• Explaining the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act

    by Jenna Danninger April 2008

    The facts don't lie. Nearly 260 pool and spa drownings each year involve children 5 years old or younger. This is a haunting realization that while the pool and spa industry provides people with a means to relax and maintain a healthy lifestyle filled with all things aquatic, even life's greatest pleasures can bring the unexpected.

    Signed into law on Dec. 19, 2007, by President...

  • Solar pool heating laws on the way?

    by Kirstin Pires April 2008

    How much do you know about solar heating? How fast can you learn? In addition to the incentive of growing consumer demand for solar heat, there may soon be legislative requirements that pools be - at least partly - heated by the sun.

    Lawmakers on both the East and West Coasts - and from both sides of the aisle - have introduced legislation that would require solar heating systems...

  • California pool and spa inspired by old-world Italy

    by Jenna Danninger April 2008

    The client is looking for something artful, not just to swim in," explains Scott Cohen, garden artisan at the Green Scene, a landscape design and construction firm in Canoga, Calif., reaffirming the popular demand for a resort-inspired backyard. Fire and water played an integral role in this waterscape's overall aura, mesmerizing guests before they have a chance to plant both feet inside...

  • Building pretty pools with real rock

    by Jenna Danninger April 2008

    Some of the world's greatest architectural achievements, like the Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge, come to mind when incorporating real rock into a waterscape. Without the tools we've become accustomed to today, how exactly could these phenomena come to be?

    With machines named John Deere or Bobcat or Caterpillar, builders can scoop, lift and place thousands of tons of rock into a...

  • Correcting billing errors to reduce your insurance premiums

    by Phillip M. Perry April 2008

    Employers have a love-hate relationship with workers' compensation insurance. While the program protects business owners from lawsuits for workplace injuries, the required premiums continue to threaten profits.

    "The cost of workers' compensation is a huge concern for most employers," says Ed Priz, president of Advanced Insurance Management in Chicago. "In some regards it is more of a widespread problem than health insurance." Unlike that optional medical...

  • AQUA Choice Awards

    by AQUA Editors March 2008

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    The 2011 AQUA Choice Awards will honor the best in residential pool and spa design. From portable hot tub installations to extravagant custom concrete pools with all...

  • Massive pool project in Stockton, Calif, features, rock, waterfalls and a grotto

    by Jenna Danninger March 2008

    Thirty-three months of dedication has finally paid off. The Goddard Construction Services masterpiece is finished, and it's beyond our wildest imagination.

    Although the Stockton, Calif., project originally called for a 4,000-square-foot pool, it wound up being 6,000 square feet and features its own sand beach, swim-under grotto, 125-foot-long waterfall, two koi ponds, a water garden and 750 tons of...

  • Japanese gardens inspire pool project in suburban D.C.

    by Kirstin Pires March 2008

    The client had spent a number of years in Asia and wanted a design with an Asian look — but not a strictly formal Japanese garden," says Albert V. Short, Harmony Ponds president. "The design had to be compatible with the existing landscape elements, which include a gazebo and the decks on the rear of the residence."

    Traditional Japanese garden...

  • A behind-the-scenes view of the Brookfield Zoo's dolphin pool

    by Barrett Kilmer March 2008

     This past summer Editor Kirstin Pires and I traveled to Chicago for a tour of the Brookfield Zoo's dolphin habitat. Of course, every one else at the zoo that warm August day spent their time on things like looking at animals and buying souvenirs and cotton candy. We, on the other hand, were there to see and ask questions about the massive sand filters, backwashing...

  • A roundup of 2008 vinyl-liner pool pattern designs

    by Kirstin Pires March 2008

     It couldn't have been all that exciting to design pool patterns 25 years ago," says Mary Calnan, a designer at HPG International. "They all pretty much looked the same.

    Today's designers have finally had the chains released and we are only limited by our creativity or imagination." Thanks to advancements in technology and the creativity of skilled and educated designers, the...