When it comes to aquatic research, the National Swimming Pool Foundation has largely been at the forefront, founding the World Aquatic Health Conference. The event, celebrating its fifth year, tackles topics such as waterpark safety, new technology and the physical health benefits of being in the water.

Until efforts such as these, research was woefully lacking in the industry, experts say.

Today, industry pros need this kind of information more than ever, as they tackles issues such as cryptosporidium outbreaks, suction entrapment and impending legislation, according to experts.

Since such concerns have spread, research funded by organizations such as NSPF has uncovered a great deal of information that provides a new perspective on what works in the aquatics industry.

For example, safer nonchlorine oxidizers have become much more commonplace, while advances in remote and Web monitoring technology have totally changed the landscape of waterpark and public pool administration. NSPF is currently in the midst of funding a $1 million hot-water immersion study on health benefits, according to Tom Lachoki, the organization?s CEO.

Other industry leaders also are working on new research. B. Chris Brewster, president of the United States Lifesaving Association is currently working on research related to lifeguard practices and skills that he hopes will become a standard for the industry.

Without such efforts, Brewster and others say, aquatics pros would not be able to keep this industry on its current path to expansion.

?The bottom line,? Brewster says, ?is if we?re able to scientifically identify the best methods, everyone can share that information.?