Eric Herman
A writer/editor with 32 years experience covering a wide range of business, technical, scientific and cultural topics, Eric joined the AQUA staff in August 2011 following 12 years as editor and co-founder of WaterShapes Magazine. He now serves as AQUA's senior editor. He can be reached at eric@aquamagazine.com.
  • Thursday, June, 13, 2019 The Million Dollar Pool Design Challenge Returns for Second Year

    The second annual Million Dollar Pool Design Challenge is back, with entries due August 15. The contest, created by builders Mike Farley and Reid Schindler, challenges designers to take a real-life scenario and design a lavish poolscape with a $1 million budget. The winner will be named at the PSP Expo in November and take home a $5,000 cash prize.

    Last year’s debut program was by all measures a resounding...

  • Thursday, June, 13, 2019 2 Approaches to Swim Spa Water Care

    The popular emergence  of the swim spa as a ‘tweener — a vessel between a pool and a spa in both size and temperature — has evoked a question. How do you sanitize it? Do you use pool chemicals on a smaller scale, or spa chemicals on a larger scale?

    That depends on who you talk to; there are two completely different schools of thought. According to Jennifer Gannon, proprietor of BonaVista Pools, Spas and Outdoor Living’s retail store in Toronto, the swim spa is a small pool. “The...

  • Tuesday, June, 11, 2019 Limited by Labor

    It's the bane of my existence right now," designer/builder Michael Logsdon says. Located in Bourne, Texas, the owner of Land Design is among scores of builders who point to the labor shortage as the primary challenge facing their businesses.

    "I could definitely grow my business, but it's fruitless because there just are not enough people to do the work, Logsdon says. "And when I say not enough 'people' I'm not talking about skilled labor, I just mean warm bodies with a pulse and a...

  • Thursday, May, 30, 2019 Lifeguard Shortage Threatens Pool Closures, Challenges Industry

    From coast to coast, a widespread shortage of lifeguards is causing closures and limited hours of operation for public swimming pools and aquatic facilities.

    “We’re having to downsize. It’s pretty challenging. We’ve put our brains together and worked this through. We came up with what we think is the best for safety and the quality of our patrons without overworking our staff,” said Sylvia Gurtowski, the manager of City Pool in Vicksburg, Miss., to a reporter with the Vicksburg...

  • Tuesday, May, 28, 2019 Gross: More Than Half of Adults Use Pools Like Bathtubs

    Every year around this time it seems there’s a story in the news about swimming pools and spas focusing on something that’s, well, rather gross.

    Here’s this year’s story: According to a survey presented by the Water Quality and Health Council, 51% Americans who use pools and spas use them as a substitute for showers/bathing, like...

  • Tuesday, May, 28, 2019 SOI Builder Report 2019: Riding a Surging Wave

    For the past several years, we've started off our annual SOI Builder Survey with the same basic question: Are you optimistic about the coming year? As has become customary, responses were overwhelmingly positive, with 93 percent saying they are optimistic and 7 percent saying they are not.

    Those responses support what nearly everyone in the industry believes about the state of the pool and spa business: It is red hot! While that probably does not come as a surprise to anyone paying...

  • Tuesday, May, 21, 2019 Pride of the National Champion Tigers

    Located just outside Clemson University’s “Death Valley,” a stadium that witnessed a perfect season last year, is an equally perfect expression of aquatic art. Designed by David Tisherman and built by Atlanta-based builder Chris Jones, the feature consists of a 15-by-13 foot glass tile wall with the school’s iconic logo emblazoned in white marble. Water flows down the face of the wall and into in a 27 by-19 foot wading pool with a zero-to-18 inch depth, designed to invite children and...

  • Monday, May, 06, 2019 Drug Tests: Yes or No?

    Back in 2003, a service guy I know rolled his truck in heavy rush-hour traffic on one of L.A.’s busiest freeways. He was carrying cal hypo, an extremely flammable form of chlorine, which mixed with some other pool chemicals during the crash and caught fire. The freeway had to be shut down for four hours in both directions while a hazmat crew dealt with the cleanup. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured.

    He was found to be high on meth and alcohol at the time of the accident. It...

  • Tuesday, April, 30, 2019 Package Pools in the Mix

    A building company that can serve its entire market, from top to bottom, will be stronger and more resilient in the face of economic change. For this reason, many builders now offer all three types of pool construction methods — concrete, vinyl and fiberglass — giving them the ability to finely match the pool with the client. In that array of options, package pools occupy a space next to the infinitely customizable world of concrete and the prefabricated expediency of...

  • Tuesday, April, 16, 2019 Checking in With RO

    Reverse osmosis systems have been around a long time in large-scale applications such as treating public water, desalination and various types of manufacturing processes that require pristine water quality. The technology is used to treat water for everything from brewing beer to manufacturing semiconductors. And whenever you hear the term "desalination," RO is the core technical reference.

    The process involves using high pressure to force water through membranes that have the...