Feature Article - June 2011
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Aquatics

A Look at Trends in Aquatic Facilities

By Emily Tipping



Collaboration

In a trend not covered by our survey, Tom Lachocki, Ph.D., CEO of the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) noted that the industry has seen an emerging trend of collaboration between entities.

"We're a relatively small organization, and changing the world by ourselves is unrealistic," he said. "But you're seeing groups putting things together that are growing in impact."

In other words, various organizations from across the industry are working together to make a bigger impact on the aquatics industry.

Some examples of these initiatives Lachocki cited include:

  • World's Largest Swim Lesson: On June 14, 2011, a host of organizations, including the World Waterpark Association (WWA), Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP), the International Swimming Hall of Fame, National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Swim for Life Foundation and many others are sponsoring an event that will bring thousands of people in countries around the world together to have fun in the water and learn about the importance of teaching children to swim as a drowning prevention measure. (Learn more about the event at: www.worldslargestswimminglesson.org).
  • National Water Safety Month takes place in May, and is supported by the APSP, NRPA, WWA and others. Learn more about it at www.nationalwatersafetymonth.com.
  • The Model Aquatic Health Code saw its first module released recently. This collaborative effort between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NSPF and others, aims to create a model and guide for local and state agencies to help them update or implement standards to govern the design, construction, operation and maintenance of swimming pools and other treated aquatic facilities. Learn more about this effort at www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/pools/mahc/.
  • RWI Prevention Week is also sponsored by the CDC, and takes place the week before Memorial Day. It aims to educate swimmers and pool operators about simple steps to ensure a healthy, safe swimming experience, Learn more at www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/rwi/rwi-prevention-week.

"The NSPF has a unique perspective on many future activities because we fund research and are also the primary disseminators and empowerers of people disseminating scientific research," Lachocki said. "For example, the American Chemistry Council is working with NSPF to solicit proposals for disinfection byproduct research. And there is a large spectrum of organizations contributing to research on filtration and removing Crypto from the water."

The World Aquatic Health Conference, taking place in Seattle on Oct. 12 to 14 this year, is a primary venue for hearing about what is emerging from these collaborations, as well as the most recent scientific findings.

"Just 10 years ago, there was no conference and no scientific journal," Lachocki said. "Now we can highlight new advances and focus on what the science is teaching us, vs. whatever story we come up with in a marketing department. The field is moving in a positive direction."