National Swimming Pool Foundation® Awards Research Grants Totaling $180,995

Research Foundation for Health and Environmental Effects, a non-profit founded by the American Chemistry Council, and leading UV manufacturer, Engineered Treatment Systems LLC, step in as funding partners to help continue commitment to fund research that will advance the industry’s future.

COLORADO  SPRINGS, COLORADO, December 8, 2011—Over the past seven years,

the board of directors of the National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®) has given back

over 4 million dollars to fund research to demonstrate health benefits and to reduce injury

and disease in and around the water.  

This year, the National Swimming Pool Foundation board has awarded four grants totaling

$180,995. One health benefit grant was awarded to Utah State University and three injury

prevention grants were awarded to University of Arizona, Purdue University, and the

University North Carolina-Charlotte (UNCC). These grants will sustain ongoing research

supported by NSPF in recent years and embark on new research. Industry partners Research

Foundation for Health and Environmental Effects, a non-profit organization founded by

the American Chemistry Council, and leading UV manufacturer, Engineered Treatment

Systems LLC, donated to specific grants.

The board maintains its’ commitment to encourage increased aquatic activity through

funding evidence-based research. “We refuse to allow the economy to deter us from

promoting aquatics,” remarked Bill Kent, retiring Chairman of the NSPF Grant Review

Committee.  “The science eliminates the bad things and discovers the good things that show

how getting in water benefits humankind,” he added. 

Health Benefit Research - Osteoarthritis

According to the Arthritis Foundation, about 27 million

people in the U.S. suffer from osteoarthritis (OA). At

the recent World Aquatic Health Conference™,

researchers Dennis Dolny, Ph.D. and Eadric

Bressel, Ph.D., Utah State University,

reported on a two-year study funded by NSPF,

pioneering the use of aquatic interval training for

people with OA. “This is a significant study to establish

guidelines for using an underwater treadmill to improve mobility and movement with less

swelling and discomfort,” explained Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D., CEO of the National

Swimming Pool Foundation. “Early results are encouraging, and we are optimistic that a

larger statistical group will result in similar findings.”  These researchers have been

awarded a grant of $15,552 to continue to pursue this research as they examine the

improvements in osteoarthritis sufferers.  

Injury Prevention Grants

Several high-profile studies have suggested that exposure to aquatic

environments may increase risk of asthma, cancer and other serious

diseases. These studies often lack information on how the pools were

managed and treated, and details of swimmer exposure. As a result, it is

impossible to apply the findings to other pools or to reproduce and

verify the studies. Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D., University of Arizona, has

been awarded a grant of $65,459 to develop standardized questions

that researchers can use when performing a health impact study. “Defining the problem is a

big part of finding a solution,” commented Dr. Lachocki. “The more thorough the studies,

the more impactful the solutions.” Non-profit Research Foundation for Health and Environmental

Effects has partnered with the National Swimming Pool Foundation on this landmark project. 

The NSPF is also funding work to understand and define the

chemistry of disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation in

chlorinated, indoor pools. Ernest Blatchley III, Ph.D., P.E.,

BCEE, Purdue University, was awarded a grant of $75,000

as the first step in a three-year program to research

combined UV and chlorine swimming pool water disinfection

methods. The research will examine the effects of combined

treatment on water and air chemistry in chlorinated, indoor pool settings.  The grant,

managed and administered under the NSPF industrial research grants category, includes

donations from the Research Foundation for Health and Environmental Effects and one leading UV

manufacturer, Engineered Treatment Systems LLC. The goal of this work is to give industry,

regulators, facility operators and management a better understanding of swimming pool

disinfection byproduct chemistry and technology options for their control, including

Cryptosporidium inactivation. In turn this information will be helpful in reducing human

exposure to DBPs in recreational water facilities. Questions about this project should be

directed to Professor Blatchley ([email protected]).

Acute recreational water illnesses prevention also remains an important

area of research. In September 2011, the Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention (CDC) reported a 72 percent increase in outbreaks

2005-2006 versus the prior two-year period. This is a record number of

outbreaks since the CDC began monitoring recreational water illness.

Nearly half the outbreaks were caused by the parasite, Cryptosporidium

(Crypto). Reversing this trend will require improvements in swimming

pool disinfection and operation, pool regulations and enforcement, and swimmer hygiene. In

recent years, James Amburgey, Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Charlotte

(UNCC) through NSPF grants, has made significant advances in understanding pool water

filtration and its impact on Crypto removal.  Dr. Amburgey has been awarded a grant of

$24,984 to create a bather load model and assess the impact of bather load on

Cryptosporidium-sized microspheres. 

In addition to research the NSPF has funded directly to Dr. Amburgey’s team, the

foundation also manages and administers an industrial research grant studying filtration and

removal of Crypto. Industrial research grants enable multiple organizations to partner to fund

key projects. This specific industrial research grant may exceed $200,000, raised through

industry donations. Dr. Amburgey has directed $25,000 of the grant to the CDC to assist in

performing research. The goal of the research is to develop better product label instructions,

standard operating procedures, and remediation strategies to reduce the risk of waterborne

disease outbreaks.  Manufacturers of water clarifiers, filter aids, and advanced filter designs

wishing to join the fight against Crypto outbreaks in pools should contact Dr. Amburgey

directly at [email protected] to explore whether testing their products would be


Understanding and controlling the chemistry, microbiology, engineering and management

will yield safer environments. “The better we understand the issues, the better we are

positioned to ensure future growth,” said Dr. Lachocki. “The great news is anyone can help

support this work by simply investing in their own knowledge with purchase of NSPF

educational materials and programs,” he concluded. 

Research results are reported at the annual World Aquatic Health Conference, next year in

Norfolk, Virginia, October 10-12. Seminars from prior conferences are available online, on

demand at 

NSPF accepts grant, scholarship and fellowship applications annually by June 1, respectively.

Complete guidelines for applying may be found at or by calling Margaret

Smith at 719-540-9119.

About NSPF®

The National Swimming Pool Foundation® is a non-profit organization established in 1965,

dedicated to improving public health worldwide and is the leading educator of aquatic facility

operators and pool and spa professionals, and the chief philanthropic research sponsor in

the aquatics field. NSPF works towards its mission to encourage healthier living by

increasing aquatic activity through education and research with its growing collection of

multi-lingual educational products, certification and training, and sponsors the annual           

World Aquatic Health™ Conference, now in its 9th year. Visit 

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