Inventions Upon Inventions

Benjamin Franklin has no shortage of wisdom to dispense with, even in modern times, as a few hundred attendees of the recent World Aquatic Health Conference in Williamsburg, Va., discovered. "Benjamin Franklin" (or, well, Mitchell Kramer acting as that storied founder) delivered the keynote, talking about a lifetime of exploration and invention—and swimming!—but what's encapsulated in the quote above was on display throughout two days of networking and education.

Indeed, when you think of how one invention has built upon another, and another, and another, in any industry, but in the aquatics industry in particular, you get a sense of appreciation for just how far human invention can take us.

For example, I had the rare, and illuminating, experience of attending a handful of sessions about how the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) and various manufacturers and pool operators are trying to address air quality, immediately after I had finished reading and editing the story on indoor air quality that you'll find on page 18 of this issue.

Mostly, I was happy to find that we didn't really miss anything in our story. In other words, the things the various presenters were talking about have been covered in these pages. But also, I was struck by how complex a problem managing indoor air quality is. And that means coming up with standards and best practices must be an immense challenge. The sheer number of inputs—bather load, water depth, water features, air handling system design, and so on—make it a complicated problem.

And yet, over the years, manufacturers, scientists and pool operators have continued to look at the problem and invent new solutions. And those new inventions then become the foundation upon which further innovations are built.

Over time, problems are solved. Challenges are met. The industry—aquatics, or fitness, or sports, or park planning, or whatever human endeavor you're involved in—adapts and innovates, and gets better and better.

For those of you down in the trenches, getting the work done, it's worthwhile to take a step back to think of how far things have come—and then roll up your sleeves to do the work that will make tomorrow even better than today.


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management

[email protected]