Years ago in the pool and spa industry, there was a prestigious award program for pool and spa companies known as the AQUA 100. Membership was restricted to companies that could demonstrate excellence in areas such as customer service, product knowledge, store design, marketing and promotion.

The goal was to foster professionalism and commercial distinction in the pool and spa industry by shining a light on some of the industry’s best examples. At the same time, members of the AQUA 100 were able to use recognition in a national publication in their own marketing efforts and also as a means of instilling pride in employees — making the AQUA 100 meant something.

In the years since, I was often told what a positive, meaningful program the AQUA 100 had been, and asked if we might relaunch it.

This year, we decided it was time.

We are officially announcing the New AQUA 100. It’s much like its former namesake, but we made a couple changes.

First, the New AQUA 100 is just for retailers. There are already enough builder awards in this industry, and Pleatco does a great job with its Perfect Pool Guy and Gal service awards, but retailers have largely gone unrecognized. At the same time, that sector has produced some of the industry’s most brilliant commercial work.

In order to thrive in the retail climate over the last 10 years, genius has pretty much been a prerequisite. No other sector in our industry has had it rougher. So we decided to make the New AQUA 100 a special award program just for retailers.

The second change is that instead of unlimited winners, each year, for ten years, an independent panel of judges will pick 10 new inductees. These new members will be celebrated in AQUA magazine and on the AQUA website for the standards they set and the level of excellence they’ve attained. They’ll receive marketing materials and physical awards to denote membership in this exclusive order, and by 2029, with 10 classes of 10 winners, this group will fully form the New AQUA 100.

To learn more about the contest, visit We’re excited to see your entries.



Scott Webb is Executive Editor of AQUA Magazine.