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, 07, 2016 San Antonio Man Donates Inflatable Pools to Local Families

    In the heat of the Texas summer, even a simple inflatable pool can make a huge difference for families seeking shelter from the swelter. That’s what Todd Arredondo of San Antonio thought when he decided to gift inflatables to local families who can’t afford a pool.

    The idea came to him when he saw a local family’s Facebook page with pictures of a makeshift pool built with a tarp and other scrap materials. Although he admired the family’s ingenuity, he was saddened to see comments...

  • Tuesday, July, 05, 2016 Burning Bright: Why Fire Features are Hot Right Now

    "When water goes to bed at night, fire comes out to play." —Chris Anderson, Custom Design Pools & Landscaping

    Although it's difficult to quantify in specific numeric terms, few would question the notion that fire features have enjoyed a long period of sustained growth in the pool business. Once considered exotic, poolside fire is now a common addition to a project.

    Do Rivalries Help or Hurt Our Industry?

    It’s human nature – some of us, sometimes, become rivals. Whether it’s in business, the arts, sports, spelling bees or cake-baking contests at the county fair, wherever people compete, rivalries are inevitable. The classic irony, of course, is that as much as we may come to resent them, our rivals are quite often engaged in the same exact pursuits as we are, and as such, they are often those with whom...

  • Thursday, June, 23, 2016 Closing the Comfort Gap in Custom Spas

    The relationship between portable spas and concrete spas is puzzling. At face value, both are aimed at providing relaxation, comfort and hydrotherapy. In practice, however, there has been no comparison. For decades, portable spa manufacturers have been engaged in something akin to an aquatic luxury arms race, each striving to create the most lavish, sumptuous hot water experience.

    By stark contrast, concrete spas, the kind made by pool builders and often attached to a swimming pool,...

  • Tuesday, June, 14, 2016 The Basics of Buoyancy

    The fact that humans float in water is at the heart of why pools and spas exist in the first place. Yet, for as critical as buoyancy may be, do we really understand how it works? For most, including those of us in the pool and spa industry, the honest answer is we probably don’t, at least not with any scientific specificity.

    In the spirit of sharing basic information about aquatics and the science behind it, here’s a brief primer on buoyancy.

    For starters, buoyancy is...

  • Thursday, June, 09, 2016 Bromine Generation in Hot Tubs: A Chemistry Primer

    For the past 20 years or so, saltwater chlorine generation has been one of the industry's hottest topics. Developed originally in Australia, the technology caught on like wildfire in the last decade and remains a bestselling component of the pool system.

    During much of that time,...

  • Wednesday, May, 25, 2016 Pools and Spas: Appreciating the Familiar

    It’s true that when you become familiar with something, it can be easy to take that something for granted.

    Last week I was chatting with Chris Anderson of Custom Design Pools, a high-end designer/builder located in the greater Houston area, who made that very observation. He pointed out, accurately I believe, that for many...

  • Tuesday, May, 24, 2016 California Eases Water Conservation Restrictions

    In a major shift in water-conservation policy, California state regulators voted Wednesday, May 18, to lift conservation targets put in place last year as a result of the state’s recent historic drought. In place of the statewide 25-percent conservation rule for all residents and businesses, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a new policy allowing individual water agencies throughout the state to adopt their own policies based on anticipated local demand and overall health of...

  • Tuesday, May, 24, 2016 2016 SOI Builder Report: Building Optimism

    Of the industry's three main segments — builders, servicers and retailers — those who design, engineer and construct new pools and spas are by far the most dependent on new consumers entering the market. While service and retail companies can thrive on aftermarket sales, builders largely rely on the decision to install a new pool and/or spa to keep the home fires burning.

    Back in the depths of recession, many builders muddled through with repairs and minor renovations, and today,...

  • Tuesday, May, 03, 2016 Why You Should Own IPSSA's Water Chemistry Training Manual

    For those of us who are fascinated by water chemistry, especially of the pool and spa kind, there's a wonderful new resource well worth considering. The Independent Pool & Spa Service Association recently announced the release of its Basic Training Manual (2016 Revised Edition), Part I — Water Chemistry, by Robert W. Lowry. When it comes to the world of pool and spa water...