• Top 10 News Stories for 2012

    Regulation, scandal and a provocative lifeguard video rounded out the year’s top three news stories for Aquatics International readers. But wranglings over the ADA dominated headlines.

     
  • Restored to Life

    Operators are holding facilities together with the barest resources. It’s time to rebuild, renew and redefine aquatics for the new economy.

     
  • You’re So Vain

    I was a young college graduate and had enthusiastically accepted my first full-time job in a state thousands of miles away

     
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    Where It’s @

    Long gone are the days when you could slap up a basic, static Website and call it a day.

     
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    Slide Face-Lifts

    Does it seem strange to talk about water slides and park attraction maintenance during the off season?

     
  • Driving Down Costs

    We can all agree the cost of electricity is not coming down

     
  • Preparing for the Worst

    In aquatics one simple truth remains paramount: The difference between success and failure is preparation.

     
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    Former Olympic Coach Suspended in Sex Scandal

    The USA Swimming sexual abuse scandal has escalated further, as allegations about another respected coach prompted a new investigation.

     
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    PlayCore Acquires Colorado Time Systems

    PlayCore Holdings has announced its acquisition of Colorado Time Systems

     
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    View products from some of the industry’s leading manufacturers and suppliers

    AQUASALT Loves the Pool & Spa Industry!

     
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    Sold! Waterparks Under New Ownership

    In what may be a sign that the economy is improving, two U.S. waterpark acquisitions were finalized last month.

     
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    Accident-Prone Waterpark Sued, Investigated

    Calypso Waterpark in Limoges, Ontario, Canada, is under investigation following a chlorine leak that sent 13 children to the hospital in August, according to local news reports.

     
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    ‘Lifeguards Gone Wild’ Video Gets 14 Fired

    At least a dozen California lifeguards are receiving more attention than they anticipated, and so is their employer, the city of El Monte, Calif.

     
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    Olympic Promos Strike Gold

    USA Swimming reports initial success with its SwimToday campaign, launched in May to promote swimming and build on Olympic-inspired interest.

     
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    SWB Drowning Victim’s Family Sues NYC

    Relatives of a Navy SEAL hopeful who drowned last year in a Staten Island pool have filed a lawsuit against the city of New York.

     
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    CPSC Swim Safely Campaign Looks Ahead

    With the 2012 swim season behind them, officials at one leading drowning prevention effort are looking ahead.

     
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    Key MAHC Modules Up for Review

    Experts are now seeking input from operators on three key pieces of the Model Aquatic Health Code.

     
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    Will MAHC Kill Competitive Swimming?

    Concern has arisen over a provision in one section of the Model Aquatic Health Code that’s now up for public comment.

     
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    Neptune-Benson Acquires UV Maker

    Neptune-Benson, a manufacturer of commercial pool filtration systems based in Coventry, R.I., has announced the acquisition of Engineered Treatment Systems, a maker of ultraviolet disinfection systems.

     
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    Excitement Abounds for New Orleans Expo

    The International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo is seeing a strong uptick in exhibitor and attendee registration.

     
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    More Facilities Get Mini Facelifts

    As interest in renovation projects remains high and budgets low, operators and designers are finding creative ways to expand possibilities and meet project goals.

     
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    Florida Code May ‘Create Hazards’

    An entrapment last month at a public pool on Merritt Island, Fla., has safety advocates questioning the validity of a state code.

     
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    CPSC: Nearly 100 Child Drownings Since Memorial Day

    Nearly 100 children under 15 have drowned in swimming pools this summer, according to analysis from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

     
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    Recent Entrapment Raises Installation Issues

    Crucial questions are surfacing about an entrapment that took place at a public pool in Nashville.

     
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    Industry Expo Goes Mobile With New App

    The International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo has released a new mobile app available for iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry.

     
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    Crypto Closes Minnesota Aquatics Center

    Minnesota heath officials are reporting a record number of cryptosporidium cases this year, and the recreational water illness has prompted at least one pool closure.

     
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    Researchers’ Crystal Ball Indicates Olympic Anomaly

    There were an impressive number of record-breaking performances at the London Olympic Games, but researchers say that was something of an anomaly.

     
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    USA Swimming Suspends Curl for Life

    Former Curl-Burke Coach Rick Curl, has been suspended for life from USA Swimming, and the organization has added his name to the public list of banned individuals, it was announced Sept. 19.

     
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    AI Honors Best of Aquatics Facilities

    magazine is honoring 12 outstanding aquatics facilities this year, in its 14th annual Best of Aquatics issue.

     
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    Headline

    The USA Swimming sexual abuse scandal has escalated further, as allegations about another respected coach prompted a new investigation.

     
  • Save Yourself

    There’s a great scene in the movie “As Good as it Gets” in which a neurotic Jack Nicholson pours his heart out, only to then attack the person offering help.

     
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    Perfect Timing

    When it comes to renovation, today’s aquatics facilities are in a bind.

     
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    Natural Wonders

    Just like its counterpart in Orlando, Fla., SeaWorld’s Aquatica Waterpark in San Antonio combines the waterpark atmosphere with live animal experiences.

     
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    Neptune-Benson Acquires UV Maker

    Neptune-Benson, a manufacturer of commercial pool filtration systems based in Coventry, R.I., has announced the acquisition of Engineered Treatment Systems, a maker of ultraviolet disinfection systems.

     
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    More Coaches Accused of Sexual Abuse

    At least three coaches have been arrested in as many months for alleged sexual abuse involving young swimmers.

     
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    Affordable Care Act:What Does It Mean for You?

    Last month’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act paves the way for health care reform to move forward.

     
  • Do You Matter?

    Sometimes, sitting at my desk, I start to wonder if what I do really matters.

     
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    New Waterpark Standards In Development

    Behind every good waterpark is a good … waterpark code? That’s at least what a number of industry professionals might say who are working to develop new regulations.

     
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    New Initiative to Reduce Lightning Injuries, Deaths

    The United States Lifesaving Association, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service have launched a new lifeguard lightning safety initiative.

     
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    It’s London or Bust for U.S. Swimmers

    The 2012 Olympic games will begin in just about two weeks and the U.S. swimmers are ready to go for gold.

     
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    California Lawmakers Strike Down Pool Bill

    California lawmakers have struck down AB 1726, a public health bill which would have required that public swimming pools be operated by a qualified (certified) pool operator.

     
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    Report: Crypto Education Works

    Health officials are heralding a new report that analyzes a widespread Utah RWI outbreak as offering key lessons to avoid future incidents.

     
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    States Face New Laws

    Lawmakers in South Carolina and Florida have passed new pool regulations that will impact staffing and construction.

     
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    Lifeguard Firing Sparks Ellis Apology, Surprise Announcement

    Jeff Ellis Management has publically apologized for the firing of a Florida lifeguard earlier this month, which made national headlines and spurred worldwide dialogue

     
  • Priceless

    Community-owned Hyland Hills Water World prides itself in teaching children the life-saving skill of swimming. 

     
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    View products from some of the industry’s leading manufacturers and suppliers

    AQUASALT Loves the Pool & Spa Industry!

     
  • Full Access?

    It was good news for the aquatics industry when the U.S. Department of Justice ruled to allow portable pool lifts this spring, but that turnaround represents only a fraction of the most recent Americans with Disabilities Act requirements

     
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    Shadow Ops

    If you have been in aquatics for more than a few years, you’ve probably heard of a Shadow Guard Program.

     
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    Climbing Higher

    When I started writing this column, I did so out of my love for aquatics, the growing need to increase awareness within our industry, and to inspire aquatics managers to improve minority participation.

     
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    Smart Water

    In the past few years the aquatics industry has experienced an aggressive use of mandates (Virginia Graeme Baker Act, ADA compliance, APSP codes).

     
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    NRH2O North Richland Hills, Texas

    Chris Swartz, NRH2O’s general manager is proud to be a technology enthusiast.

     
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    2012 Product Showcase

     
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    Category: Adventurous Add-Ons

    When Kent Lemasters decided to reopen Alabama Adventure amusement park as Splash Adventure, he wanted to create a new generation of waterpark.

     
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    Wild Water Adventures Clovis, Calif.

    Operators of Wild Water Adventures have been at the forefront of water quality management for more than a decade.

     
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    Roaring Springs Water Park Boise, Idaho

    Roaring Springs sets itself apart by focusing the marketing efforts, and the product, on the core audience.

     
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    Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor Water Park West Berlin, N.J.

    The industry is filled with great programs for children, but Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor Water Park definitely stands out.

     
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    Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Orlando, Fla.

    Opened more than 20 years ago, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon still offers timeless, island-style fun in a highly themed environment. Attractions — including slides, pools and a water coaster — take center stage, but the details make Typhoon Lagoon a truly special plac

     
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    Great Wolf Resorts Madison, Wis.

    Green is good for Great Wolf Resorts. Headquartered in Madison, Wis., the company operates 11 waterpark resort properties.

     
  • Kalahari Resorts Sandusky, Ohio

    Kalahari Resorts combines what’s billed as the nation's largest indoor waterpark, with a variety of resort amenities appealing to all ages.

     
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    The It List

    Every year at this time, we present the best of the best waterparks and resorts.

     
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    Casino Pier &Breakwater Beach Seaside Heights, N.J.

    Concessions at the Breakwater Beach waterpark are a cut above in more ways than one.

     
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    Chula Vista Resort Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

    Chula Vista has built its comprehensive training program on two beliefs

     
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    View products from some of the industry’s leading manufacturers and suppliers

    AQUASALT Loves the Pool & Spa Industry!

     
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    Life guarding Studies Under Way

    Two aquatic experts are seeking input from lifeguards for new research.

     
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    Best of Aquatics Call for Entries Announced

    Aquatics International is currently accepting entries for our 2012 Best of Aquatics contest.

     
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    Agencies Sign Code Agreement

    The National Environmental Health Association, the International Code Council, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance collaboration and recognize the co-existence of the International Swimmi

     
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    University Hosts First Aquatics Diversity Conference

    Hampton University hosted what appears to be the first conference focused specifically on improving diversity in aquatics.

     
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    Did Aquatics Really Get a Pass on ADA?

    Operators now have more answers regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance requirements.

     
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    Rola-Chem Discusses Product Alert

    Though Rola-Chem Corp. issued an advisory regarding certain models of its peristaltic pump chemical feeders, the company does not claim liability in a recent lawsuit and said its product is not defective.

     
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    Experts: Drowning Prevention Efforts Need Tune-Up

    In the wake of new research, experts are calling for greater efforts to reduce drownings among the most vulnerable.

     
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    NSPF Launches Massive Campaign

    The National Swimming Pool Foundation has launched a 10-year campaign to expand swim lessons for children, adults, and minorities.

     
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    Olympic Fever: Coming to a Facility Near You?

    Every four years during the Summer Olympics, people everywhere get hooked on swimming.

     
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    Red Cross Still Catching Heat

    The American Red Cross launched its lower-priced swim lessons last month. But a number of operators say the fees are still too high, while others report ongoing communication and customer service issues.

     
  • Graphic by Tim Bobko

    Watching for Trouble

    We practice real-life simulation trainings at all of our in-service sessions.

     
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    Sex Abusers Trigger Tougher Legislation

    Legislation to ban confidential lawsuit settlements involving allegations of child sexual abuse, and lengthen the statute of limitations for victims to file civil actions, has been introduced in California.

     
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    ADA Occupies Congress, Hobbles Aquatics

    As aquatics professionals grapple with a deadline extension and proposed legislation that could change the Americans with Disabilities Act rules, a shortage of pool lifts, compliance confusion and cost concerns may force facility closures.

     
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    Congress Takes Aim at ADA Pool Regs

    The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2013 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Act (CJS).

     
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    True to Life

    Well-trained lifeguards will quickly get bored with participating in the same old, tired scenarios that lifeguard instructors often rely on to confirm skills.

     
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    Call to Action

    As aquatics management professionals, we constantly work to prevent injuries and drowning by participating in frequent trainings, practicing our rescue skills and response, and reviewing emergency preparedness procedures and action plans with our staffs.

     
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    2012 Most Valuable Products

    The 2012 swim season is about to kick into high gear, and pool operators and aquatics professionals are eager to get their hands on the latest industry advancements to make their facilities more successful than ever.

     
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    Tools of the Trade

    Aquatics facility maintenance and operation is a critical component of maintaining health and safety.

     
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    Marketing Forces

    Marketing is a lion.

     
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    Managing Greatness

    The art of management is working with people to achieve desired goals and objectives

     
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    Recruitment 101

    Your staff is perhaps your most important asset, and recruiting a top-notch team is critical. Today, aquatics operators can use a number of time-tested strategies to find qualified lifeguards

     
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    Brand Identity

    When it comes to marketing, the overarching objective is to get more of your clients in the water, and to bring in new clients who will appreciate the benefits of your aquatics facility.

     
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    2012 Courses: Business

    Effective marketing is the art of combining the right message with the right medium in the right way.

     
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    Budgeting Basics

    For today’s aquatics professionals, good fiscal practices and budgeting skills are essential.

     
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    Revenue Generators

    Generating new revenue at your aquatics facility is a hard task. Or is it? By simply thinking outside the “pool,” the world opens up to many untapped opportunities.

     
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    Sportuality: Finding Joy in the Games

    An estimated 4 billion people worldwide are expected to cheer on athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

     
  • Access for All

    With the recent spate of government regulations and codes — VGB, ADA, MAHC, ISPSC — the aquatics industry has just about had it with the feds.

     
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    Water parks to Debut New Attractions

    When the gates open for the summer later this month, several waterparks across the nation will debut new attractions.

     
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    USA Swimming Must Turn Over Sex Abuse Complaints

    Courts in California and Washington have decided in favor of swimmers alleging they were sexually abused by their former coaches.

     
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    Patrons Pee in Pools, Won’t Shower

    The majority of American adults (93 percent) say they won’t use someone else’s bath water, yet 68 percent skip showering before getting in the pool.

     
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    Experts: Drain Deadline Extension Not Full Solution

    Most experts are applauding the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s yearlong deadline extension for mandated unblockable drain retrofits.

     
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    Swim Community Mourns Losses

    The swimming community is mourning the loss of several notable figures, including an Olympic swimmer, an Olympic diver, a legendary coach and swimming World Champion Dale Oen, of Norway.

     
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    Massachusetts Closes Slides Following Drowning Review

    Massachusetts officials will not open slides at state-run pools this summer, following a policy review stemming from the June 2011 drowning of Marie Joseph.

     
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    DOJ OKs Portable Lifts, Relaxes Regs

    The Department of Justice on Thursday announced a dramatic about-face on disability regulations for swimming pools and spas.

     
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    Aquatics Pros Turning to Online Education

    Distance learning is a growing trend showing no signs of stopping.

     
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    Social Cues

    Until 2011, Dolphin Pools & Spas in Phoenix relied heavily on print ads and used very little social media.

     
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    Cut the Web Tape

    The next time you walk out on your pool deck and it’s a busy day, take a look around.