkahn. That’s Graham hanging out over there.

Graham: Sup.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: How you doing?

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: Make yourselves comfortable, relax.

Ashkahn: Yeah, relax.

Graham: We don’t mind.

Ashkahn: Lie down maybe.

Graham: Kick those shoes off.

Ashkahn: No problem. No one’s judging you here.

Graham: Kick those … Can you kick socks off? Kick socks off.

Ashkahn: I will lie down with you.

Graham: Let me just snuggle in here just for a second. Hold on. Make room.

Ashkahn: What’s up? What are we doing today?

Graham: Boy. There’s a question and we’re answering. Okay so today’s question is, “What’s up with the MAHC? Feel like I heard a lot about it for a while and nothing lately.”

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: The old MAHC attack.

Ashkahn: Astute.

Graham: MAHC is an acronym and unless they’re talking about Mack’s earplugs which they don’t have the right spelling. It’s M-A-H-C, which might not be immediately obvious from how I pronounced it. Stands for the Model Aquatic Health Code.

Ashkahn: If you don’t know it then you should just listen. We have other episodes where we explain what this is.

Graham: Well now that they know what to look for. Search the Model Aquatic Health Code.

Ashkahn: Search the model code. We’ll put it in the show notes.

Graham: Yeah it’s in the show notes.

Ashkahn: Yeah it’s already in there.

Graham: Yeah, from your perspective, not from ours.

Ashkahn: I found out really only recently that we can just say, “It’ll be in the show notes” and somebody’s going to do it. This whole time I was like, “Oh, boy, are we supposed to go do that?” It just happened. Juliet out there is just going and looking the stuff up.

Graham: That’s what having amazing employees is like.

Ashkahn: We’ll go ahead and put in the show notes for this episode. The GDP growth of three fastest growing economies for countries from the year 2016 to 2017, so you can look forward to that.

Graham: Check it out. We’ll put a link to our other bigger blog post on the MAHC as well.

Ashkahn: The blog post, episode. Yeah, we talked a lot about-

Graham: The actual MAHC, we’ll link over to there.

Ashkahn: Yeah, that’ll be in the show notes, too.

Graham: All right, so there you have it. We’ll provide a laundry list of resources for you.

Ashkahn: Along with the difference between an alligator and a crocodile also. That’s going to be in the show notes of this episode. What was the question? Okay, what’s going on with the Model Aquatic Health Code? So, this thing came out-

Graham: We can put the question in the show notes for you if you need, Ashkahn.

Ashkahn: That would be actually pretty great, then I could just look at that. And maybe my answer too should go in there. So this thing was a big deal last year, there was a lot of conversation about it, we talked about it at the Float conference. There was being developed, it was being voted on, so much was happening. They had a meeting about it. And eventually it got voted in.

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: And that was October of last year, 2017. And it takes from that point until a couple months ago. It must have been either late July or early August-

Graham: I think it was July. Yeah, somewhere around there.

Ashkahn: Sometime in the summer, it came out and actually got released as like, version three of the Model Aquatic Health Code. So from October ’til July, it had been decided on, but they had to go and do all of their formatting and stuff to get the whole document ready. And to push this big update, and so that’s what happened. So now, as opposed to being something people knew about or that it was going to be in there, they’ve actually released the new version of the Model Aquatic Health Code, which they do in these batches every three years now. And this whole float tank section that got voted in was in there.

So now if a health department person were to look on the CDC’s website and look at the Model Aquatic Health Code, in the code would be this whole section about float tanks. And honestly, that’s really all that’s happened so far.

Graham: If you went back and paused this one and listened to our previous episode, you know a lot of things now, right? You know that this isn’t a law that actually got voted into effect, we’re not waiting for it to specifically kick in, in different areas. And I guess the way that we thought it was going to go down is sort of how it has happened at least so far.

Which is and I have seen it brought up, I’ve seen the Model Aquatic Health Code referenced, but almost not more now than beforehand. Before it had actually been published but was still up there as the accepted language. In the sense that I think people are looking to it as one of the few from their perspective, health departments official’s perspectives, few vetted resources on how to properly maintain float tank sanitation. And so people, even before it was released, were getting wind of that and using that to start a conversation with centers that are looking to start up in their area.

Ashkahn: At least people who are in the know more.

Graham: Yeah, yeah.

Ashkahn: Like the health department people who come out to the conferences and stuff.

Graham: I’m talking maybe two or three places that this has happened to, so a very small amount in the scheme of things.

Ashkahn: Yeah, while it sounds like nothing has happened is like, not very big news. It is interesting to think about, because as we were going into this, one of the big things that was being discussed last year while all of this was happening was, what’s going to happen once this gets released?

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: And some people thought this would just get released and immediately all these health department’s would start picking it up and we were going to see a sudden wave of these regulations being kind of spread.

Graham: That’s a good place to start, is back at the beginning instead of just hopping into it like I did. Yeah, I like the direction you’re going here. This is a good episode.

Ashkahn: We’ll break this episode up into time codes and put the right order of listening to it in the show notes for you and jump around.

Graham: You know, every one of those costs us money. We are actually paying someone to do that.

Ashkahn: And we’ll put the percentage of our total expenses that this joke is costing us in the show notes of this episode.

Graham: This episode is going to be like, 200%. That’s not even possible anyway. Go on, what were you saying?

Ashkahn: The important thing to take away here is that this hasn’t we haven’t seen like, a sudden wave of regulations pop up all of a sudden, and I think that’s what probably a lot of people were expecting. Including people in the health department were, and the people who run the Model Aquatic Health Code.

They were saying on the phone calls leading up to this, it takes years from the point that they release language, to the point that they actually see it kind of spread, or any form of widespread adoption. And I’ve honestly only heard of, so far personally, a single case of this actually coming out. I know of one health department that referenced the Model Aquatic Health Code, and this was before it was fully released.

They basically there was a float center opening up and they were trying to figure out how to deal with the health department and the health department was trying to figure out how to deal with the float center. And the person at the health department said, “Hey, there’s this Model Aquatic Health Code stuff that just came through, we should look at that.”

And they actually said, because it’s written by the CDC, and so they’ve probably done a lot of good research into it. And they did look at that, and they actually did accept a lot of things in it. They removed the need for chlorine, and use the three turnovers that’s written in there. And they also didn’t use stuff that didn’t require the full requirements for UV that are listed in there. So, that’s a very real world example of that code being kind of referenced and adopted in part, but not adopted in full.

Graham: Do you remember what health department that was?

Ashkahn: That was in Georgia. So I don’t know if that was on the state level or more of-

Graham: More of a local one, yeah. ‘Cause the same thing like similar and from both directions, we’ve been getting on the float tank solutions side of things, too. In the sense of health departments who … Again, maybe it’s at the county level, maybe at the state level, have found the Model Aquatic Health Code and are kind of referencing that in discussions.

Again, we’re talking about two or three maybe. And then other times where people are just getting ready to start up and it sounds like their area is going to be a little harsher to them. And we kind of have advised them in those cases to maybe think about bringing up the Model Aquatic Health Code themselves to the health department just because it is so nice about lower turnover rates and not using chlorine, and getting a foot in the door with those arguments.

Ashkahn: Yeah, I think part of what people were concerned about with this thing being voted in, in the first place is that the Model Aquatic Health Code, if you didn’t want it to be applied at all or only liked part of it, or whatever, is going to turn into a series of smaller conversations and dealings across all the different health jurisdictions that are out there. And you know that is pretty much I think what’s going to happen.

Graham: And that’s what’s been going down, too. And I haven’t heard of anyone where it’s just their state is coming at them with this thing and they’re like, “I’m going to hold you 100% to the letter of the Model Aquatic Health Code.” That’s not a story that I’ve heard from anyone, I guess. Except for maybe New Mexico or something where they-

Ashkahn: At least, Yeah, I mean, and also the Model Aquatic Health Code even New Mexico, I don’t know if they’ve adopted version three of the Model Aquatic Health Code-

Graham: I don’t know either. So, I have no idea what’s going on with it.

Ashkahn: So, I don’t know. At the very least what we know so far is that this is probably going to be kind of a slow roll. And we’ll see where it goes from here. For good or for bad.

Graham: And so far the health departments do seem open to discussing the different parts of the Model Aquatic Health Code, or of the float tank regulations separately. It doesn’t seem to be that they’re just coming in all or nothing kind of method of talking. So, that’s good, too.

Ashkahn: And the Model Aquatic Health Code will be updated again in 2021.

Graham: There you have it.

Ashkahn: Put that in your calendar.

Graham: We’ll release another episode then.

Ashkahn: Yeah, yeah. We’ll talk to you then.

Graham: All right, if you have your own water sanitation questions, salt questions, wardrobe suggestion questions-

Ashkahn: Economic forecasting you want us to put in the show notes. Any sort of anything like that.

Graham: Yeah, head on over to floattanksolutions.com/podcast. See what happens.

Ashkahn: Yeah. All right. I will.

Graham: Bye.

Ashkahn: Bye.

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