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PHTA Celebrates 40th Anniversary as American National Standards Institute Accredited Standards Developer

The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance is proud to be celebrating 40 years of being an American National Standards Institute accredited standards developer. The PHTA is the leading industry organization recognized by the institute to develop and promote national consensus standards for residential and public swimming pools, hot tubs and spas. Since 1983, the PHTA has developed and revised 16 industry standards covering construction, maintenance, safety, energy efficiency and other topics.

The PHTA standards serve as best practice documents that specify minimum requirements, which raise the level of quality and standard of care throughout the industry. They serve as voluntary consensus guidelines but can become mandatory if adopted into law, which is the case with many PHTA standards. 

“Standards define the pass/fail criteria needed to confirm success, the foundation on which consumer trust is built,” says PHTA standards process committee chair Steve Barnes, director of science and compliance at AquaStar Pool Products.

The PHTA follows stringent procedures defined in the American National Standards Institute’s “Essential Requirements: Due Process Requirements for American National Standards,” including a balance of interested and affected parties, due process, public review/comment, appeals and more during the development phase. Its standards consensus committee serves as the official institute consensus voting body.

Standards development has been a core focus of the PHTA since its founding in 1956. After hearing concerns that the standards were industry-dominated and serving the industry rather than consumers, the association sought external validation and received American National Standards Institute’s approval in 1983. The board of directors understood the value of standards, giving the technical committee responsibility for the association’s American National Standards development process. This resulted in the publication of five new American National Standards Institute standards in 1991 and 1992.

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Since then, the PHTA standards staff and a long list of volunteer experts in standard writing committees and the technical committee achieved significant success from January 2007 to February 2023, producing five new standards covering pool and spa energy efficiency, water conservation, public pool water chemistry and plastering.

PHTA began its 40th-anniversary celebration with the publication of the brand-new ANSI/PHTA/ICC-2 2023 standard for the operations and maintenance of public swimming pools and spas in February 2023. This standard is significant in that it provides state-of-the-art public pool policies in an easy-to-use document that was written to follow and improve upon the PHTA’s existing knowledge base and that of the Model Aquatic Health Code.

As part of the celebration, PHTA is collecting videos, photos and testimonials from those involved in developing the standards over the decades. Those interested in sharing their experiences can submit materials online on the PHTA website. A compilation video will be presented at the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo (PSP/Deck Expo), Nov. 13-15 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more information, please contact standards@phta.org or visit phta.org/standards.