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.
  • Friday, January, 19, 2018 Remembering Paul Birkbeck

    Inventor and advocate for alternative sanitizing technology, Paul Birkbeck passed away Dec. 30 after a brief battle with cancer at his home in Houston. He was 55. An industry veteran with more than 25 years experience, Paul is responsible for a number of inventions including bromine generators manufactured and sold by a number of companies.

    At the time...

  • Friday, January, 19, 2018 Design in Place: Desert

    There's drama and an almost sculptural beauty in desert landscapes. Cacti, succulents and hearty brush plants cling to expansive flats, craggy mountains and deep arroyos struggle to draw and collect enough water to support life — all amid the intense heat, violent winds, blowing sand and intermittent cold that combine to form a forbidding but strangely delicate desert world.

    A pool placed here can be the most compelling of vessels found anywhere, both for its powerful aesthetics (as...

  • Thursday, January, 04, 2018 Simple Control Solutions for Simple Pools

    Pools built 20 or more years ago still number in the millions and many, if not most, still rely on the most elementary systems — a pump and filter, perhaps a heater and a light. There might be an automatic pool cleaner for convenience or deck-mounted slide for panache, but the simple pool remains the foundation of the industry.

    The prevalence and importance of the "simple system" is not lost on service professionals who tend to the needs of aging systems. As an example, Steven Ward...

  • Thursday, December, 21, 2017 Eric Herman Commentary: Holiday Cheer

    When Charles Dickens wrote “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...” in “A Tale of Two Cities,”  it’s almost as if he was projecting into the future and seeing how the world might look here in the second decade of the 21st  century.

    On one hand, we’re in a period of fantastic economic expansion. The pool/spa/aquatics industry is benefiting from rising housing prices and an overall burgeoning economy. Practically everyone we talk to is experiencing sturdy revenues, if...

  • Thursday, December, 14, 2017 Distributors: The Middleman's Role

    They are some of the most familiar and iconic names in the industry: SCP, Superior Pool Products, Hachik and PoolCorp, to name a few. Some are national in scope while others remain regional. Many that once helped fuel the industry no longer exist and have been long forgotten.

    Big or small, familiar or obscure, pool and spa wholesale distributors occupy a crucial niche — whether a retailer, builder or service company, you most likely buy the vast majority of your wares from a...

  • Tuesday, December, 12, 2017 Making the Shade

    Whether we realize it or not, shade is one of the most important exterior design elements. It provides protection from the sun, shelter from rain and relief from the heat. Shaded areas are often the most popular gathering spots in the yard, garden, deck or patio, and structures that provide shade can be used as architectural or even sculptural design elements.

    They can be simple and inexpensive or elaborate with costs that rival any other line item in a project. And making the shade...

  • Thursday, December, 07, 2017 Guided by the "Why"

    Is it time to discard the idea that nothing changes in the pool construction industry?

    Mike Giovanone, president of Concord Pools and Spas (Latham, N.Y.), is among those who believe the industry has entered a period of profound transformation. "Our industry has changed more in the last two years than it has in the last 20," he says. "It might sound surprising to some people, but in many ways, it's never been easier to sell a pool."

    The reasons for that optimistic assessment,...

  • Thursday, November, 30, 2017 How Can P/S Pros Establish Legitimacy?

    There's really no arguing with the simple truth that training and education are the keys to growing a business and the industry as a whole, and that resulting certification and/or licensing is one of the best ways to establish professional legitimacy in the mind of the consumer.

    Still, there's more to the question of establishing legitimacy. The fact is, the industry can have all the training and certification imaginable, but if the general public doesn't recognize those programs...

  • Tuesday, November, 07, 2017 Source Water Provides the Baseline

    "When you go to a doctor and they test your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and weight, they're establishing a baseline that supports diagnosis and treatment. That's what you're doing when you test water at the tap," says Greg Garrett, director of technical services for Applied Materials Technologies and long-time member and instructor for the National Plasterers Council. "You're establishing a basis that will enable you determine how to adjust water chemistry for start-ups or...

  • Thursday, November, 02, 2017 Finding the Voice of Wellness

    Calls for the industry to mount a national PR and advertising campaign extolling the health benefits of aquatic exercise and immersion have been heard for decades. Yet for all of those good intentions, such a campaign has never come close to becoming a reality.

    Now, however, leaders in the hot water industry are coalescing around a wellness message, raising the prospect of finding a collective voice through other means. According to some industry insiders, the solution may be to...