The Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code is partnering with Purdue University and Michigan...
With the goal of creating a physical residence for new thinking, Pentair has opened a...
In the introduction to “The Water Quality Professional: transforming aquatic management,” author...
The way we pay for goods and services is rapidly changing. The checkbook is fading into obsolescence, and even the familiar credit and debit cards are slowly being replaced by services like Apple Pay, which replace physical wallets with your smartphone. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that digital-only currencies like Bitcoin — collectively called cryptocurrency — are taking off, too.
Cryptocurrency is even starting to make its way into the pool and spa industry. Just this year, Omni Pool Builders, based in Tucson, Ariz., started accepting cryptocurrency as a method of payment.
"We are into anything new and different," says Aaron Baker, co-owner and operations manager. "We actually started mining cryptocurrency on some of our machines. As the general public became more aware of it, we felt that possibly allowing that other form of payment might be a pretty good idea."
More-cautious business owners might consider accepting cryptocurrency a risky proposition, primarily because its value can gradually fluctuate wildly. On December 15, 2017, for example, Bitcoin hit a high of $17,900. By early February it was trading below $7,000.
This fluctuation did not deter Baker and his co-owners Michael Baker (his brother) and Martin Lopez from taking the leap.
"I see virtually no risk in the way that we would accept it," Baker says. "There's a direct correlation with the U.S. dollar, so I would just figure out the value of it at the time the customer is ready to make the payment, accept that payment, and then it can be automatically transferred into U.S. dollars into our account."
As long as the conversion to U.S. dollars is made immediately after payment, no value is lost during the transaction. The quick turnaround is what eliminates the risk associated with accepting cryptocurrency.
There are other perks too. The processing fees for cryptocurrency are lower than credit card processing fees. There also is no risk of overdrawing — a comforting benefit to pool pros who have been burned by bounced checks.
RELATED: Technology: A Small Business's Secret Weapon
In North America, cryptocurrency is slowly gaining traction among major retailers like Expedia, Microsoft and Overstock.com, which all accept Bitcoin payments. There is even a bill in Arizona that would allow constituents to pay state taxes with cryptocurrency.
For now, though, Baker predicts the transition toward cryptocurrency will be gradual.
"I don't see there being a lot of activity with this anytime soon, not until cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin start heading back up in value," Baker says. "Once cryptocurrency finds stability or a strong foundation at around $20,000 per coin, and it stays that way for a few years, I think then people are going to invest in it and then pay with that a lot more often.
"It just gives us one more competitive edge against our competition going into the future."
Hydraulic efficiency, variable-speed pump technology in particular, has enabled pool owners to significantly lower power consumption — a boon for consumers, the industry, regulators and lawmakers alike.
Yet variable-speed pumps are really only part of the story. While the ability to adjust pump speed opens the door to a variety of energy efficiencies in the backyard, there is also the matter of the resistance the system provides — also known as the head loss, measured as total...
French artist Benedetto Bufalino is finding new and unique ways to be sustainable by reusing objects in unconventional ways. He has built tennis courts on top of semi trucks, turned phone booths into fish tanks and now, in his latest conversion, transformed an old camper into a mobile swimming pool.
The project was produced as part of an annual series at Le Confort Moderne in Poitiers, France. As always, Bufalino wanted his audience to re-examine things they might take for granted...
Over my many years writing about the pool and spa industry, I’ve witnessed scores of pools in the installation and renovation process. It’s a process that never ceases to amaze me.
I’ve seen pools built outdoors and indoors, in high-rises and tiny backyards, on large estates, cantilevered off the sides of mountains, by the ocean, in the desert, in lavish resorts and middleclass homes. Every pool is different from the last, every client has his or her own particular wish lists and...
Between the warmth, abundant sunshine and ample rain, tropical locales around the globe are among the most lush and leisurely found anywhere. Many of those regions, such as Central America and the Caribbean, boast a seemingly endless number of desirable vacation spots famous for oceanic lifestyles, verdant forests and luxurious homes and resorts.
For those who design and build aquatic outdoor environments, these settings offer both great opportunities and, often, significant...