• New Guidelines Advise Swim Lessons Begin at Age 1

    by AQUA Editors March 2019

    With drowning the leading cause of injury death in the U.S. for children ages one through four, the American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines recommending kids should start swimming lessons at the age of one.

    Infants are most likely to drown in bathtubs or buckets while preschoolers are most at risk in swimming pools. “If they have any mode of transportation to get to a body of water, [children] are at risk of drowning or getting in trouble in water anyhow,” says Marci...

  • NJ Passes Law Requiring Licenses for Pool Builders/Service Techs

    by AQUA Editors February 2019

    Last week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill establishing license requirements for both pool service contractors and pool builders/installers doing work in New Jersey.  The law will go into effect on July 30, 2019.

    "Through the advocacy efforts of the Northeast Spa & Pool Association, and our PennJersey and Metro NY/NJ Chapters, this law was developed to protect not only the residents of New Jersey but also the contractors and their employees that provide...

  • Supreme Court: States Can Collect Sales Tax On E-Commerce

    by AQUA Editors June 2018

    In a win for brick-and-mortar retailers nationwide, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned a landmark 1992 decision mandating that sellers without a physical presence in states did not need to collect sales tax.

    The 5-4 ruling, handed down June 21, dealt a blow to online sellers, who have long held that collecting sales tax from buyers in multiple states constituted an unreasonable burden. The decision bolstered state treasuries and traditional retailers, though, the...

  • Hot Tub Tax Relief

    by Scott Webb June 2018

    I’ve always believed that one day hot tubs will get full credit for the health benefits they provide and be seen as the medical devices they really are. The research is out there to back this up; it seems like more arrives every year. But more importantly, you can feel it — physically sense the healing effects of hot tub use. When people feel it, they get it.

    The foundation of this official recognition exists today. Hot tub health benefits are recognized by the IRS and some state...

  • What You Need to Know About APSP-16 and VGB

    by Barrett Kilmer March 2018

    The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals is preparing an updated version of the ANSI/APSP-16 standard, a key provision in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act that deals with the testing, installation and performance of pool and spa drain covers. The changes were prompted by an APSP-16 committee review of the standard to primarily review and update the testing and performance protocols.

    “We were talking through the various testing steps, when one test lab said, ‘We...

  • Supreme Court to Hear Case on Internet Sales Tax

    by AQUA Editors January 2018

    E-commerce sites have several competitive advantages over their brick-and-mortar counterparts, one of which has long chafed small, independent retail owners: sales tax. As determined by the 1992 case South Dakota v. Wayfair, state governments cannot require an online retailer to collect sales tax if it does not have a physical presence in that state.

    In the 25 years since that ruling, however, the online retail space has radically evolved — today's consumers flock to the internet...

  • APSP Water Conservation Efficiency Standard Approved by ANSI

    by AQUA Editors January 2018

    The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals announce that the American National Standards Institute has approved its ANSI/APSP/ICC-13 2017 American National Standard for Water Conservation Efficiency in Residential and Public Pools, Spas, Portable Spas and Swim Spas.

    This Standard covers methods and technologies to increase the efficient use and conservation of water. It applies to both new and existing facilities to address water use by pools, spas, portable spas and swim spas,...

  • Commentary: Laws, Redraws and Pshaws

    by Scott Webb October 2017

    You may have missed it, but a few weeks ago a federal judge in Texas struck down an overtime pay rule laid down by the Department of Labor in the final months of the Obama administration that would have forced companies to pay billions in new wages for existing employees and current levels of work.

    U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant found invalid a rule that would have extended time-and-a-half overtime pay to all workers earning less than $47,476. Currently the law mandates overtime...

  • The Pump Law of Unintended Consequences

    by AQUA Editors August 2017

    It can be amazing how much difference a single word can make. Case in point: Arizona's Title 44 is a law intended to increase pump efficiency in pools and spas by mandating two-speed or variable speed replacement pumps. But the fine print of the law says it applies only to "new products sold, offered for sale or installed in this state."

    When enterprising Arizona pump technicians saw that wording, they realized homeowners could save many hundreds of dollars by avoiding the purchase...

  • National Retail Federation Renews Push for Online Sales Tax

    by AQUA Editors May 2017

    The National Retail Federation is renewing its efforts in Congress to require online sellers to collect sales tax the same as local stores.

    “With more states passing sales tax laws or going to court, pressure is building on Congress to finally address this issue,” says NRF Senior Vice President for Government Affairs David French. “The states know they can’t fix this on their own, but they agree with retailers that Congress has stalled for far too long. Online sellers should not...