The National Swimming Pool Foundation has increased its 2006 grant awards 30 percent over the previous year.

The Colorado Springs, Colo., nonprofit organization has earmarked $650,000 to fund new research projects and programs.

Product launches such as the Certified Pool Inspector program and the Spanish-language Certified Pool Operator manual contributed to the gains. The grant increase also is commensurate with NSPF?s 30 percent growth in gross profit for 2005, according to CEO Thomas Lachocki.

Already, NSPF has allocated $85,545 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Atlanta for development of a national health code intended to guard public pools and spas against recreational water illnesses. Dubbed the National Model Pool/Spa Code, the voluntary standard would recommend measures for preventing waterborne illnesses at pool facilities, which state and local health departments may adopt.

In addition, $165,994 was granted to Bruce Becker, M.D., and Sally Blank, Ph.D., at Washington State University to study the effects of hot water immersion on cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Another $75,900 was awarded to David Markenson, M.D., and his team at the New York Medical College School of Public Health in Valhalla, N.Y., to develop evidence-based guidelines for skills, training, guidance and equipping of lifeguards. A third grant was given to Ernest Blatchley III, Ph.D., P.E.; Jing Li, Ph.D.; and Changhe Xia, Ph.D.; at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. They will study photochemical reactions from ultraviolet applications in recreational water settings, and compare the differences to drinking water and municipal wastewater.

The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals has discretion over $30,000 of NSPF?s annual grant budget, as part of an agreement between the two trade groups. This year, APSP chose to channel those discretionary funds into the CDC?s efforts.