In The News: August 26, 2010

Green Pieces

rendering of a pool designAlthough nearly a half-century old, the green movement (or its sister cause, energy conservation) has only recently reached the point where it's a major driver of product development, sales and legislation.

Builders are still in different stages of acceptance. Some have been pushing green pool design for a long time under the guise of energy savings, while others have begun adopting measures such as variable-speed pumps and oversize filters as these have become popular.

Read more about green pool design.

Industry Reacts To WSJ Piece

A Wall Street Journal article about the costs associated with owning a swimming pool has drawn the ire of some industry insiders who view the article as inaccurate and even damaging. "Taking a Bath on Your Pool," which ran on the paper's Website Aug. 11, featured quotes from a Pittsburgh financial advisor, who called pools "a big liability" and an advisor in Seattle who said that people tend to underestimate the long-term costs of pool ownership.

The article provides some cost estimates for heating, electricity and chemicals, then adds some editorializing by the writer, Brett Arends, who throws more cold water on the idea of pool ownership by suggesting that kids may prefer going to a community pool anyway because there are more kids there.

Rex Richard, an Arizona pool builder who started poolgenuisnetwork, a social networking site for the industry, wrote the Journal pointing out what he believed were the articles faults and asking that the paper run a correction or clarification.

Jonathan Krim, senior deputy managing editor for The Wall Street Journal online, wrote back to Richard defending the piece and informing him that the editors saw no need to issue a correction or clarification.

"We have spoken with a spokeswoman at the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, who has indicated to us that the column's range and estimates of various pool costs are not out of line," he wrote. "It's obviously true that such costs vary by region, type of installation and several other factors, and our column does not suggest otherwise. We provided general ranges for this very reason, recognizing that on occasion individual costs fall outside of them, on either end."

Krim's response did little to placate Richard, who called for a review of statistics APSP provided to the Journal and which the association revealed to be from PK Data. Richard also took exception to what he considered the writer's insertion of opinion into the piece.

"I believe this type of article harms the entire industry in ways we will never understand," Richard wrote in an email to poolgeniusnetwork members. "The beauty, fun and health of recreational water needs to be embraced by us all. Please join with me in this stand for fairness and balance in the press."

Jennifer Satterwhite, a pool builder in Fort Worth, Texas, contacted AQUA about the story, sharing her own concerns.

"This has started a big fire, and people in the industry are really mad about it," she said.

ICC, APSP Collaborate On New Pool, Hot Tub Code

APSP logoThe International Code Council and the APSP announced that they will work together on a comprehensive pool and hot tub code set for release in 2012. The new code will encompass the most-current thinking on safety, energy efficiency and best practices. It will be the only code that addresses all types of public and residential pools and hot tubs, as well as aquatic recreation facilities.

This landmark code will draw on the APSP's ANSI-approved American National Standards for pools, hot tubs and other recreational water along with the ICC's expertise in building-safety codes, fire-prevention codes and energy-efficiency codes for residential and commercial construction. The provisions of the code will increase consistency in pool and spa construction, maintenance and operation across the country and internationally.

"Finally, builders, manufacturers and code officials will have a uniform reference wherever the ICC codes are in use," says Carvin DiGiovanni, senior director of technical and standards for APSP. "We are looking forward to getting started on the development of what promises to be the most comprehensive pool and spa code possible."

WAHC Art Exhibit Deadline Extended

Photo of WAHC art pieceThe NSPF has extended its deadline for art entries in the Aquatic Art Exhibit to Sept. 15.

Here's your chance to shine and create art with an aquatic theme for the 2010 World Aquatic Health Conference. WAHC is accepting 2-D work in all medias, no larger than 36 by 36 inches for a juried three-day exhibit.

Submit up to five digital images (in JPEG format) to [email protected] by Sept. 15. Prizes will be awarded and all work will be for sale, with the National Swimming Pool Foundation keeping a 40 percent commission on all work sold.

For more information, visit or e-mail [email protected]. All work must have images related to pools or hot tubs or individuals involved in swimming, aquatic fitness or warm-water-immersion activities.

Call For Entries to the 2011 AQUA Choice Awards

Logo: AQUA Choice AwardsPool builders are now submitting entries for the 2011 AQUA Choice Awards, an annual competition that recognizes the most beautiful, challenging and intriguing pool projects. A panel of industry experts will judge entries, and winners will be showcased in AQUA Magazine and presented in a gallery on the AQUA Website. Entry deadline is Oct. 1. For more information go to or call Scott Webb 800/7228764 ext. 124.

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