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
  • Thursday, July, 20, 2017 Adolph Kiefer: A Life Aquatic

    When Adolph Kiefer passed away at his home May 5 in Wadsworth, Ill., at age 98, the world of aquatics lost one of its most enduring icons. Among his many accolades: at the time of his death, Kiefer was America’s oldest living Olympic champion.

    He rose to fame at age 17 at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin, known as “the Nazi Olympics,” where he won the gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke. Hitler shook his hand in congratulation, but Kiefer later said that if he had known what...

  • Thursday, July, 06, 2017 National Reflections in Washington, D.C.

    As we celebrate our nation’s independence, we thought it would be appropriate to offer up an AQUA salute to what is arguably the most prominent water feature in the U.S.: the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

    If you visited our nation’s capital between November 2010 and August 2012, you would have noticed the iconic reflecting pool was undergoing renovation on a truly historic scale. How big was the project? The price tag ran $34...

  • Wednesday, June, 21, 2017 Fire as the Focal Point

    The $90 Million Renovation

    Ever since Pierre du Pont established Longwood Gardens in the early 20th century, the property, now one of the world’s largest public gardens at 1,077 acres, has been a reflection of du Pont’s outsized ambitions. He began developing the property in Kennett Square, Penn., immediately after he purchased it in 1906. The facility soon became a major cultural center for the arts as well as horticulture and garden design.

    Over the years, the sprawling site came to encompass numerous...

  • Tuesday, June, 13, 2017 Hot Tubs: As Good As Exercise

    Have you ever wondered why it is that for all the health benefits of using our industry’s products, most consumers are only dimly aware that there are any?

    It’s both a mystery and shame. As research defining the spectrum of benefits of hot water immersion and aquatic activity piles up year after year, discussions remain largely academic and strangely dispassionate.

    It’s time to face the painful fact square in the face: As an industry, we have been just plain lousy at using...

  • Tuesday, June, 06, 2017 Swim Spa Currents

    Since their introduction nearly 40 years ago, swim spas have occupied a unique niche offering the benefits of both hot tubs and swimming pools in one unit. For the most part, it's been the ability to swim laps in a small space that has kept swim spas afloat, particularly with fitness-minded homeowners who don't have space for a lap-sized swimming pool.

    In recent years, however, the appeal of swim spas has expanded beyond the home-fitness focus to customers who are now turning to the...

  • Thursday, June, 01, 2017 VGB 10 Years After

    Virginia Graeme Baker would be 22 years old had she not drown June 15, 2002. As it is, her name and the familiar acronym formed by her initials represent what is easily the biggest and most horrific pool- and spa-related story of the 21st century. So much so, we almost lose sight of the little girl who perished due to a faulty drain...

  • Thursday, May, 25, 2017 Genesis & NSPF: Happy Together

    When the National Swimming Pool Foundation acquired Genesis (originally Genesis 3) back in November 2015, many in the industry were surprised, at least at first.

    On one side of the deal, NSPF serves the industry with programs that focus on the needs of professionals who operate commercial pool and spa facilities, chiefly through its CPO program that trains upwards of 30,000 pool operators each year. Founded in 1963, the foundation is similarly well known for its ongoing efforts to...

  • Tuesday, May, 23, 2017 2017 SOI Builder Report: Optimism Abounds

    In many ways, builders are the front line for the entire pool and spa industry, especially when it comes to looking at overall market growth. After all, builders are the ones who design and install the industry's primary products; they also refurbish existing installations so those vessels continue to generate service and retail activity.

    As such, it's fair to say as the builders go, so goes the rest of the industry. That may bode well as the 2017 AQUA State of the Industry Builder...

  • Thursday, May, 11, 2017 Discretionary Dollars: How are Our Competitors Faring?

    Any way you slice it, discretionary income in the U.S. is an enormous pie. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the total disposable income in the U. S. reached an all-time high of 14345.40 USD billion in January.

    That unfathomably huge number represents all the "non-essential" spending by U.S. consumers across a spectrum of activities, products and services. The category includes everything from tobacco and alcohol consumption to movie rentals, massages and professional...