Editor's Desk - February 2009
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A River Runs Through It

The more things change, right?

There's no denying that there have been big changes—and challenges—afoot in the world of aquatic facilities, whether those places are used strictly for leisure and exercise or also are used for competition and training. Among some of the recent trends are:

  • A tendency to bring big waterpark-like attractions down to a smaller scale to fit municipal and other smaller facilities.
  • A near-constant battle against recreational water illnesses, some of which are resistant to chlorine, leading to investments in new methods for disinfecting the water.
  • The impact of the Virginia Graeme Baker Act as pools across the country struggle to come into compliance.

But some things remain the same: a constant need for well-trained staff, excellent safety practices, creative and traditional programming and marketing to bring people to the pool, and so on.

I'm reminded of Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, where the title character watches the river and realizes that while the water that's in front of him is never the same water, still the river is always at the ocean, always in the mountain and always right before him.

So despite the challenges and changes a day, a season,

a year or a month may bring—and your ability to keep up with them and the times—one thing remains constant: the overarching need to continue your mission of bringing the public to water. We try to help you in that mission with this month's guide to designing, staffing and operating your aquatic facility. Read on to help your own facility stay afloat on the ever-changing currents.


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director
Recreation Management