In The News: March 17, 2011

WAHC Slated For Seattle

photo of World Aquatic Health Conference in SeattleThe National Swimming Pool Foundation recently announced that the eighth annual World Aquatic Health Conference will be held in downtown Seattle, at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Oct. 12-14. Organizers are expecting more than 300 industry researchers, educators, health officials and aquatic facility operators.

"For the first time, the World Aquatic Health Conference will include a facility management track to supplement the practical science," says NSPF CEO Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D. "We have heard from many pool operators and facility managers who have requested more content on this important topic area."

In addition, the Aquatic Physical Therapy Section of the American Physical Therapy Association will hold a summit in conjunction with the WAHC.

Highlights of the conference include lunch roundtables where attendees can listen to and meet scientists and researchers, and several presentations that will reveal new and updated research findings from NSPF-funded grant recipients. Visit for more information about the conference and about hotel and ground transportation options in Seattle.

Illinois Swim Instructor Survives Japan Quake

A man from Libertyville, Ill., was coaching swimmers at an aquatic center near Tokyo last Friday when an 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the west coast of Japan rocked the island nation and created a devastating tsunami.

Mat Luebbers, a Marine Corps swimming instructor, was in a pool with about 100 other swimmers when the earthquake struck. Luebbers sent an e-mail to the Daily Herald describing the violent jolt, which spashed water out of the massive pool, leaving it 3 to 4 inches shallower.

"Everyone got out of the building, and there was no damage, so we tried to restart the practice a few times, but the aftershocks made that a no-go," he wrote.

Luebbers and the others in the pool were unaffected by the quake-caused tsunami that devastated the Pacific coastline of Japan's northern island, sparing Tokyo, which lies to the south.

Las Vegas Builder Wins Business Award

photo of 2011 AQUA Choice Award winner from Paragon PoolsIn Business Las Vegas named Joseph A. Vassallo, vice president of Paragon Pools, as a 2011 40 Under 40 Honoree during a reception on March 8 2011 at TAO Night Club in Las Vegas.

Some of Vassallo's accomplishments include running a family-owned business with his father, Joseph M. Vassallo, Sr.; attaining his APSP-CBP credentials; being named to the APSP Builders Council Education Committee and winning numerous international design awards.

"We have found 40 people who have made Southern Nevada a better place to work and live," said Rob Langrell, In Business special publications editor. "As in the past, the nominations poured in again this year. We received more than 250 submissions, which made for a grueling decision process."

Paragon Pools is an award-winning residential and commercial inground pool construction company in Las Vegas, and the winner of this month's AQUA Choice Award.

Three Pool Refinishers Talk About Bringing Pools Back To Life

photo of man refinishing a poolFortunately, even though North Americans have been reluctant to buy new pools in a struggling economy, they still have some 6 million existing pools to take care of. With thousands of gallons of water in a hole in the backyard, even the fiscally cautious can see the logic of maintaining its structure and appearance.

AQUA caught up with three refinishers who have been in the business for a while, through good times and bad, and who know what it takes to make a pool look like new again.

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