For those of us who are fascinated by water chemistry, especially of the pool and spa kind, there's a wonderful new resource well worth considering. The Independent Pool & Spa Service Association recently announced the release of its Basic Training Manual (2016 Revised Edition), Part I — Water Chemistry, by Robert W. Lowry. When it comes to the world of pool and spa water chemistry, it is truly a tour de force. As someone who's been reading and rereading all manner of written water chemistry/treatment explanations for nearly three decades, I can say without reservation Bob's work is truly something special.

The 207-page edition is arguably one of, if not the, most comprehensive compendiums on the subject ever assembled, and by extension a resource that almost everyone in the pool industry should have at hand. Whether you’re a service tech, retailer or builder, water chemistry is a subject that unites all industry segments and professionals in one way or another.

For those seeking a ready resource that is clear, reliable and remarkably detailed, whether for training or refresher, it’s hard to imagine a better resource from a more credible author. For more than 40 years, Bob has been one of the leading industry’s leading and most widely published authorities on pool and spa chemistry. He co-owned Leisure Time Chemical and Robarb and has formulated, invented and introduced more than 110 new products and has conducted more than 500 water chemistry seminars in a variety of industry settings. He has also published more than 150 technical articles and 29 white papers, and co-founded Service Industry News.

With that impressive resume, it’s not surprising that he's come forward with a work that covers, both in concept and practice, the spectrum of critical chemistry subtopics necessary for establishing and maintaining safe and appealing pool and spa water. From water balance and chlorination to cyanuric acid, water testing and all manner of chemical adjustments and additions, almost all pool and spa chemistry-related questions are addressed. As an experienced communicator and teacher, Bob uses a number of reader-friendly elements including original illustrations, easy-to-use tables and graphics and chemical formulations, many of which are captioned with narrative descriptions of the chemical reactions.

I’ve personally been closely following his work since 1989 and over the years have come to vastly admire not only his seemingly infinite knowledge and ability to communicate complex ideas in palatable terms, but also his devotion to elevating the industry. 

This is the second edition of the manual published by IPSSA, which has served as the association’s primary teaching tool for its water chemistry certification. According to Bob, the book is about 20-percent revised with recent developments and appropriate edits included throughout. It's clearly tab-indexed and has a comprehensive glossary. It's the kind of resource you keep handy on a shelf and return to over and over.

This wonderful manual is available to IPSSA members for $24.95 and industry-wide to non-members for $49.95. To learn more, visit the IPSSA shop.

Eric Herman is Senior Editor of AQUA Magazine.