In The News: May 2006

Led by an initial $10,000-per-year, two-year donation by AQUA Magazine, the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) has exceeded its goal for funding a hot tub immersion study to examine the health benefits of hot water, as first reported by AQUA in March.

The NSPF's board of directors has unanimously approved matching funds to those donated. "There was clear excitement when I reported the commitment that each of these generous companies have made to help support our shared vision," says Tom Lachocki, CEO of the NSPF. "The board voted to match dollar-for-dollar the pledged commitments made by 12 leading organizations who expressed enthusiastic support of the study and came forward to pledge $80,500 per year for two years, for a total of $161,000.

"It has been about one year since we started discussions with hot tub manufacturers. At first, despite my nature, I was not optimistic. Yet with persistence, we have shown that leaders will invest in good ideas. These donations demonstrate a growing confidence in the NSPF's ability to encourage more people to get in the water. These donations show that our industry can cooperate when it makes sense for everyone's long-term benefit."

Since AQUA's two-year pledge commitment, the following companies have followed suit: Watkins Manufacturing, Lucite, Vita Spas, Marquis Corp, Dimension One Spas, Master Spas, Aqua-Flo, Aristech, King Technology, Olympic Hot Tub Company, Sundance Spas and Jacuzzi Hot Tubs.

As for the future of the research, "The next steps fall into the able hands of the researchers who will create a formal proposal and experimental plan to guide their work in 2007 and 2008," says Lachocki. "Each donor will issue checks to NSPF prior to Oct. 1, 2006, so that we can fund the work. Dr. Bruce Becker will present this year's deepwater (shoulder depth) comparison between in-water and on-land exercise programs at the World Aquatic Health Conference in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 20."

ANSI/NSPI-5 Standard Up For Review 

The International Aquatic Foundation arm of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) recently announced the beginning of the ANSI review process for ANSI/NSPI-5 2003 American National Standard for Residential Inground Pools, which takes place every five years.

The ANSI/NSPI-5 draft standard covers permanently installed inground residential pools with depths exceeding 24 inches or a volume over 3,250 gallons, and that are intended for non-commercial use as a swimming pool by no more than three owner-families and their guests.

The standard covers general design criteria; plans and permits; structural design; minimum pool dimensions and tolerances; entries/exits; decks; material of construction and finishes; circulation systems; water supply and waste water disposal; sanitizing equipment; electrical requirements; instructions for the circulation system; and safety features.

The APSP develops standards under consensus requirements established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the IAF is the APSP brand for all standards development activities and safety messaging for the recreational water industry.

For more information on how to be part of the ANSI consensus voting body for this standard, contact Bernice Crenshaw, APSP, 2111 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, VA, 22314; 703/838-0083 extension 150; fax 703/549-0493; bcrenshaw@ theapsp.org.

New Scientific Journal Launches

A new scientific journal, to be published by Human Kinetics in partnership with the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF), will launch in 2007. The quarterly International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education (IJARE) will be peer-reviewed and available in print and electronic format. The journal is accepting submissions of original research papers, experiential reports, clinical and observational studies, reviews of literature and editorial statements of opinion from aquatics professionals and researchers.

The editor of IJARE will be Stephen Langendorfer, Ph.D., an associate professor of kinesiology from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. Langendorfer specializes in aquatics, motor development and measurement. "In addition to research and instructional practices," he says, "the journal will report on the use of aquatic facilities and technology, aquatic health and safety practices and factors surrounding and influencing aquatic participation." All submissions will be judged by an international editorial board for interest and value to the aquatic profession, as well as meeting the journal's mission.

To submit materials for consideration, contact Langendorfer at 419/372-0221 or [email protected].

CEC Meets With Industry To Address Regulations

Spa manufacturers met on March 8 with the California Energy Commission (CEC) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) staff engineers to address possible revisions to new spa energy conservation regulations. The goal of the regulations, according to the CEC, was to remove 15 to 20 percent of the least-energy-efficient spas from being sold in the state. Neither the CEC nor PG&E, which actually drafted the regulations for the CEC, had sought the industry's input when writing the requirements.

Members of the International Aquatics Foundation's (IAF) Spa Standards Committee, in Long Beach for the daylong session, offered data showing that the formula for determining spa energy efficiency was set too high, and as a result, many models failed to meet the state's requirements. The CEC's engineer asked that the manufacturers provide hard data to show how their spas are failing under the state's formula, indicating that the CEC will be open to revisiting the formula. Manufacturers are now in the process of providing test data to the IAF for consolidation.

SPEC CEO Don Burns, who participated in the session, says, "The open and cooperative attitudes shown by both the CEC and PG&E gave assurance that every effort will be made to set fair and manageable requirements."

A similar agreement to review the CEC's new pool motor regulations was reached in late March when the IAF's pool motor standards committee presented data showing that, as enacted, the California rules are unworkable. Meeting in Orlando, Fla., the IAF committee's manufacturers demonstrated to the PG&E engineer responsible for the regulation's provisions that mandated two-speed pool motors would not work in every swimming pool application. "It was clear that the utility's understanding of today's complex swimming pool construction was unknown by those writing the new electrical appliance regulations," says Burns, who also participated in the Florida workshop.

"Had the industry been consulted during the drafting of the requirements, the current problems undoubtedly would have been avoided. However late in coming, we anticipate modifications that will allow pool motor manufacturers to meet pool builders' needs. We're going to try to avoid rewriting the regulation and going through all of the regulatory hearings, and rather, make the changes necessary by administrative action."

PG&E has also started work on recommendations for new swimming pool and spa construction energy-efficiency regulations, but this time with the industry involved. Pool contractors and industry engineering experts, as well as SPEC and APSP representatives, participated in a working session in Davis, Calif., in late March to address plumbing energy efficiency.

The industry anticipates that it will be completely involved with PG&E as the development of new standards proceeds. "This is the way the other two regulations that caused us heartburn should've been handled in the first place but weren't," says Burns. "So I think everybody's learned a very valuable lesson, and that is, include the stakeholders or the people who are going to be affected."

BUSINESS BRIEFS

Plastimayd Corporation, makers of vinyl liners and safety covers, has moved its corporate headquarters from Clackamas to nearby Oregon City, Ore. The new address: 14151 Fir St., P.O. Box 2320, Oregon City, OR 97045.

Water Tech, East Brunswick, N.J., has announced the opening of four new distribution warehouses. The new locations are Elizabeth, N.J., Elk Grove Village, Ill., Torrance, Calif., and Houston.

Hawkeye Manufacturing, Richmond, Va., makers of Hawkeye and Barefoot spas, is teaming with Pacific Sands to distribute the EcoOne Spa Treatment System with its portable spas. Effective immediately, all Hawkeye and Barefoot spas will include an EcoOne Starter Kit. EcoOne's makers tout it as an environmentally safe, nontoxic alternative to chlorine and bromine systems.

Sundance Spas and Jacuzzi Hot Tubs, Chino, Calif., recognized their most successful dealers at a sales conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, earlier this year. Dealers from across the United States and one from Germany were honored with both suppliers' Ambassador's, Regents', President's and Director's awards.

Pool & Patio Landscaping, Grand Prairie, Texas, was selected as a Best-In-Business winner by ServiceMagic , a company whose Web site, servicemagic.com, links homeowners with service professionals across the country.

ESSENTIALS recently completed a move to a new warehouse in Cumming, Ga. The new address is 5070 Wallace Drive, Cumming, GA 30041.

Pool Design Software will hold a hands-on training course in its SplashWorks software in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 3. The company will also hold a training session on its DesignWare on Aug. 4.

The Medical Fitness Association and the National Swimming Pool Foundation have partnered to expand MFA's educational offerings to its members, which will help the two groups in their parallel missions. The MFA, headquartered in Richmond, Va., is a nonprofit organization dedicated to medically based fitness and wellness facilities.

Marquis Corp. is moving its factory sales from Independence, Ore., to the Marquis retail store in Salem, Ore. The Salem store will become an outlet store and sell reconditioned and factory second spas, but will also continue to sell A-grade spas.

Paddock Pools, Patios & Spas, Scottsdale, Ariz., named King Technology its 2005 Vendor Partner of the Year and recognized Advantis Technologies and Zodiac Pool Care for Outstanding Vendor performance. Additionally, Hayward 's Nancy Hatley and Cantar 's Manny Acino received the company's Most Valuable Representative.

Anthony & Sylvan Pools, Mayfield Village, Ohio, has named Aqua Products its 2005 Vendor of the Year for its Aquabot and AquaJet robot swimming pool cleaners.

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