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, March, 22, 2018 The Birth of the Automatic Pool Cleaner

    In 1957, Andrew L. Pansini made a curious observation. While cleaning his pool in Greenbrae, Calif., he noticed a garden hose that had fallen into the pool was moving back and forth, lifting the dirt on the floor of the pool up into suspension, which would then settle down closer to the main drain at the deep end of the pool.

    That's when it struck him: He had discovered what would become the basic concept for the automatic pool cleaner (APC). A year later, Pansini founded Jandy...

  • Tuesday, March, 13, 2018 Creating Your Legacy

    Planning succession is one of the greatest challenges business owners face — even more so for smaller companies where the owner, founder, CEO or head honcho often remain integral to daily operations. Finding, grooming and handing over control to the right person or set of people requires careful forethought and deliberate action over years. How you approach that all-encompassing process is at the heart of building a legacy.

    That’s the core message in “

  • Thursday, March, 01, 2018 Mediterranean Inspiration

    Juliet Wood and her fiancée Manuel Diaz see great opportunity in the world of pools and spas. This project, located in Duluth, Ga., an upscale suburb of Atlanta, presented a golden chance to demonstrate some design flair.

    The home features a Mediterranean design with a tile roof and stucco walls. The yard measured approximately 40 by 75 feet, relatively small given the client's wish list.

    Despite the fact that the space now includes a large cabana complete with a kitchen,...

  • Thursday, February, 22, 2018 A Fiberglass Lazy River

    For all of the innovation and creativity that has come to define the fiberglass pool industry, size has remained a limitation. Manufacturers point out that, after all, you can only ship shells up to a...

  • Thursday, February, 22, 2018 Apps Will Help Define the Future of Aquatic Management

    For the past few years, one of the most ballyhooed categories of aquatic innovation has been the seemingly ubiquitous “app.” All of the major equipment manufacturers now offer apps that can be used to monitor and control important pool and spa functions. There are apps for monitoring chemistry and calculating dosages for sanitizing and water balance, and consumers can test their water and order chemicals just by tapping that little screen.

    Managers of high-use commercial aquatic...

  • Tuesday, February, 13, 2018 Case Study: Winterizing vs. Auto-Cover

    There are various reasons why a homeowner might choose to forgo winterizing and leave their pool open all year. Perhaps they want to continue to swim through the cold months, or maybe they just like the way the pool looks when it's open. Saving money, however, is not usually the motivating factor.

    Steve Kenny, president of SRK Modern Pool Solutions, a design, construction and service firm based on Long Island, N.Y., makes a different case. Three years ago, it dawned on him that when...

  • Tuesday, February, 13, 2018 Resolving Conflicts Without Litigation

    Does anyone ever really win a lawsuit?

    In the most literal sense, the answer is, of course, yes — technically speaking, there are always winners and losers. Yet we also know that achieving those outcomes often requires massive legal fees, countless hours of aggravation and, perhaps most of all, the corrosive damage to reputations and relationships as well as a lingering negative impression on consumers. Lawsuits are, by any common measure, a bad deal for everyone...

  • Tuesday, February, 13, 2018 The World's First Living Backyard Umbrella

    "The world's first living backyard umbrella" — that's what they're calling Living Canopies' patio-sized umbrella. It's a steel pole and frame that can accommodate a variety of different plants and...

  • Tuesday, January, 30, 2018 Hot Tub Retailer Partners with Washington Redskins

    Back in early November, at last year’s PSP Expo in Orlando, Jennifer Clements accepted the APSP Retailer of the Year Award on behalf of Pla-Mor Pools, her family’s retail/construction firm, based in Mechanicsville, Va.

    Founded in 1968 by her husband Kenny Clements’ parents, the company has based its success in recent years on providing products and services that offer maximum value for the dollar and also a marketing plan that promotes both the outdoor living experience alongside...

  • 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...