• Finding Focus  -  November 21, 2019

    What You Should Be Doing to Communicate Better with Your Aquatic Center’s Designer By Matt Ball, Counsilman-Hunsaker This article was previously published on At Counsilman-Hunsaker, our design team keeps the ball rolling on their aquatic center design projects because it’s what they do every day – aquatic design. Our expert project managers often know […]

  • Managing A Cutting Edge Aquatic Center  -  May 21, 2019

    While community swimming facilities continue to evolve and emulate the waterpark and hospitality industries, municipalities must determine if they can compete for the sought-after aquatic professional who can manage these types of facilities or risk contract management to a third party.

  • Digital Documentation  -  March 4, 2019

    Moving Records to the Cloud By Kevin Post When was the last time you reviewed your facility day to day operational records?  Once a season or year? Not since the last time you created it?  Is it the same one you’ve used for years?  Documentation of maintenance issues, safety inspections, and water quality results is […]

  • Parental Supervision at Aquatic Venues  -  February 16, 2019

    A main theme that runs throughout the majority of serious aquatic incidents that involve children is the lack of parental supervision at the time of the incident.  And, though it seems like something rather simple, getting parents to properly supervise their children proves to be one of the most difficult tasks that waterpark operators face. […]

  • 8 Pitfalls That Leaders Commonly Fall Into  -  February 13, 2019

    Parks and Recreation professionals are leaders.   Some lead an entire department as a director; others lead a division as a superintendent and some lead a recreation center or parks crew as a supervisor.   Leaders provide vision, goal setting, communication, encouragement, team building, discipline and recognition for those they lead.  And, if they effectively do this, […]

  • Difference in Commercial and Residential Swimming Pool Design Construction  -  January 18, 2019

    Having been involved in the commercial swimming pool industry for over 20 years, I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the planning and design of hundreds of aquatic facilities across the globe.  During this time, I’ve seen my fair share of the good, the bad and yes even the ugly.  For years my head […]

  • Strange Bedfellows: Aquatics and College Football  -  December 18, 2018

    With the NCAA official early signing day for college football prospects fast approaching, you may be wondering what college football programs are doing to set themselves apart from other schools. What you might not know is that programs are doing just that by adding aquatic facilities to their already high-class training facilities. Prospective student athletes […]

  • Surge Tanks  -  November 29, 2018

    A surge tank is a water containing vessel that takes water from a swimming pool perimeter gutter system. Swimmers create waves when they enter a pool, compete, swim laps, exercise or just play. The perimeter gutter system captures these waves, or surge of water, so that they do not rebound back into the pool. A […]

  • Swimming Pool Gutters  -  November 26, 2018

    Perimeter overflow systems are a critical part of any swimming pool. There are two main types of perimeter overflow systems; skimmers and gutters. Skimmers are often times the more simplistic and less expensive options as they are traditionally used for back yard or leisure-style pools. Gutters, however, can be used on any pool type and […]

  • Swimming Pool Deck Widths  -  October 23, 2018

    Most swimming pool codes require only a modest pool deck width of 4 to 5 feet around a swimming pool but depending on the pool configuration and use the need for a larger pool deck is paramount. We have all been to that swimming meet where there is no deck space.  Competitors are squished together […]

  • Unique Design Approach for Projects Located in North Slope, Alaska.  -  September 13, 2018

    North Slope Alaska is a unique place that presents unique design challenges for swimming pool projects.  Due to the remote nature of most pools in the North Slope, simple tasks like delivering equipment and performing scheduled maintenance can turn into a huge endeavor.  These challenges are addressed during design by strategically selecting robust equipment that […]

  • Logos at the Bottom of Dive Wells  -  September 12, 2018

    Hawkeyes, Tigers, a Lumberjack Blade, and P in the pool?  Well maybe not quite, but these school logos can be seen at the bottom of University dive pools across the country.   Used mainly for instilling school pride and psyching out opposing dive teams, these logos have been staples of new aquatic facilities over the last […]

  • Pool Features  -  August 21, 2018

    As a swimming pool consultant, I have the pleasure of inspecting, auditing, and renovating an abundance of existing swimming pools each and every year.  It seems to be that a majority of the older pools I encounter are some variation of a 6-lane, 25-yard lap pool with potentially, if they are lucky, 1-meter diving at […]

  • Norwegian Cruise Line Training in Skopje  -  August 6, 2018

    One of our directors, Matt Ball, was asked to deploy to eastern Europe as part of Counsilman-Hunsaker’s retainer for risk management and operations consulting with Norwegian Cruise Line. Matt flew from Dallas through Rome to board the Norwegian Spirit in Trieste, Italy for two days to provide onboard consulting for the newly deployed lifeguard crew […]

  • Marketing and Branding  -  July 23, 2018

    On paper, most aquatic facilities seem similar.  They offer swim lessons, open swim, birthday parties, etc.  If you want to differentiate yourself and improve the overall sustainability of your facility, you must brand yourself in a way that makes you stand out.  All facilities will create a brand, so it’s up to you to guide […]

  • Working Close To Home  -  July 17, 2018

    Counsilman-Hunsaker was founded in 1970 in St. Louis, Missouri and while we are a national company with offices in four states and projects across the U.S., St. Louis will always be home. This summer three of those “hometown” projects were opened for business. Today we are going to highlight one of them. While our project […]

  • The Evolution of Aquatic Therapy & Wellness  -  May 7, 2018

    Aquatic therapy is the fastest growing of the four major aquatic user groups.  Until recently, “the mention of aquatic therapy or aquatic wellness to the general public would often conjure up images of maybe a dozen retirees and a boombox in a 30-minute aquacizing class.  Therapy programming was often an after-thought, especially during the concept […]

  • Is Swimmer Safety Your Priority?  -  April 24, 2018

    While the sport of swimming has seen tremendous growth within the last 30 years due to better training methods, coaching techniques, and above all else better aquatic venues, the question is whether or not swim team safety really is keeping up with society’s expectations. The last several years there have been plenty of fatal and […]

  • Designing for the Generations – X, Y & Z  -  April 8, 2018

      Demographics in many ways define the social structure of a nation and it is very useful to understand the generations when designing a multi-generational aquatic facility.  Generation X is the generation born after the Western post WWII baby boom and as a generation they have the following characteristics: Independent Work towards high-quality end results […]

  • Supersizing Your Existing Swimming Pool  -  March 28, 2018

    See if this story sounds familiar: You’re operating a community swimming pool that, in its heyday, was the centerpiece of summertime activity. It was the place to be on a hot summer day, when nearly every kid and parent in town would be diving and splashing and socializing by the pool. Now, 30 years later, […]

  • How wide do our competition swimming lanes need to be?  -  February 28, 2018

      This is a question that I get quite often during initial planning meetings for a new competition pool.  The first thing to determine is what will be the highest level of swimming competition hosted at your facility.  Will it be a large international competition (FINA) or a regional type event for National Championships or […]

  • Researching and Implementing New Pool Products  -  February 21, 2018

    Swimming pool design is constantly evolving as new chemical treatment technology is developed, inserts and anchors are strengthened, and play features are reimagined. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the industry, operators and owners are not always eager to have a brand-new product installed at their facility. It is difficult to find a “guinea pig” […]

  • Middle Management  -  February 14, 2018

    I’ve heard the world of aquatics described by my aquatic professional colleagues across the country as multifaceted, ever-changing, demanding, sophisticated, rewarding and fun. I agree with all these descriptors and because there are so many descriptors, aquatic professionals must remain proactive and constantly think about ways to change, evolve and improve their operation to ensure […]

  • Practical and Efficient Design Considerations – Swimming Pool Mechanical Rooms  -  February 7, 2018

    To the untrained eye, swimming pool design may seem limited to the obvious, visual items: pool structure, spray features, waterslides, etc.  While these items are certainly important, the true ‘meat and bones’ of a swimming pool is contained within the mechanical room.   Pool mechanical rooms house the pumps, filters, heaters, chemical treatment systems, secondary disinfection […]

  • Hiring in Aquatics: Qualities to look for in aquatic managers.   -  January 31, 2018

    Hiring management staff is difficult.  You have to find the right person, with the right experience, training and knowledge that will be a good fit for your organization’s culture.  A good hire can mean lower costs, higher revenues, better employee morale and a safer environment for patrons.  So how do you choose the best candidate […]

  • Design vs. Programming  -  January 24, 2018

    Know what you want to do, before you build (Design vs Programming) When working with clients on new aquatic projects, the first question we like to ask is “how are you going to use it?”  While this seems like something most people would know, we find that many aquatic facilities are planned based on the […]

  • Other Tile Color Options  -  January 16, 2018

    When discussing pools or water features most people associate them with the color, blue.  Water represents a refreshing, even relaxing or cool feeling of renewal.  This association is one reason why most pools and features contain primarily blue tile finishes or accents.  Nothing is wrong with blue, but in the world of tile there are […]

  • From Swimming to Synchro  -  January 10, 2018

    FROM SWIMMING TO SYNCHRO: WHAT CHANGES IN THE POOL DESIGN? Are interested in building your aquatic facility to be inclusive to more programs? Have you ever considered synchronized swimming? As any other sport, synchronized swimming has its rulebook it must follow as does its facility for official competition. Oftentimes, a synchronized swimming event can be […]

  • PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: NDPA  -  December 13, 2017

    “United, we can prevent the tragedy of drowning.” While this short mission statement seems like just simple words, they are the essence of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance’s core values and beliefs. The NDPA is U.S. based 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a simple mission to attack a complex problem.  According to the World Health Organizations’ […]

  • 10 Years of Make A Splash: The Start  -  December 7, 2017

    This blog is from our industry partner, USA Swimming, INC. and the Make a Splash Program The USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative is celebrating 10 years of saving children’s lives through swim lessons. Take a look back at the progress that’s been made and at what’s next in this four-part story. There is […]

  • GUEST BLOG: Know the Facts: Drowning Deaths and Injuries by Location  -  November 15, 2017

    Many parents may think that the home is the safest place for a child, but 74 percent of drowning deaths involving children younger than 15 years old occur at a residence. Private homes rarely have lifeguards, and children can easily slip outside unnoticed when homes do not have door or window alarms. Leveraging the Layers […]

  • Thermoplastic Pipe Expansion  -  November 15, 2017

    Swimming pool piping is design is notorious for including long straight runs of pipe.  For pools that do include long runs of straight pipe sections, consideration may be given to the use of expansion loops or mechanical expansion joints to accommodate thermal expansion and contraction.  The ASTM Standard 2774 references “Underground Installation of Thermoplastic Pressure […]

  • Epoxy Grout  -  November 8, 2017

    Tile, known for its longevity, has proven to be the most durable finish for pool interiors. Selecting the material, size, shape and color of the tile is just one step in the process. Another consideration is the grout selection. Grout can influence tile appearance significantly. If you choose the right grout, it can blend perfectly […]

  • Water Basketball Goals  -  November 1, 2017

    Water basketball can occasionally become an afterthought during the commercial swimming pool design process due to its relatively low startup and maintenance costs. Furthermore, water basketball goals can be accommodated in a variety of places across a typical leisure pool and are hindered by the available water depth more than the available space. Often times, […]

  • Determining Filter Backwash Rate  -  October 25, 2017

    Concrete construction is expensive, so it is important to be frugal when designing a new facility. This involves the way the pool is laid out for programming, but it also extends to the mechanical room, which most likely houses a backwash pit. Overestimating the size of the backwash pit means wasted concrete, while underestimating its […]

  • System Bonding for Water Slides  -  October 19, 2017

    Proper pool bonding is incredibly important when it comes to considering the safety of swimmers. Pools require electricity to power certain components that make the pool function. Things like pumps, lights and heaters cannot operate without electricity. When pools and their necessary components are not properly bonded or grounded, some electricity can make its way […]

  • Pool Chemical Room Recommendations  -  September 27, 2017

    One of the specialty areas of aquatic facilities is the chemical room. These rooms are areas of the facility that are subjected to aggressive materials and more restrictive building code requirements. The International Building Code (IBC) describes a high-hazard occupancy as one “that involves the manufacturing, processing, generation or storage of materials that constitute a […]

  • pH Buffering  -  September 19, 2017

    The world of pH buffering is changing. For years, pool operators had to choose between using CO2 or muriatic acid to adjust the pH of their pool. As time went on, some sophisticated operators installed both systems on their pools and manually switched between them to maintain the desired level of total alkalinity in the […]

  • Backstroke Flags  -  September 1, 2017

    The sport of swimming continues to grow and with that we are seeing an increasing amount of television coverage. From the Olympic Games to the NCAA Championships, swimming fans can now tune to their local sports station and watch the meet. With that in mind, it is particularly important that we, as pool designers, continue […]

  • Depth Markers and Warning Signs  -  September 1, 2017

    Depth makers and warning signs are one of the most important aspects of pool design. Depth markers and warning signs allow swimmers on the pool deck, as well as swimmers inside the pool, to know water depth. Knowing if the water is of a safe depth is critical information for swimmers looking to dive in. […]

  • False Start Ropes  -  September 1, 2017

    A false start/recall rope is a rope that stretches across the width of competitive racing pools. It stops swimmers who were unaware of a false start. They’re specifically designed to get the attention of swimmers to prevent them from exerting unnecessary energy in the case of a false start. Typically, the rope is made of […]

  • Cruise Line Lifeguarding  -  August 7, 2017

    In recent years, we have seen too many accidental drownings aboard cruise ships. For decades, cruise ships have adopted a ‘swim-at-your-own-risk’ policy as an industry standard. But now cruise lines, are taking further steps to ensure the safety of its guests by adding certified lifeguards to their fleet. That being said, when conducting training on […]

  • COOL Programming  -  August 7, 2017

    USA Swimming’s Facilities Development Department recommends all “new models” for aquatic facilities have at least two pools with one having water temperature 80 to 84 degrees (cool water and generally the competition or training pool) and the other pool having water temperatures of 87 to 89 degrees (warm water). However, we are very interested in […]

  • Expansion and Contraction in PVC Pool Piping  -  August 7, 2017

    In the commercial swimming pool industry, the overwhelming choice for pool piping material selection is Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). The use of such materials can provide security, as it is non-corrosive, and if installed properly, some would say this pipe material can provide an almost infinite life span. But, in comparison to other pipe material selections, […]

  • Springboard Diving  -  June 2, 2017

    As a full-service aquatic consulting firm, we strive to design facilities that meet the needs of all user groups. While many aquatic sport facilities revolve around competitive swimming, we certainly do not want to neglect diving. While most university and high school teams only have 5-10 divers on their roster, they can be a secret […]

  • Underwater Pool Lighting: What You Need to Know  -  May 18, 2017

    Underwater pool lighting is a surefire way to add to the wow factor of your pool. Pool lighting can enhance a pool’s visual appeal, add visibility or even change the overall mood of the pool with lights that change colors. With recent advancements in underwater lighting technology, it is important to understand the proper terminology, […]

  • Starting Blocks and Water Depth: Is Your Pool Safe?  -  May 5, 2017

    When it comes to the world of competitive swimming, there are stringent guidelines that everyone involved in the pool design process must take into consideration. This is especially true for water depths beneath starting blocks. Starting blocks are raised platforms typically mounted on the pool deck at the end of competitive swimming lanes. In most […]

  • 50-Meter Pool Race Courses  -  March 30, 2017

    Three types of race courses are typically used with 50-meter pools:  25-yard, 25-meter and 50-meter. 25-yard courses are often used for high school and college competitive swimming. These can be set up in several different ways. For instance, you can either start or end from the bulkhead, and swim toward or away from the deep end. […]

  • What is Value Engineering?  -  March 16, 2017

    VE or Value Engineering. Two words everyone on a project hates to hear (except for contractors and others that have found out how to work the system). What is Value Engineering? Often times when a project is over-budget, the owner, contractor, and design team will meet to find ways to reduce the cost of the […]

  • Smaller Items That Deliver Tremendous Pool Design Impact  -  February 16, 2017

    In the grand scheme of a pool design, many people stop the design process once all major decisions (pool size, shape, perimeter style, system equipment, etc.) have been made. After all, it is just a hole in the ground filled with water. However, this is when some of the smaller items can go unnoticed, be […]

  • Sustainable Pool Heating Options  -  February 2, 2017

    The human body is sensitive to water temperature. It can even discern a water temperature differential as small as .5°F. Thus, the temperature of water varies between pools to correlate with the aquatic activity that will occur in the pool.  This may be a temperature of 80°F for a 50-meter competition pool, 84°F for an […]

  • Does Your Facility Have a Lockdown Procedure?  -  January 19, 2017

    Unfortunately, we are surrounded by reports of violence and acts of terrorism that feel too close to home every day. Operating facilities serve thousands of people every day. And while this is an incredible opportunity, there is also great responsibility associated with that. Is your facility prepared to handle an emergency situation? Is your staff […]

  • Are Water Tightness Tests During Construction Necessary?  -  January 5, 2017

    A water tightness test is a procedure that is used to determine if a water-holding vessel is free of leaks. Water tightness testing includes three main steps: filling the vessel(s) with water, monitoring and measuring the water level of the vessel(s) over a prolonged period of time, and analyzing the measurements and observations recorded during […]

  • What Parents Want From a Water Park  -  December 22, 2016

    The modern family is very busy and sometimes has limited family fun time. Because of this, it’s important for family outings to allow the entire family to be able to have fun. Water parks certainly fall under this category, as kids and adults alike enjoy spending time cooling off in the water. But there are […]

  • Design Differences: Indoor vs Outdoor Pools  -  December 8, 2016

    Besides the obvious fact that indoor pools are built inside of a building while outdoor pools are built outside, there are many additional differences between them that need to be considered during the design process. When it comes to outdoor pool design, one of the biggest things to consider is seasonal changes and how they might […]

  • Accommodating Individuals with Special Needs  -  November 24, 2016

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the accommodations associated with it, are quickly-evolving topics in the aquatic and theme park industries. How do we best accommodate these guests and make their experience equal to those without a disability? Are we required to provide immediate access to rides upon arrival, or is it acceptable for […]

  • Supercharging Your 50-Meter Pool  -  November 10, 2016

    Have you ever observed a child play with a box? They are often more amused with the box than the toy that came inside it. Similarly, a rectangular pool doesn’t have to be boring. I confess that, as both a competitive swimmer and coach, I’m partial to the good ‘ol fashioned lap pool. And I […]

  • Choosing the Right Pricing Policy for Your Facility  -  October 27, 2016

    Pricing is determined by a variety of different factors, including facility size and amenities, local socioeconomics, cost recovery goals, neighboring competition, and political pressure. Often, there are many people and factors involved in determining pricing, but there are a few basic rules that most facilities follow. Service vs Sustainability Each facility is unique in the […]

  • Buying Direct or Through a Contractor? What’s Right for You?  -  October 13, 2016

    On both large and small commercial pool construction projects, owners have multiple options when it comes to purchasing operating equipment. Most commercial swimming pools are designed and constructed “turn-key,” meaning everything needed to run the pool is provided by the contractor as part of the construction process. This includes items like first-aid kits, lifeguard stands, […]

  • Training Pool Management  -  September 29, 2016

    It’s summer time, and you know what that means: training, training, training! Many of us at Counsilman-Hunsaker are former Aquatics Managers, and in our experience, we found ourselves most concerned with training lifeguards and guest services team members. Ensuring that these often seasonal staff members received proper training was always a primary focus. You tend to […]

  • What Are Natural Swimming Pools?  -  September 15, 2016

    At a time when people, more than ever, are aware of the dangerous chemicals associated with products they use every day, it’s no surprise that this consciousness has made its way into people’s thoughts about the places they spend their time. When taking a dip in a pool, swimmers know that chlorine and other chemicals […]

  • Inclement Weather Refund Policy  -  September 1, 2016

    Weather policies at outdoor aquatic facilities are a critical component of both your safety protocol and your guest service protocol. When developing a weather policy, you want to ensure that you keep the guest’s safety as the key priority, but balance that with service as well. Essentially, there are ways to keep your guests both […]

  • Which Project Delivery Method is Right for You?  -  August 18, 2016

    One of the major items often misunderstood on a construction project is the delivery method. Traditional project delivery methods include design-bid-build, design-build and Construction Management. Historically, the design-bid-build process has been the most common project delivery method for large scale commercial projects. Under this delivery method, the owner holds separate contracts between the design professionals […]

  • How Many Lifeguards Do I Need?  -  August 4, 2016

    Depending on who you speak with, you’ll likely get a lot of different answers to the question. Operators, administrators, head lifeguards, and the public all have their own idea of how many lifeguards a facility needs. Administrators will want staff costs to be as low as possible, while operators are concerned with mitigating risk and […]

  • Cast-in-Place vs. Shotcrete Concrete Pool Installation  -  July 21, 2016

    For many, the question commonly arises as to what type of concrete material makes the best watertight vessel: cast-in-place concrete, shotcrete or gunite. While each have their own strengths, one must consider key items such as geographical/site location, soil conditions and most importantly, availability. There are many locations in the United States where shotcrete and […]

  • What Makes a Pool Fast?  -  June 23, 2016

    There are seven basic factors specific to pool design and operation that maximize the performance of swimmers and make pools fast. While they don’t exist in any order of priority, some are more essential than others. Indoor Air Quality Most people are familiar with the “swimming pool smell” encountered when walking into some indoor pool […]

  • Planning a Special Event? What to Consider  -  June 9, 2016

    Facility members and special events are two aspects of aquatic centers that are sometimes at odds with each other. Special events can bring in new people, have a positive impact on the community and provide marketing for the facility. However, special events can also disrupt your members and daily users, and act as a drain […]

  • What is the Best Finish for My Pool?  -  May 26, 2016

    In today’s market, pool owners have the ability to choose from a multitude of different pool finishes. From paint options that are more cost effective, to customizable ceramic tile options, each style has its associated benefits and drawbacks. While the decision process can be exciting, the array of different finish options can make it a […]

  • What is your policy for tubes in and around your facility?  -  May 12, 2016

    The answer to this questions depends on quite a few factors, including whether guests are permitted to bring their own tubes from home, if they are available for rent or included with admission, and if you have several attractions requiring tubes. The More the Merrier Approach For aquatic centers with typical pools, many operators allow […]

  • What are common concerns and options for winterizing a commercial swimming pool?  -  April 28, 2016

    Winterizing a seasonal outdoor pool can vary greatly depending upon location, pool type, groundwater conditions, local sewer capacities and a host of other factors. If an outdoor swimming pool is not properly winterized, catastrophic damage to below grade piping, heaving and floating of the pool tank, undue wear on pool mechanical equipment, delamination of finishes […]

  • How many hours of in-service do you require for lifeguards?  -  April 14, 2016

    While the requirement for lifeguard in-service varies from state to state, the current industry standard is one hour per week for every lifeguard on your staff, with some flexibility depending on how many hours they work.  Some states and agencies allow one hour for every 40 hours that are worked, but our recommendation has always […]

  • How deep does my pool need to be for diving?  -  March 31, 2016

    Like most questions, the answer depends on several factors and decisions. The first factor is deciding on what level of diving competition or training you wish to host.  There are several governing bodies such as USA Diving, NFHS (High School), NCAA (Colleges and Universities), and FINA.  USA Diving governs club level diving competition while FINA […]

  • How can geotechnical issues affect my pool structure?  -  March 17, 2016

    Certainly one of the least conspicuous but most critically important design considerations for an on grade or in-ground commercial swimming pool structure are the geotechnical conditions (soil conditions). Variations in geotechnical conditions can drastically influence the design approach for the pool structure, pool shell construction methods, and in some cases the pool maintenance protocol as […]

  • What should we consider when purchasing a new scoreboard?  -  March 3, 2016

    Need a new scoreboard? Here are some items to consider. Selecting a proper scoreboard for either a new facility or the replacement of an old unit is an important decision. Scoreboards in typically big ticket items and can have a big impact on the design of your new facility. Adding a larger scoreboard can also […]

  • What is your policy for staff in chemical rooms?  -  February 18, 2016

    Keeping your pool properly balanced and within federal, state and city codes is an enormous and important task. It’s normally too time consuming to be given to just one person.  If you’re the only one checking chemicals and maintaining pool balance, you likely won’t have time for anything else.  This job needs to be safely […]

  • What are the best chemical treatment options for commercial pools?  -  February 4, 2016

    One of the biggest questions we get asked on each project is about the chemical treatment options. Most people want to select the “best” products available.  The truth is, depending on the specifics of your project, what is considered “best” varies.  For the most part, all commercial aquatic facilities are required to have a halogen […]

  • What is the best pool temperature to maintain in my pool?  -  January 21, 2016

    One of the most common questions we receive from aquatic users and operators is, “What temperature should I keep my indoor pool?”  While that seems like such a simple question, it’s really quite complex depending on who the primary users and what types of programs you are offering at your aquatic facility.  This questions has […]

  • What does the ADA require for pool access?  -  January 7, 2016

    According to the American Disabilities Act (ADA), every pool must have at least two means of ADA access. There are three main means of ADA access that can be considered for pool design:  a fixed pool lift, ramp entry and stair entry. Counsilman-Hunsaker’s standard approach to meeting ADA guidelines is to design our pools with […]

  • Zones and Coverage  -  December 31, 2015

    Several of our clients ask us, “How many guards will my pool need?” The problem is … that’s not always an easy answer. There are several “rules of thumb” in the industry, but the truth is this number varies based on different situations. Several factors impact this requirement, including: Size of pool Number of people […]

  • Zero Entry  -  December 24, 2015

    Many people think of the beach and the leisurely walk into the water to gain access to the ocean. Pools create this same effect known as a “zero entry” into the pool. These areas are very popular with the younger kids, toddlers and parents. It gives them a place to sit in the water close […]

  • Yesterday’s Numbers  -  December 17, 2015

    When analyzing the efficiency of your aquatic operation’s business plan and financial sustainability, it’s extremely important to know where you’ve been in order to know where you are headed and how you can get there. There are several categories that can give you a good indication of your overall financial situation in terms of revenues […]

  • Yards vs. Meters  -  December 10, 2015

    Frequently during aquatic programming sessions the question is asked, “Should our competition pool be designed for yards or meters? Which is more appropriate?” Competitive swimming has two seasons: short course and long course. In the United States, short course largely takes place over a 25 yard pool distance. Internationally, this distance is 25 meters (82 […]

  • Xciting Programs  -  December 3, 2015

    Aquatic programs don’t have to be dull and boring. Check out the list we compiled of some “oldie, but goodie” programs, as well as some new exciting programs to keep your guests engaged and enjoying your facility all year long! Lessons – Standardized swim lesson program for all ages Swim Team – Year-round or summer […]

  • Xtreme Water Features  -  November 26, 2015

    Extreme activities take courage to be a participant. My hat is off to Felix Baumgartner and Alan Eustice who have set parachuting altitude records within the past few years. In the world of aquatics there are a number of extreme activities that those with a moderate amount of courage can participate in. Cliff diving can […]

  • Weather Policy  -  November 19, 2015

    Weather policies at outdoor aquatic facilities are a critical component of both your safety protocol and your guest service protocol. When developing a weather policy you want to ensure that you keep the guest’s safety as the key priority, but balance that with service, as well. There’s a way to keep your guests safe and […]

  • Water-Tightness  -  November 12, 2015

    Watertight – adjective. 1) constructed or fitted so tightly as to be impervious to water. ( Water-tightness is a necessary characteristic that every swimming pool should possess. Swimming pools shells that are not designed to be watertight vessels can be an owner’s worst nightmare. Several steps can be followed to ensure your swimming pool is […]

  • Various User Groups  -  November 5, 2015

    The municipal aquatic center found a happy merge of the convenience of a public pool with various fun features of the commercial waterpark while segregating creative water play areas for various age groups. Aquatic attractions have become much more age defined with age limitations and appropriateness due to elements of thrill and capabilities. Tots enjoy […]

  • Variable Frequency Drives  -  October 29, 2015

    A variable frequency drive (VFD) is a system used to control the rotational speed of an alternating current (AC) electric motor. Through manipulating the frequency of the electrical power supplied to the motor, the VFD is able to reduce energy consumption and increase the longevity of the motor. The ability to precisely control the electric […]

  • Updating Policies  -  October 22, 2015

    One of the primary keys to having a successful aquatic facility operation is the development and implementation of policies and procedures.  Aquatic facilities need policies in regards to a variety of issues that will come up on a daily basis, including hours of operations, admission prices and refunds, severe weather, parental supervision, outside groups and […]

  • Ultraviolet Light (UV)  -  October 15, 2015

    Ultraviolet Light (UV) has been around since the early 80s and is used in multiple water treatment applications, but is still gaining popularity in the pool industry. Today UV serves as an effective secondary sanitation option on many pools and spraygrounds around the country. In some states UV treatment is becoming a requirement. California, for […]

  • Training  -  October 8, 2015

    It Is critical that all aquatic operations have a comprehensive onboarding and training process for all new and returning team members.  Back in my aquatic manager days, I made the mistake of telling myself that I “didn’t have time for training my management/supervisory team” and that was the biggest mistake I ever made, and I […]

  • Timing Systems  -  October 1, 2015

    Touchpads, relay take off platforms, deck plates, wall plates, scoreboard locations, scoreboard sizes, pace clocks,… the list is long and extensive for pieces of equipment that are critical to a running a timing system for both practice and a swim meet. Here are some items to consider when planning a new timing system at your […]

  • Sustainability  -  September 24, 2015

    When the economy is healthy, there are plenty of opportunities to generate new revenue streams that help carry subsidized programs. When the economy is not so healthy, budgets are slashed in order to protect revenue generating programs. Recreation professionals are left with the decision of limiting programs, cutting hours, or even forgoing equipment improvements and […]

  • Starting Blocks  -  September 17, 2015

    Having appropriately designed starting blocks is a critical aspect of a great competitive facility. There are a few key points that need to be considered when incorporating starting blocks into a design of a competitive swimming facility. These points include: water depth, block height, and block features. Water Depth To get started, it is always […]

  • Revenue Throttles  -  September 10, 2015

    One of the keys to long term success and sustainability is the use of Revenue Throttles. Revenue Throttles put pricing control in the field to maximize revenues while managing your communities’ expectations. There are three main areas I look at for developing revenue throttles, they include: Use Resident and Non-resident pricing Discounts Wait Lists Resident […]

  • Recirculation  -  September 3, 2015

    The recirculation of an aquatic system serves to continuously deliver chemically treated and filtered water, at specified temperatures and flow rates, to provide a clean, safe, and enjoyable environment for patrons. Recirculation systems are in almost all cases running 24/7 to meet a specified turnover rate, the allotted time for the recirculation system to process […]

  • Questionnaires that truly inform  -  August 27, 2015

    The summer is rolling along, guests are flocking to your facility and you see the light at the end of a successful summer up ahead. You begin the process of evaluating your seasonal numbers, staff performance, and your personal feelings on your operational successes, but a critical stakeholder is missing: your customers. The age-old mantra […]

  • QC – An ongoing commitment to quality  -  August 20, 2015

    The modern world in which we live changes rapidly. The processes of years past – the time-tested, proven processes which have been serving your organization for decades – may not be the best processes for the future. These same processes, however, can also be difficult to change. The best thing your organization can do to […]

  • Point-of-Sale Systems- Where Do I Begin?  -  August 13, 2015

    Running a safe, customer-focused program is at the center of an Aquatic Operator’s job description, but what about the business-side of our jobs? Having the tools in place to retrieve financial information, analyze your return on investment for your killer marketing plan, and compare to previous summers’ results can be a game changer for your […]

  • Piping  -  August 6, 2015

    With all the different types of piping options available on the market today, it can be difficult to know what type of pipe will appropriately suit your pool’s needs. Choosing swimming pool piping can be tricky because different applications require different types of pipe. Often times, swimming pool piping is chosen on a case by […]

  • Outsourcing  -  July 30, 2015

    The decision to outsource your organization’s aquatic operation is not one to be taken lightly. And, in the new climate of break-even cost recovery and sustainability being the expected norm for aquatics operations, you should know the three primary reasons that parks and recreation departments are exploring the possibility of outsourcing. Financial For some departments, […]

  • Opinion of Probable Construction Cost  -  July 23, 2015

    I receive phone calls and emails just about every day from universities, municipal planning committees, swimming coaches, and architects asking for “ballpark” construction costs for a proposed swimming pool. While there are literally thousands of items that would need to be researched and priced to develop a true construction cost estimate, there are just a […]

  • Next Step Marketing- Effectively Crafting and Communicating Your Message  -  July 16, 2015

    News here, get it while it’s hot! We are constantly bombarded with sales pitches, marketing, and advertisements suggesting that we spend our disposable income on a particular product. What compels us to choose one product or service over another? Sometimes it is the quality or price, but what if the products are comparable? Subconsciously, we […]

  • Natatorium Design  -  July 9, 2015

    When designing an indoor swimming pool, it must be understood that the room – the natatorium – is a unique space, which will require a number of special design considerations. First of all, the natatorium is a special room containing a large volume of water that must be continually heated, chemically treated and cleaned 24 […]

  • Maintenance  -  July 2, 2015

    A regular program of preventive maintenance will curb depreciation and improve both the appearance and performance of the various components in every facility. Preventive maintenance consists of three elements: Inspection of the items. This can help detect or give indications of substandard performance that can be corrected before costly repairs are needed. Scheduled maintenance and […]

  • Moveable Floors  -  June 25, 2015

    Moveable floors enable an otherwise deep pool to operate at multiple water depths all the way up to zero inches to allow for flexible program opportunities. This often proves to be cheaper than having a separate body of water, especially indoors. Typically, three different types of floors are on the market: hydraulic ram floors, scissor […]

  • Lifeguarding  -  June 18, 2015

    Teach your lifeguards where to look. Lifeguards need to know their zone of protection for each stand they cover like the back of their hand. They need to know where their zone begins and ends; where any blind spots may be; how the glare on the surface changes from stand to stand depending on the […]

  • LEED  -  June 11, 2015

    Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®) uses established and innovative practices, standards, and technologies to provide a voluntary consensus-based national standard for green building. With operations impacted by rising costs of utilities, chemicals, and maintenance, Owners & Designers are looking for innovative ways to recycle hundreds of thousands of gallons of water at aquatic […]

  • Keeping Records  -  June 4, 2015

    One of the most important, yet tedious, responsibilities of a pool operator or manager is maintaining proper records. Accurate records are essential to reducing costs, increasing safety, and reducing facility liability. It is imperative for pool operators and facility managers to know what records to keep and how long to keep them. Follow these guidelines […]

  • Kids Attractions  -  May 28, 2015

    Kids of all ages like to play so what opportunities are there for kids who are truly kids to play in water?   The simplest form of interactive play with water is the ubiquitous puddle.  A kid with a puddle of rain water will stomp, splash and play until they are happily soaked and their parents […]

  • Job Placement/Recruiting  -  May 21, 2015

    Do you find yourself understaffed and experiencing high turnover every summer?  Do you hire then fire consistently?  Evaluating your hiring practices can assist in reducing the amount of time, and ultimately, the impact of human resources on your bottom line. Lifeguard Shortage? There is a misconception in the industry that there are not enough qualified […]

  • In-Park Spending  -  May 7, 2015

    In-park spending is crucial to any outdoor waterpark or aquatic center’s financial success.  It’s also the biggest driver of revenue next to season pass sales and daily admission rates.  Operators typically use the word “per cap” to determine the total amount a guest pays on each visit to their park, which includes the combined amount […]

  • Inlet Design  -  April 30, 2015

    The often overlooked, sometimes misunderstood, but ever important system of return inlets in a swimming pool is a critical function of the complete pool water circulation system.  It may seem obvious, but for the everyday lap swimmer or child splashing in the leisure pool, the details of how the pool water is kept sanitary and […]

  • Hazardous Materials  -  April 23, 2015

    One of the major challenges with keeping pools safe and healthy is the need for hazardous materials to be on-site, manly chlorine and acid.  This creates two major concerns.  The first is the need to store these materials, the second is making sure operators handle them properly. The amount of hazardous material that is allowed […]

  • Heating  -  April 16, 2015

    Pool heating is a requirement for all indoor pools and for outdoor pools that extend their season past the traditional summer season.  When heating potentially hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, pool water heating can be a significant expense.  Pool heating can come from a variety of sources and we will look at some […]

  • Guest Service  -  April 9, 2015

    Maximizing the experience of your waterpark’s guests should be of primary importance to you and your team.  After all, waterpark operators exist to provide safe, clean, friendly and fun aquatic experiences for their guests of all ages.  Through the analysis of those three years’ worth of survey and reports, I found that waterpark guests typically […]

  • Gutters  -  April 2, 2015

    There are a lot of options to consider when selecting a gutter system for a swimming pool. The primary purpose of a swimming pool gutter is to skim debris from the water surface.  The operating water level is set slightly above the gutter lip such that water around the full perimeter of the pool continually […]

  • The 12th Annual WAHC, I can’t wait!  -  March 27, 2015

    As the National Swimming Pool Foundation begins to celebrate its 50th year anniversary, it is busy preparing for the 12th annual World Aquatic Health™ Conference (WAHC). Everything that the Foundation does, helps people live healthier lives. Since its inception, the WAHC has established itself as the preeminent scientific conference for the aquatic industry. There are […]

  • Food & Beverage  -  March 26, 2015

    There is nothing worse than going to a theme park where the rule is “no outside food,” and then the food you purchase onsite is overpriced and tastes terrible.  While as operators, our expertise is not typically centered around restaurant operations, here are a few things to consider when developing your Food and Beverage program: […]

  • FILTRATION: High Rate Sand Vs. Regenerative Media  -  March 19, 2015

    Until the past 5-10 years, pressure high rate sand filtration was installed on the majority of commercial pool applications.  There were and continue to be other types of filtration such as vacuum sand filters, cartridge filters, diatomaceous earth filters, and others.  But often whether it was due to the type of pool, cost, material handling, […]

  • Enforcement  -  March 12, 2015

    Enforcement, while sometimes not a fun aspect of being an aquatics professional, plays a key role in the overall safety and quality of any aquatic facility operation.  Several key areas exist for enforcement, primarily facility rules, policies and procedures. And, ensuring that enforcement occurs fairly and consistently can make or break the perception of your […]

  • Elevated Pools  -  March 5, 2015

    The design of an elevated pool or water feature is not inherently complicated, dangerous or even necessarily problematic, but it does include some interesting challenges that can be terribly unforgiving of ignorance or neglect.  Some basic issues that should be considered whenever such a design is undertaken include the following. Pool Shell Design and Construction […]

  • Day Camps  -  February 26, 2015

    Traditionally, day camps have chosen to visit waterparks or aquatic facilities for their field trips.  The additional lifeguard supervision and stress that result from day camp visits are not typically worth the revenue generated.  Building your own day camp program, hosted at your facility, is a different story.  After the initial work of creating the […]

  • Diving – Top 10 attributes of a world-class venue  -  February 19, 2015

    The design of a world-class diving venue requires understanding diving facility guidelines, diving competition rules, and the intricate interactions between divers and their environment. First and foremost, a dive facility must meet the minimum standards of the competition taking place. For example, the overhead clearance above the diving boards and platforms must be at least […]

  • Coaching and Counseling Staff  -  February 12, 2015

    In an ideal world, inspiring staff through our positive attitude and exemplary work ethic would be enough to teach them how to be outstanding employees, however, this is not reality.  Staff will make mistakes, choose not to work hard, and fail on multiple occasions.  Coaching and counseling staff does not take the place of discipline […]

  • Chemical Treatment Options For Commercial Pools  -  February 5, 2015

    All public swimming pools require sanitizing systems to eliminate microbes in the water to provide a healthy swimming environment.  There are many options available today and there are some common misconceptions regarding what systems are available and their relative merits.  The purpose of this overview is to provide some basic information about these systems and […]

  • Birthday Parties  -  January 29, 2015

    Hosting parties at your facility is an excellent way to bring in additional revenue with very little extra expense.  Developing a party program specific to your customers’ needs and the amenities of your facility is easier than you think. Evaluate Your Amenities and Options The type of facility you operate has an impact on the […]

  • Bather Loads  -  January 22, 2015

    Understanding bather load requirements in a swimming pool environment is all too often overlooked when designing an aquatic facility.  While design considerations for an aquatic facility are commonly related to architectural and engineering aspects, allowable bather loads can also have long term impacts to your facility operations. Bather load requirements generally vary amongst state swimming […]

  • Auditing Your Lifeguards  -  January 15, 2015

    Why Recognition is Difficult There is a common misconception that if the lifeguard is paying attention and seated on an elevated lifeguard stand, that they will easily be able to spot a struggling swimmer.  This could not be further from the truth.  Surface turbulence due to swimmers or wind, deep pools, and possible sight obstructions […]

  • Accessibility/ADA Pool Requirements  -  January 8, 2015

    The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.  The ADA requires that newly constructed and altered state and local government facilities, places of public accommodation, and commercial facilities are readily accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities.  The ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) […]

  • Weird Swimming Rules  -  January 2, 2015

    Starting From the Water The National Federation of State High School Association Rule Book states (Rule 2-7, Art. 2. Penalties: 3.) “When one or more starting platforms are not securely attached to the deck or end wall, all swimmers shall start in the water, or on the deck, provided the water depth rule is not […]

  • Pool Dye Test  -  October 28, 2014

    When you jump in a pool you assume the water is clean, chemically treated, filters, and safe…everywhere.  I’m not just talking about the water near the inlets or around the main drains, I’m talking clean and safe water everywhere in the pool.  Have you every stopped to wonder if there’s a test to ensure adequate […]

  • Cryotherapy Pools  -  October 16, 2014

    The cold plunge pool (cryotherapy pool) is often found in athletic training areas as a complementary pool to the warm pools and spas.  The purpose of the cold water pools is to reduce muscle inflammation after prolonged periods of exercise to reduce the recovery time for the muscle. Contrast therapy utilizes both a cold water […]

  • PlayCore Acquires Fountain People  -  September 29, 2014

     Chattanooga, TN – September, 29, 2014 – PlayCore Holdings, Inc. (PlayCore), a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of a broad range of play and recreation products and services, and a portfolio company of Sentinel Capital Partners, today announced the acquisition of Fountain People, Inc. and its aquatic playground division Water Odyssey. Fountain People, founded in […]

  • NEWSFLASH: The 1st Edition of the long-anticipated Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) has officially been released.  -  August 29, 2014

    Click here to download a copy. As the MAHC now moves into the next phase, local and state health jurisdictions will be able to implement all or portions of the code as seen fit.  The CDC will work with national partners to periodically update the MAHC to ensure it stays current with the latest industry advances and […]

  • You’re Not Alone! Facing and Fixing Today’s Aquatic Challenges  -  July 10, 2014

    As the president of the North Texas Aquatics Association, I recently surveyed our membership of aquatics’ professionals in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, as well as some of my colleagues on the World Waterpark Association’s Public Sector Committee, in order to find out what challenges and obstacles they currently face.  As the results came in, I […]

  • You want more competitive swimmers? Make swim meets shorter!!  -  June 20, 2014

    “If I had only one day left to live I would spend it at a swim meet because they last forever.” I’ve seen this on swimmers’ t-shirts at swim meets across the country, and I couldn’t agree more. I was recently visiting with USA Swimming in Colorado Springs when we began discussing how to get […]

  • Cloudy Water Solutions Checklist  -  June 7, 2014

    It’s that time of year again and as the summer season starts up many operators will have to deal with a nemesis to aquatic professionals around the globe, cloudy water! Before you just throw in some clarifier, here’s a quick checklist of items that you can take a look at if your water clouds up. […]

  • PlayCore Announces New Investment Partner  -  June 2, 2014

    Chattanooga, TN – May 30, 2014 – PlayCore is pleased to announce its acquisition by Sentinel Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm focusing on middle market investments. The company was previously held by Irving Place Capital (IPC). Based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, PlayCore is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of a broad range of […]

  • Pool Capacity  -  May 25, 2014

    We often get asked about capacity for pools during the planning process.  The challenge we find is there are different meanings for “capacity” depending on who you are talking to.  Sometimes people want to know how many people can fit in the pool, sometimes they want to know how many people they can allow in […]

  • Natatorium Acoustics  -  May 14, 2014

    Consideration must be given to acoustical problems that develop in a natatorium.  Structural features and finish materials should be selected that will absorb sound and reduce noise levels.  In this regard, it is recommended that acoustical building materials be used on the walls and in the ceiling of the natatorium and that other noise dampening […]

  • Protected: Swimming Pool Technologies  -  May 8, 2014

    There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

  • Pool Design Part 2 – Often Forgotten Elements of the Best Pools  -  April 4, 2014

    You can read about the science behind a good pool but what else goes into a facility to really make it great? It is easy when designing a pool to stop at the pumps controlling a pool and the hole you put in the ground but a truly good facility looks not only at the […]

  • Pool Design Part 1 – Fast Pools  -  March 31, 2014

    Every time a new pool is built or there is a high profile event, someone always seems to ask, what makes a fast pool? It is our job in the industry of building pools to make these Facilities the BEST they can be. Swimmers on the block should only be considering their efforts towards training […]

  • Model Aquatic Health Code “Knitted” Version Released for Final Round of Public Comments  -  March 28, 2014

    March 28, 2014 MAHC milestone reached! Today marks an important milestone in the development of the MAHC, the nation’s first science-based model guidance for swimming pools and other aquatic venues. The first complete “knitted” version of the MAHC has now been released for the MAHC’s second of two 60-day rounds of public comments. This knitted […]

  • Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) Review  -  March 24, 2014

    Many people have been asking: What is the current status of the MAHC and what is the best web site address to hit to see the current status of the modules for comments? Here’s a link to the CDC’s webpage so you can check the status on each module. Here’s a list of what […]

  • In Memory of Tom Abel  -  March 4, 2014

    Tom Abel passed away over the weekend.  Tom had a long relationship with the swimming community and Counsilman – Hunsaker. In 1997, he and his father, Ed were a part of a committee that was looking to help Columbia Falls, Montana build a new aquatic center.  Not long after the completion of this study, Tom joined […]

  • Where will the ISHOF end up?  -  February 27, 2014

    Ever since 1965 the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) has been located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After a 50-year contract with the city, ISHOF has decided to relocate in October 2015. Despite a renovated swimming complex slated for Fort Lauderdale on the same site, ISHOF said it isn’t part of their vision which is […]

  • How Bad is Peeing in the Pool?  -  February 18, 2014

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have an epidemic of aquatic proportions on our hands: one out of five people freely admit to peeing in our pools.  Even Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have gone on record stating they frequently pee in pools.  But it’s not their fault; in fact peeing in the pool is a physiologic […]

  • Pools are closing? An issue we should all be concerned about!  -  February 11, 2014

    Between 2005 and 2007 the Facilities Development Department at USA Swimming began noticing a trend in pool closings. In 2007 we started tracking the closings while keeping a short file on each one. The map of closings depicts a 2 year period between Spring 2011 and Spring 2013. There were almost 1,100 commercial or intuitional […]

  • Pool Plaster Spalling – Improper Installation or Poor Water Chemistry?  -  January 31, 2014

    Pool plaster is made up of cement, sand and water.  It is commonly troweled onto a concrete pool shell in 3 to 5 separate passes – the early passes to place the material and the later passes to create a smooth final finish.  After plaster is troweled, excess water will bleed to the surface.  Bleed […]

  • Revised MAHC Modules Posted: Disinfection & Water Quality, Regulatory  -  January 29, 2014

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent this bulletin on 1/24/2014 Thank you for your interest in the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), a collaborative effort of public health, academia, and industry working to protect individuals, families, and communities from preventable waterborne diseases and injuries through evidence-based guidance. Read below for the latest information. […]

  • Jim Mock, EcoLab, joins National Swimming Pool Foundation Board of Directors  -  January 20, 2014

    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, January 20, 2014 — The Board of Directors for non-profit  National Swimming Pool Foundation® elected one new Board member, Mr. Jim Mock, effective November 1, 2013. The Board and CEO Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D. welcomed Mr. Jim Mock, who joins a Board that governs the Foundation’s activities as they continue to further […]

  • IT’S NOT LIKE RIDING A BIKE  -  December 30, 2013

    Imagine that during a triathlon, a cyclist wrecked in the middle of the road, and everyone just stood around saying, “Poor guy.  Dude must have had a heart attack.  Or maybe he wasn’t all that good on a bike.  Nothing we can do now.”  Sound ridiculous?  Most people understand that just because a person knows […]

  • Revised MAHC Module Posted: Facility Design and Construction  -  December 20, 2013

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent this bulletin at 12/16/2013 04:05 PM EST December 16, 2013 Thank you for your interest in the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), a collaborative effort of public health, academia, and industry working to protect individuals, families, and communities from preventable waterborne diseases and injuries through evidence-based guidance. Read […]

  • 2014 Pool & Spa Operator™ Handbook Released  -  December 5, 2013

    The 2014 edition of the Pool & Spa Operator™ Handbook, published by non-profit National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®), is now available and includes important updates and a new look. Offered in English and Spanish with both U.S. and Metric units, this fundamental training and reference manual is including operators, health officials, service who help keep […]

  • Public Sector Waterpark Design  -  November 26, 2013

            Although public sector waterpark provenance dates back over 30 years, many counties and municipalities considering developing waterparks today struggle with defining exactly what waterpark is.  So, it is not unusual when dealing with the public sector that everything from a splash pad to a family aquatic center to a full blown waterpark be referred […]

  • Pool Covers: Helping You Prepare for Energy Savings  -  November 20, 2013

    Winter is fast approaching and as daily temperatures decrease, heating costs increase.  Whether you have an indoor aquatic facility or a year-round outdoor swimming pool, thoughtful consideration should be given to installing thermal pool covers on your swimming pool during non-operational hours.  Pool covers save money and reduce energy use.  They accomplish this by conserving […]

  • It’s not cheating if we change the rule!  -  October 22, 2013

    Regulations within any sport tend to change as science and technology progress.  It is understandable that advances in technology change the playing field and that, in sports, it is important to keep that playing field equal. Adding 2 buffer lanes to the course and increasing gutter depths to handle the large surge of water during […]

  • MAHC Recirculation Systems and Filtration (CH Comments)  -  October 17, 2013

    CDC posts the Model Aquatic Health Code’s module for Recirculation Systems and Filtration for public comment with a closing date of October 9, 2013. Hydrologicblog posted this announcement with the supporting documents. Recirculation Systems and Filtration The Counsilman – Hunsaker team posted a group response in support of the public comment requirements. This response can […]

  • How Confident A Swimmer Are YOU?  -  September 23, 2013

    While lifeguarding an open-water practice swim for about 200 people, I noticed two swimmers together, both women with their heads raised out of the water.  Since this is both a sign of and precursor to fatigue which can lead to swimming distress, I chose to warn them about crossing the upcoming canal, a 200-yard stretch […]

  • MAHC Recirculation Systems and Filtration  -  September 19, 2013

    CDC posts the Model Aquatic Health Code’s module for Recirculation Systems and Filtration for public comment with a closing date of October 9, 2013. To view the latest updates regarding the Model Aquatic Health Code go to The Recirculation Systems and Filtration module was initially released earlier this summer for public comment but has […]

  • Going the Distance  -  September 17, 2013

    In the early morning hours of September 2, 2009, Maury McKinney stood on the dock in Center Harbor on Lake Winnipesaukee. The dark, still water rippled under him as he pulled his goggles over his eyes and took a deep breath. He launched his sleek body like a torpedo into the lake, starting a 42-mile […]

  • Pool Waterproofing  -  September 11, 2013

    Swimming pool vessels are intended to hold water without leaking.  Therefore regardless of the materials of construction, success is measured by having a watertight vessel across all surfaces, joints, and penetrations.  The effect of a swimming pool leaking water could be minimal or catastrophic. Waterproofing through materials of construction:  The structural design of the concrete […]

  • Riding the Waves in Pennsylvania  -  August 29, 2013

    Years ago Shawnee Mountain, a ski resort, in East Stroudsburg, Pa., had an outdoor waterpark and found it to be a worthwhile investment, as well as a popular amenity with guests. However, Shawnee’s park, built in 1981, was outdoors, limiting its seasonal availability, and fell into disrepair. The resort had to make a tough decision: […]

  • Current at the 2013 FINA World Championship Aquatic Center  -  August 15, 2013

    We recently heard rumors originating from the pool deck of the 2013 FINA World Swimming Championships regarding a possible ‘current’ in the competition pool while competition was taking place. The current was rumored to be such that lanes 7 and 8 were at a disadvantage when swimming away from the finishing end of the pool […]

  • Music Videos: Swimmer Re-mix!  -  July 22, 2013

    For years musicians have been featuring pools as center pieces for their music videos. The problem is that swimming hasn’t been the focus, it’s been the partying and extravagance being showcased. Recently lifeguards, swimmers, and even pool maintenance professionals have gotten into the mix and have made aquatics the true center piece. Here is a […]

  • Design Tools: A Moving Target  -  July 18, 2013

    As a design consultant, Counsilman-Hunsaker is faced with various new design tools across multiple platforms and by different design professionals. For instance, Counsilman-Hunsaker uses AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, 3ds Max Design and other modeling/design software all on a regular basis.  Additionally, all of these programs have several different versions. To ensure we remain at the forefront […]

  • Alternatives to Your Local Pool  -  July 10, 2013

    Summertime and the livin’s easy, or so it is said.  With much of the country in a heat wave, people nationwide are looking for ways to cool off.  With an estimated 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools in the United States1, approximately 20% of the general public participates in some type of aquatic […]

  • Making a Splash in a Tough Economy – Ski Area Waterparks Add to Family Fun and Revenues  -  July 3, 2013

    I stood inside the clear tube, my heart pounding in my chest.  A speaker above my head counted down. “Three. Two. One. Drop.” The floor swung out from beneath me, dropping me into the near-vertical tube of the 60-foot high La Chute waterslide, a harrowing inverted-loop ride that pulls sliders at up to 50 feet […]

  • Great Aquatic Venues  -  June 24, 2013

    What do Americans love more than a Top 10 list?  I would argue, not much outside of puppy dogs, apple pie, and nauseating reality television.  So, to kick off the summer swim season, the website recently released their contribution to this slice of Americana with their following list of the Top 10 “Must Visit […]

  • A 3-Year-Old Swimming 50 Meters Twice? Just a “Life Skill” With Video  -  June 20, 2013

    Note:  Orginally published by Swimming World Magazine.  See link at the bottom for original article. WATCHING a 3-year-old jump into a pool and splash around the water is nothing new. But to see a child of that age swimming the length of a 50-meter pool twice is a rare sight to behold. Bruce Wigo, the […]

  • NSF and UV – Changes throught the years  -  June 17, 2013

    NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) was founded in 1944 to standardize sanitation and food safety requirements. Today, it has evolved into an accredited, independent third party certification body that tests and certifies products to verify that they meet public health and safety standards. The NSF is made up of many different divisions covering a wide range […]

  • How to make your bathhouse a better place to go  -  June 10, 2013

    Is your bathhouse a pleasant place to be?  Are you able to keep it clean?  Does your bathhouse have adequate capacity for your venue?  Does it provide sufficient accessibility for the disabled?  Do you have space dedicated for families to use? While it is hard for any manager to say yes to all of these […]

  • Do You need a CPO®?  -  June 3, 2013

    When I joined TMI, I had never heard of a Certified Pool Operator (CPO®). I had no idea they existed.  People really undertake training and education just to take care of a pool? Why? I’d seen my grandfather squint at a pink sample of pool water and throw a few more pucks of chlorine into […]

  • World Diving Trials held at FSU  -  May 29, 2013

    The 2013 World Championship team for the United States has been selected as USA Diving’s trials came to a close Monday, May 20th at Florida State University’s Morcom Aquatics Center in Tallahassee, FL.  In all, 15 divers will compete for Team USA at the worlds in Barcelona in July.  For a complete list of all […]

  • LISP Publication  -  May 20, 2013

    I recently submitted a nice LISP routine to Cadalyst that I felt was worth sharing with others that may share the same disgust as I did in having to manually go into your settings and change things over and over again just to make a quick WMF file.  Whether you create WMF files on a […]

  • “Ownership Models” of USA Swimming Club Teams  -  May 2, 2013

      There are currently three primary organizational or ownership models for USA Swimming Clubs.  The first is the club that is in partnership with a certain facility or institution.  A second, sometimes-similar structure is a program that is run by a booster organization – essentially by the parents of the participating athletes.  The third, which […]

  • Protected: Aquatic Business Plan  -  April 30, 2013

    There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

  • Are Aquatic Wheel Chairs Flawed?  -  April 30, 2013

    The Americans with Disabilities Act Regulations for public swimming pools define two primary means of access for aquatic facilities. These are swimming pool lifts and sloped entries.   The reason that these two means of access are designated as primary is that they can provide assistance to a wider variety of users then the secondary […]

  • Is Lochte’s Reality Show Good for the Sport?  -  April 24, 2013

    Premiering this past Sunday on E! television channel, What Would Ryan Lochte Do? is Ryan’s latest project out of the pool.  But the questions I’ve been asked by friends (and beginning to ask myself) “Is What Would Ryan Lochte Do? good for the sport of swimming” and “Is Ryan Lochte the best person to represent […]

  • Design-Bid-Build or Design-Build?  -  April 23, 2013

    Communities responsible for the creation of a new swimming pool and natatorium are often faced with choosing between a conventional AIA protocol of design programming, schematic design, design development and construction documents, bidding and construction administration as compared to negotiating with a sole source package pool installer (design-build).  One must be knowledgably about different manufacturers […]

  • I Think  -  April 2, 2013

    Joe Hunsaker always taught us to do your homework and only provide answers you know are right.  If you don’t know the answer, then admit it and follow up once you do.  Often times, people fall into the “I think” or the “I don’t think” syndrome.  Far too often people make decisions based upon assumptions […]

  • Tropical Resort in Germany? What about the US?  -  March 21, 2013

    Let me paint a picture for you: it’s the middle of winter and the streets of Berlin are covered in snow.  You and your family are ready for a tropical get away, yet the closest ocean is over 100 miles away and the Baltic Sea doesn’t quite count as a “tropical” destination.  Fortunately less than […]

  • Will the Olympics Come Back to the US?  -  February 26, 2013

    2024 is eleven years away but that hasn’t deterred the US Olympic Committee (USOC) from thinking about the future.  After a two repeated failed bid attempts (New York City in 2012 and Chicago 2016), the USOC recently sent letters to 35 mayors, inviting them to consider bidding for the 2024 Olympics. “Our objective in this […]

  • PPG Commodity Chemicals Business Merger  -  February 24, 2013

    Effective January 28th, 2013, PPG Industries, Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA) manufacturer of the Accu-Tab® Chlorination Systems separated from its commodity chemicals business which was then  merged with Georgia Gulf Corporation (Atlanta, GA) to form a  new company, Axiall Corporation.  Axiall is expected to have annual revenues of approximately $5 billion and be the third-largest chlor-alkali producer […]

  • Wings and Waves Waterpark is a “Must See” Attraction in McMinnville, Oregon  -  February 20, 2013

    When you think of a swimming pool, you likely think of a rectangular pool; not very fun.  But ask someone in McMinnville, Oregon to describe a swimming pool and the answer will be wildly different.  Recently featured in American Builders Quarterly, Wings and Waves indoor waterpark is not your average pool.  With water slides launching […]

  • Scot Hunsaker Receives the Prestigious Power 25 Recognition  -  February 13, 2013

    Power 25 Recipient – Scot Hunsaker was named as one of the industry’s most powerful professionals in Aquatics International 2013 He follows in the wake of his notable father Joe Hunsaker, who built on a collegiate swim career to establish a regional pool management company and then the aquatic design firm Counsilman-Hunsaker. But Scot Hunsaker, […]

  • Deborah Phelps to Keynote 2013 World Aquatic Health Conference  -  February 5, 2013

    Counsilman – Hunsaker will be sponsoring Deborah Phelps Keynote session at the World Aquatic Health Conference to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, October 16 – 10, 2013. Ms. Phelps, an educator and author of the book, A Mother for All Seasons, is also America’s most well-known “Swim Mom”.  She is a highly sought after motivational […]

  • Short and Long Span Pool Structures  -  January 24, 2013

    An indoor aquatic center is a building consisting of two or more rooms.  One room is the natatorium, which contains one or more pools.  Indoor short span natatoria house short course pools and have a narrow width, around 100 feet.   Such a space can accommodate all types of pools as long as their widths are […]

  • NSPF Evolves to Foster Greater Impact  -  January 5, 2013

    The Board of Directors for non-profit      National Swimming Pool Foundation® elected new officers, announced the retirement of one Board member, and appointed three new Board members. All changes took effect on November 1, 2012. Mr. D. Scot Hunsaker, President, Counsilman-Hunsaker & Associates, St. Louis, Missouri, was elected President of the Board. He succeeds Mr. John […]

  • What To Include In A Dryland Training Diving Facility  -  December 31, 2012

    USA Diving currently lacks a world class dry land training facility in the country although many clubs and entrepreneur coaches have established several excellent facilities but below the standards of the major international countries. The main reason is that the foreign countries have their trampolines, springboards and pits sunken in the ground. This is good […]

  • Yards vs. Meters vs. Meters  -  December 24, 2012

    Every wonder why competitive swimming has three (3) different courses of play; short course yards, short course meters, and long course meters.  And why are there two different “mile” races, 1650-yards and 1500-meters? And for the record, a mile is closer to 1600-meters or 1750-yards.  America is the only country on the planet using the […]

  • CannonDesign – Cost Trends  -  December 20, 2012

    As most of us know in the recreation design industry, CannonDesign is a multidisciplinary international design firm.  Cannon’s December newsletter focuses on economic trends impacting design and construction.  It reviews unemployment rates, Non-residential Construction, GDP, futures, and construction cost values.  For those interested in a crystal ball look into 2013, I encourage you to take […]

  • Bench Strength  -  December 17, 2012

    Counsilman – Hunsaker continues to expand its ownership structure to support the future of the aquatic industry.  Since our beginning in 1970, the Counsilman – Hunsaker team has combined the art of innovation and the science of swimming to create the best aquatics centers in the world.  To build on this strong foundation, in the […]

  • The MAHC: Evolution or Revolution for the Future?  -  December 17, 2012

    I heard a thought leader, a friend, take  issue with adoption of the CDC  Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) since it’s being  positioned as an “evolution” in design and operations rather than a needed  “revolution.” Half of the United States is not united on requiring  that the person operating the public pool have any verifiable […]

  • Modern Swimming Pool Concrete and It’s Ancient Past  -  December 10, 2012

    Beneath the water and under the plaster and tile finish lays the fundamental element in most swimming pools: concrete. It has been used to reinforce a pool’s structural shell for over 2,500 years; the Ancient Romans were the first to use it in their baths. But what is it about concrete that has kept it […]

  • World Class Diving Facility  -  December 5, 2012

    A world class diving facility in the 21st century has forced changes in diving pool designs in the past 15 years. This is largely due to the advent of synchronized diving and also because of an increase in International competitions around the world forcing Countries to either build new pools or renovate existing facilities to […]

  •  -  December 3, 2012

    The ninth World Aquatic Health Conference and Aquatic Physical Therapy Summit was held for the first time in Norfolk, Virginia, and organizers report a strong attendance, with 412 attendees, holding close to last year’s record-setting event in Seattle. The World Aquatic Health Conference is recognized as the leading global aquatic research forum.  “This year’s conference was […]

  • The Importance of Dry Land Training  -  November 26, 2012

    Diving in the 21st Century has developed to a new level of excellence. In order to win a high level competition, an athlete must perform high degree of difficulty dives with the highest quality. Consistency and precision are the indicators of high quality dives and for a diver to perform at this level, the answer […]

  • What To Do When Your Pool Leaks  -  November 22, 2012

    A leaking pool is a problem…for everybody. How do you find the leak or leaks, and then how do you fix the problem? Following a plan can often reduce time and frustration.  A good strategy for finding one leak is the following: 1.      Identify the most likely sources of a leak in a pool: a)  A […]

  • WhiteWater Acquires Apptivations  -  November 19, 2012

    WhiteWater announced the acquisition of Apptivations ata the IAAPA Expo.  Apptivations develops apps that focus on story telling or educational interactive games.  Waterparks are apart of a growing app world.



  • Intra-Individual Head Depth Variability During the Competitive Swiim Start  -  November 14, 2012

    In the November 2012 issue of the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, research completed by Andres C. Cornett, Hiroki Naganobori, and Joel M. Stager is presented racing starts and water depth.  This information is timely given the recent discussions prompted by the Model Aquatic Health Code.  This study researches the potential for injury when […]

  • ADA Update  -  November 12, 2012

    The revision to the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 2010, published in the Federal Register on September 15, 2010, and went into effect on March 15, 2011. Full compliance with the regulations was originally slated for March 15, 2012. In January, 2012, the Department of Justice released a Technical […]

  • Built on Evidence  -  November 8, 2012

    The MAHC Facility Design & Construction Module aims to fill holes other codes don’t address and provide scientifically based best practices. See where the recommendations have the largest impact. The following article was published in Aquatics International in the November / December 2012 Issue The goal of the Model Aquatic Health Code is to codify […]

  • Indian Tribe Takes The Plunge  -  November 5, 2012

    In May of 2012, Soaring Eagle Waterpark & Hotel held their grand opening for the newly completed 243 room hotel which features a 45,000 sq. ft. indoor water park. Built to accommodate 850 fun and thrill seekers, this could just another joint venture hotel/waterpark. However what sets Soaring Eagle apart, is not the multiple indoor/outdoor […]

  • Swimming Pool Design and Flexibility of Utilization  -  November 1, 2012

    The following presentation was presented at the FINA World Aquatics Convention held in Moscow Russia on October 31, 2012 What is the definition of Success for a Swimming Pool?  It may depend on who you ask. For the Athlete it may be to create an environment that allows them to do their lifetime best.  This may […]

  • APSP Announces CEO Search  -  October 22, 2012

    The Board of Directors of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) announces that it has begun search efforts for a successor to President and Chief Executive Officer William Weber, in preparation for his planned departure in late 2013. Appointed in 2005, Weber also serves as ex officio member of the APSP Board and […]

  • Lawrence Hans Swimming Pool Leader Passes Away  -  October 17, 2012

    Lawrence (Honky) Hans, age 90, of San Antonio, died on Monday, October 15, 2012. He was a 1939 graduate of Central Catholic High School. Lawrence then went on to serve our country in WWII, first as an aviation cadet and then was a Staff Sergeant in the Infantry during the European Theatre. He was a […]

  • MAHC Lifeguarding & Bather Supervision  -  October 14, 2012

    The CDC posted the Lifeguarfding & Bather Supervision Model Aquatic Health Code Module for public comment on July 20, 2012 with a due date of October 14, 2012. Hydrologicblog posted this announcement with the supporting documents. Lifeguarding & Bather Supervision The Counsilman – Hunsaker team posted a group response in support of the public comment requirements. This […]

  • MAHC Facility Design and Construction Module – Counsilman Hunsaker Response  -  October 13, 2012

    The CDC posted the Facility Design and Construction Model Aquatic Health Code Module for public comment on July 20, 2012 with a due date of October 14, 2012. Hydrologicblog posted this announcement with the supporting documents. Facility Design and Construction Module The Counsilman – Hunsaker team posted a group response in support of the public comment […]

  • Chocolate Milk  -  October 9, 2012

    Sport nutritionists recommend that endurance athletes performing two workouts a day should ingest carbohydrates immediately following the first training session to rapidly replenish muscle glycogen. To meet this need, many nutritional products have been marketed as carbohydrate replacement drinks (CR) or fluid replacement drinks (FR) containing less carbohydrate. Since chocolate milk has a similar carbohydrate […]

  • Swimming Energy Expenditure  -  October 4, 2012

    The National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (2002) indicated that 61.3% of the population, aged 16 years or older, participates in some form of swimming activity. Given the participation numbers and popularity of swimming as a fitness and training activity, there is a need for an accurate, inexpensive method to quantify energy expended while […]

  • More Important Than The Gold  -  September 30, 2012

    The following commentary by Joe Hunsaker was published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1996 leading up to the Atlanta Olympics. Despite their revered tradition, the Olympic Games can’t escape the sins of society, nor can they avoid the debate regarding the role of athletic competition in our society. From the highest levels of professional […]

  • Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex – Swimming Hall of Fame  -  September 25, 2012

    The following press release was issued by the City of Fort Lauderdale on September 21, 2012 The renovation of the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex – home of the International Swimming Hall of Fame – has received the critical go-ahead from the City Commission. I’m pleased to announce that the Commission approved this week an agreement […]

  • Aging, Health and Well Being of United States Master Swimmers  -  September 21, 2012

    To see if United States Masters Swimmers (USMS) had a more favorable health status than the general population, the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming, led by Dr. Joel Stager, conducted research at the 2004 United States Masters Swimming Championships. The subjects, who averaged 4.7 hours moderate and 7.1 hours of vigorous activity per […]

  • I Think  -  September 18, 2012

    When working with a group be careful of the “I think” or the “I don’t think” syndrome.  The majority of people make decisions based upon assumptions which are backed up with presumptions and not based upon facts.   “I don’t think I will go to jail.” – John Gotti   “I don’t think the Chinese reds will […]

  • Angled Wedge-Shaped Footrest For Starting Blocks  -  September 13, 2012

    About 18 months ago FINA approved starting blocks with an angled wedge-shaped footrest on the back edge.  The idea is that athletes will have the advantage of producing more force from the blocks and therefore faster starts/races.  In addition to the wedge some manufacturers are able to provide side handles on the blocks that athletes […]

  • Doc Counsilman’s Curiosity Continues  -  September 12, 2012

    Racing start velocity, body shaving, drag forces, and drinking chocolate milk for a quicker recovery after workouts are just a few of the subjects Joel Stager and his team of researchers at Indiana University’s Counsilman Center have been studying. The researchers are carrying on the work of James “Doc” Counsilman, regarded as one of the […]

  • Neptune-Benson Acquires ETS  -  September 11, 2012

    On September 10, 2012, it was announces that Engineered Treatment Systems LLC (ETS) was acquired by Neptune Benson.  The management team is said to remain in place going forward.  ETS will continue to operate out of thier location in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

  • Swimming Is A Healthy Ingredient To Life  -  September 10, 2012

    During the past several years it has felt that the swimming industry has been under attack – Federal Mandates – Changing Code – etc.  What has been missing in these industry discussions is the risk / reward analysis regarding the health benefits of swimming.  In this months issue of Aquatic International I share my thoughts on unintended consquences […]

  • Minimum Water Depths Under Starting Blocks  -  September 5, 2012

    On July 20, 2012, the Facility Design and Construction Model for the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) was posted for public comment due October 14, 2012.  In section a single sentence could change the industry standard for minimum depths  under starting blocks to 6 feet and 7 inches for a distance of 20 feet.  […]

  • Tom Saldarelli To Work With Spectrum Aquatics and Colorado Time Systems  -  September 5, 2012

    Spectrum Aquatics and Colorado Time Systems have announced the addition of industry expert Tom Saldarelli to their staff.  Tom brings to the company more than 30 years of experience in the aquatics industry. “All of us are excited to have Tom on board.  His depth of knowledge and solid background in strategic business growth will further […]

  • Trainer speaks of the ‘Phelps performance legacy’ for aquatic sports  -  September 4, 2012

    Michael Phelps’ personal athletic trainer believes the American swimmer’s scintillating performances in the pool have helped to transform aquatics forever. Keenan Robinson has been credited with being part of the team that helped to mould Phelps into the greatest swimmer of all time Robinson, who has helped to oversee Phelps’ development at the North Baltimore […]

  • Birmingham CrossPlex To Host NCAA Division II Swimming Championships  -  August 31, 2012

    The NCAA has announced that they will be hosting the Men’s & Women’s NCAA Division II Championships at the Brimingham CrossPlex.  The Birmingham CrossPlex is a world-class facility designed for three primary sports: indoor track and field, volleyball, and competitive swimming and diving. Located just two miles from theBirmingham-SouthernCollegecampus, the Birmingham CrossPlex is proud to […]

  • Joe Hunsaker – College Senior  -  August 29, 2012

    Note to Reader: Dad has written a memoir he has shared with the family. This document is around 500 pages and covers most of the significant events of his life. He wrote about his college swimming experience and we will be sharing these as blog posts (Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years) over the next […]

  • Illinois Governor Signs Swimming Pool Code Into Law  -  August 27, 2012

    In a April 30, 2012 post on Hydrologic titled “Illinois Swimming Facility Legislation in Final Stages of Passage” we discussed significant changes in the swimming pool code for the state of Illinois.  In June, Bill SB3727  passed both the House and Senate and sent to the Governor on June 29, 2012.  The Govenor approved the […]

  • A Different Approach to Rehabilitating our Wounded Soldiers  -  August 23, 2012

    The cost of war is high.  As of April 2012, approximately 633,000 veterans — one out of every four of the 2.3 million who served in Iraq and Afghanistan — have a service-connected disability, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.    Returning US veterans, who have sacrificed so much for their country, are challenged to not only […]

  • Results – 2012 Olympic Swim Predications  -  August 21, 2012

    As a follow up to our previous post regarding the expected results of the 2012 Olympic swim competition, this post will present 1) the results of the prediction and 2) speculation as to why the results were what they were. Prior to 2008, the prediction model successfully predicted 87% of the mean top-eight performances for […]

  • Relative to the structural design of swimming pools, which codes and standards apply?  -  August 20, 2012

    All fifty states adopt the International Building Code (IBC) as their model code. IBC is published by the International Codes Council. Most states also have a “state specific” code, as well as some cities. Within IBC, Reference Standards are used. These Reference Standards are material-specific or use-specific, typically written by industry organizations. So, the code […]

  • NSPF Awards $17,000 in Scholorships to Nine Students  -  August 17, 2012

    Nine university students have been awarded a total of $17,000 in Scholarships and Fellowships by the National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®) Board of Directors for the year 2012-­‐2013. The board has funded these two award programs annually, now entering their ninth year. As the economy continues to be soft, and educational funding programs continue to […]

  • Joe Hunsaker – College – Summer of 1958  -  August 16, 2012

    Note to Reader: Dad has written a memoir he has shared with the family. This document is around 500 pages and covers most of the significant events of his life. He wrote about his college swimming experience and we will be sharing these as blog posts (Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years) over the next […]

  • Counsilman – Hunsaker Continues Partnership with FINA World Aquatics Convention  -  August 13, 2012

    Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), based in Lausanne, Switzerland is the sole worldwide sports organization governing swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, water polo open water swimming and Masters swimming. FINA has signed a partnership agreement with Counsilman – Hunsaker for the 2nd FINA World Aquatics Convention to be held in Moscow, Russia, October 29 – November […]

  • Shotcrete  -  August 13, 2012

    Many people use different definitions for the term “Shotcrete”. To clarify, the International Building Code (IBC), Section 1910 clearly defines “Shotcrete” as “…a mortar or concrete that is pneumatically projected at high velocity onto a surface.” The American Concrete Institute (ACI) ACI 506 (Guide to Shotcrete) further defines shotcrete as a “wet-mix” process and “gunite” […]

  • Fear substantially limits the participation in aquatic activity  -  August 11, 2012

    Change is  hard. Fear makes change even harder. A study performed by Gallup (n=815) and  presented at the 2008 World Aquatic Health™ Conference by Melon Dash  indicates that 64% of Americans are afraid in deep, open water (lakes, rivers,  ocean,…). Forty six percent are afraid in deep water in pools. Even 39% are  afraid to […]

  • May the Force Not Be With You  -  August 8, 2012

    Swimmers not only compete against each other but against drag force. Fluid dynamics is the science of dealing with the pressure of fluid flow. In competitive swimming it’s the force that resists the motion of a body moving through the water. Thrust pushes the swimmer forward and drag is the resistance of the water to […]

  • London Olympics Shows Aquatics’ Global Appeal  -  August 7, 2012

    Michael Phelps became the most successful Olympian of all time to cap a stunning opening few days of action in the pool at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The American won a record 19th Olympic medal as he helped the US team to gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay. “I just started to smile with […]

  • Ketchikan Alaska Opens Gateway Aquatic Center  -  August 2, 2012

    A project years in the making, the new Gateway Aquatic Center held their Grand Opening on Saturday July 28th, 2012 to much affair.  Following the official ribbon cutting was the much anticipated “Big Splash,” where 100 lucky ticket winners simultaneously jumped into the pools, marking the official opening of the new $24 million dollar aquatic […]

  • Measuring The Olympic Aquatic Facility Course  -  August 1, 2012

    If you’ve been watching the Olympic swimming events, you’ve probably been noticing all the exciting finishes and as the athletes win their medals.  What you have likely missed is the tiny target marking on the edge of each lane.  This target is what the surveyor uses to accurately measure the length of the pool each […]

  • Evergreen McMinnville on Heading for Continued Success  -  July 31, 2012

    The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum has successfully added to its 20 year history with a mission “To inspire and educate, to promote and preserve aviation and space history, and to honor the patriotic service of our veterans.”  The significant expansion completed in 2011 included the addition of a unique learning based water park experience.  […]

  • 2012 Olympic Swim Predictions  -  July 26, 2012

    The Counsilman Center for Science and Swimming makes 2012 Olympic Swim Predictions (Men1, Men2, Men3, Men4, Men5 & Women).  Swimming enthusiasts should expect only a few new World records in London this summer as competitors must forego the now-­‐banned “flotation suits,” the expensive and controversial full-­‐body swim suits that nearly all the swimmers wore at the 2008 […]

  • The Pool and Spa Industry can Shine by “Making it Magical!”  -  July 25, 2012

    About 15 years ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Disney Institute at Walt Disney World in Florida with hundreds of professional pool retailers and service companies. I’m not sure one thing they taught is still true, but I think it is. I’ll find out for sure when I follow up with a neighbor […]

  • Joe Hunsaker – College Junior  -  July 25, 2012

    Note to Reader: Dad has written a memoir he has shared with the family. This document is around 500 pages and covers most of the significant events of his life. He wrote about his college swimming experience and we will be sharing these as blog posts (Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years) over the next […]

  • PlayCore Acquires Colorado Time Systems  -  July 24, 2012

    Two big players in the aquatic industry are now one.  PlayCore Holdings, Inc. a designer, manufacturer, and marketer of a broad range of play and recreation products, announced its acquisition  of  Colorado Time Systems.  Anita Sayed will continue to be responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations as well as its future growth and expansion. Operations will continue […]

  • Contamination Burden Module Just Released For Public Comment  -  July 24, 2012

    The Contamination Burden module for the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) has just been posted by the CDC on July 20, 2012 for public comment. This module is unusual in that there is no code section.  . The deadline for public comments is October 14, 2012. Counsilman-Hunsaker strongly encourages everyone in the aquatic community to […]

  • What Is A Bulkhead?  -  July 23, 2012

     A bulkhead is a structure that can separate a pool into different sections.  Typically these structures are moveable in the United States to allow the pool to be adjusted to accommodate different field of play (Yards and Meters).  For example, in a 50 meter pool with 2 movable bulkheads there can be as many as […]

  • Lifeguarding/Bather Supervision Module Open For Public Comment  -  July 21, 2012

    The Lifeguarding/Bather Supervision Module for the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) was posted by the CDC on May 31, 2012 for public comment.  With most of the seasonal pools in the United States opening that week, we suspect that many industry professionals may have  missed the posting, including us.  The deadline for public comments is October […]

  • Facility Design & Construction Module MAHC  -  July 20, 2012

    The Facility Design & Construction module for the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) has just been posted by the CDC today, July 20, 2012 for public comment. This module will likely have the greatest impact for the design, regulatory and construction community and not as much for operators as other modules. The deadline for public […]

  • University of Tennessee Hosts U.S. Olympic Team  -  July 18, 2012

    The Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center at the University of Tennessee is currently hosting the 2012 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Olympic Swimming Teams for a last-minute training camp as part of their final preparations for London later this month.  The aquatic design and engineering of the state-of-the-art facility was done by Counsilman-Hunsaker and opened up […]

  • London Olympics to showcase strength of aquatic sports  -  July 16, 2012

    FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu interview FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu believes the London 2012 Olympic Games will demonstrate to the sporting world the passion, talent, excitement and innovation of the burgeoning aquatics sector. As one of the driving forces of the Olympic Movement, aquatics have unsurprisingly been amongst the hottest tickets at the Games. […]

  • Ithaca College Athletic and Events Center Designed To Meet LEED Gold Certification  -  July 12, 2012

    The Ithaca College AEC which includes a 47,000 sq. ft. aquatics pavilion designed by Moody Nolan with Counsilman-Hunsaker has been designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification.  Within the aquatics facility is a 50 meter by 25 yard pool with movable floor providing the flexibility of shallow and deep water […]

  • Joe Hunsaker – College Sophmore  -  July 11, 2012

    Note to Reader: Dad has written a memoir he has shared with the family. This document is around 500 pages and covers most of the significant events of his life. He wrote about his college swimming experience and we will be sharing these as blog posts (Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years) over the next […]

  • Spectator Seating Basics  -  July 10, 2012

    Spectator seating is more often associated with natatoria than with outdoor pools that are used primarily for recreation. Spectator seating is universally associated with competition in any sport. For swimming, the seating shall be located with viewing from the side of the course so the spectator can follow the race, water polo matches and synchronized […]

  • Are Your Arms Paddles or Propellers?  -  July 8, 2012

    For decades swimmers have been taught that freestyle, AKA “front crawl,” involves keeping their elbows high and using their arms to make an S-shaped pattern underwater.  Known as “sculling,” this technique was developed by Doc Counsilman and helped Indiana University win 6 consecutive NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships (1968–1973) and 20 consecutive (1961–1980) Big […]

  • Joe Hunsaker – College Freshmen  -  July 3, 2012

    Note to Reader: Dad has written a memoir he has shared with the family. This document is around 500 pages and covers most of the significant events of his life. He wrote about his college swimming experience and we will be sharing these as blog posts (Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years) over the next […]

  • National Swimming Pool Foundation Headquarters & Operations  -  June 30, 2012

    As most of you know, Colorado Springs experienced the huge Waldo Canyon Fire this past week. The NSPF Headquarters and all systems have been shifted to an alternate location so we can continue to effectively serve you. We are so thankful for all the firefighters who have chosen to leave their homes to try and […]

  • Mayor Bloomberg Dives In With The Opening Of McCarren Pool  -  June 29, 2012

    Yesterday NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg welcomed Brooklyn locals to the Grand Re-Opening of McCarren Park Pool.  Originally opened in 1936, this monumental pool measuring 100-meters by 50-meters served the borough until 1984 when it finally closed its doors. After years of neglect, the pool found new life as a venue for non-aquatic activities including dodge […]


    Competitive swimmers execute headfirst dive entries from starting blocks into pools where water depths can vary. If the swimmer’s head strikes the bottom of a pool, this could result in damage to the cervical vertebrae, thus may result in quadriplegia. This was a significant topic of conversation in the industry in the early 1980s when […]

  • What Gets Built First – Pool or Building?  -  June 26, 2012

    When constructing an indoor pool, we are often asked what get built first the building or pool?  In the cold winter belt, if construction starts in the summer or early fall, contractors frequently erect the natatorium shell with its roof, before the pool is dug.  In this scenario, the dirt floor at deck level can […]

  • Illinois Swimming Pool Code Passes House and Senate  -  June 25, 2012

    In a April 30, 2012 post on Hydrologic titled “Illinois Swimming Facility Legislation in Final Stages of Passage” we discussed significant changes in the swimming pool code for the state of Illinois.  According the the Illinois General Assembly website, Bill SB3727 has passed both the House and Senate and now requires the Governor’s signature to […]

  • Counsilman – Hunsaker’s Beginning  -  June 25, 2012

    After a successful swimming career that spanned high school and college and then receiving an honorable discharge as a First Lieutenant from the US Army, Dad went to work for Midwest Pool and Court Company in St. Louis.  In this position he focused on residential and commercial pools offering everything from design and construction to […]

  • Lightning – Making an Informed Decision  -  June 20, 2012

    One of the responsibilities of an Aquatic Facility Manager is to make an informed decision on when it is safe to swim.  This includes the quality of the water, risk management support and the presence of bad weather.  It is not uncommon for our firm to be consulted by aquatic facility operators when developing a […]

  • The Best Health Insurance  -  June 19, 2012

    My advanced education in chemistry never prepared me to make wise decisions  relative to small business healthcare decisions.  After working on health insurance for our  team for seven years in a row, it seems this is the way the world is going –  until the Supreme Court decides otherwise.   I can only pray that divine […]

  • Welch Pool a Hit in Summer Sun  -  June 18, 2012

    Counsilman – Hunsaker worked with the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority for the renovation of the William L. Welch Community Swimming Pool.  That facility was completed in May 2011.  The following article was recently published in the StateCollege News.   The William L. Welch Community Swimming Pool complex has been a big splash with […]

  • Does the Commercial Swimming Pool Industry Have a Voice?  -  June 15, 2012

    I was recently asked by a friend and leader in the aquatic industry to comment on the Pool Genius Network blog titled “Fix The APSP”.  The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP – formerly NSPI) has a long history of supporting the swimming pool industry.  Over the years it has had to adjust and […]

  • Doc Counsilman – One Of Ernie’s Boys  -  June 15, 2012

    Jim attended the St. Louis public Blewett High School, which disappeared 60years ago. He was a poor student and reportedly graduated 103 out of 109 in his class. He excelled in track and was elected captain for his leadership..….there was no pool. Finding employment after graduation, during the depression, was not easy and his first […]

  • Energy Savings = VFD  -  June 13, 2012

    Most health codes require a minimum frequency for filtering the water (turnover) in a commercial swimming pool and many of these codes also mandate the engineering solution for resistance (total dynamic head – TDH) in these systems.  The TDH assumptions are often conservative resulting in the selected pump being larger than required to move the […]

  • Pentair and Del Ozone  -  June 12, 2012

    Pentair has entered into an exclusive sales and marketing agreement with Del Ozone to be the Sales and Marketing arm for their commercial ozone systems for commercial swimming pools.

  • Architectural Showcase Announced  -  June 12, 2012

    Athletic Business has sponsored the Architectural Showcase which recognizes the best in recently constructed athletic, recreation and fitness facilities.  These facilities are judged by a panel of leading sports facility architects which choose 10 to recieve the annual Facility of Merit Award.  Over the years, Counsilman – Hunsaker has been honored by recieving over 25 Facility of […]

  • Industry Awards Announced  -  June 6, 2012

    The 2012 NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Awards have been announced.  NIRSA Awards acknowledge service, leadership, research, and innovation within recreational sports in higher education today.  These awards ceremony was held March 27 – 30 in Tampa, Florida.  Center for Recreation and Sport Adelphi University (Architect: Cannon Design)   Student Recreation & Wellness Center Ball State University (Architect: […]

  • Positive Impact For Aquatics  -  June 1, 2012

    Over the past decade, meaningful research has positively impacted the aquatics industry, but additional research is needed.  Areas of additional research are being identified, with many coming from the Model Health Code initiative.  Recent areas of study have included: Supervising Young Children at Public Pools Land-Based vs Underwater Treadmills in Aquatic Exercise Lifeguard Perceptions of […]

  • Stirrups  -  June 1, 2012

    Counsilman – Hunsaker is always developing innovations in the design of pools and their support features. Recently a team member has written a paper about the design of elevated pools; another has been pondering better-configured gutters for pools and is researching starting blocks. At such a time, the following may relevant: We have all grown […]

  • Three Cities Selected As Canidates for the 2020 Olympics  -  May 30, 2012

    The International Olympic Committee announced that Istanbul, Tokyo, and Madrid have been shortlisted as cities to bid for hosting the 2020 Olympics.  These candidates were selected from a group of five which included Azerbaijan and Doha. Games of the XXXII Olympiad 2020 Working Group Report

  • Thoughts to keep in mind during the interview process  -  May 30, 2012

    Editorial Comment:  At the end of a interns assignment with Counsilman – Hunsaker, Joe Hunsaker provided the following memo on their departure.  This document is dated May 24, 2006.  You only get one chance to make a first impression. The interview is not a one-on-one experience but rather a one-on-many, i.e. the interviewer is comparing […]

  • Approximately one-third of American men and 40% of women report NO leisure time physical activity.  -  May 29, 2012

    2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults should be activity. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. For substantial health benefits, the Guidelines recommend adults perform at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, 75 minutes a […]

  • Historic McCarren Park Pool To Reopen  -  May 29, 2012

    The McCarren Park Pool that is located in Brooklyn, New York is set to reopen for the first time in 28 years.  Orginally the size of four Olympic swimming pools, the pool complex has undergone a $50 million restoration.  Today’s aquatic facility includes “the beach” which features spray fountains and becomes a skating rink in […]

  • Portable Lifts Grandfathered For Pool ADA  -  May 25, 2012

    New Rules outlined by the DOJ this week allows for portable lifts purchased before March 15, 2012 to be acceptable if kept in place.  According to an article published by Aquatics International today, DOJ will not be enforcing the fixed lift requirement for those operators who purchased a portable lift before March 15, 2012.    The DOJ […]

  • Clear As Spring Water  -  May 24, 2012

    The water released through automatic hydrostat valves attached to the well points under the main outlet sumps is as clear as spring water.  Most lay people expect it to be dirty because of its source in the ground.  While this may be true shortly after construction, or during construction, the gravel sub-base and soil functions […]

  • Immersion In Shoulder Deep Water Results In Cardiovascular And Respiratory Exercise Similar To A Gym Workout.  -  May 23, 2012

    Hydrostatic pressure from immersion in water forces more blood to the central organs, increasing cardiac stroke volume and cardiac output, which is a similar effect caused by exercise. In addition, immersion also impacts liver and hormone production (endocrine system) and respirator exercise to breathe against the pressure imparted by the water. As with any exercise, […]

  • Get the facts to keep your pool and hot tub safe this swimming season.  -  May 22, 2012

    It’s  not just about cloudy water. Ten years ago the term Recreational Water Illness (RWI)  was not even a commonly used term. Based on great pool and spa industry  awareness efforts led by the CDC, when you Google the phrase RWI or Recreational Water Illness, you find 785k results. A lot has  happened in the […]

  • Are we guilty of being a “know it all”?  -  May 22, 2012

    Presumably everyone has picked up a copy of the Aquatics International Dream Facility in which our 2006-concept design was featured, along with that of our competitors.  If you have studied all the designs and read all of the articles, you are an exception to human nature. The inclination is to read only the submittal of […]

  • ADA Pool Megeddon??  -  May 21, 2012

    The DOJ has announced a postponement of the ADA compliance date for swimming pools and spas with a new effective date of January 31, 2013.  As first reported on hydrologicblog  “Pool-Megeddon” and “Reasonable Pool Requirements” the ADA mandates were a surprise.   The new date does not seem to change the more stringent interpretations (some may […]

  • Where’s The Leak?  -  May 21, 2012

    Where’s The Leak? Last week I received a phone call from a client with a 3 year old pool.  They had cleaned the pool for spring and filled it up.  The next morning they come in and found the water down over a foot.  The first areas of suspicion where the underwater lights and the […]

  • Retirement  -  May 19, 2012

    Editorial Comment:    In 2008, Don Burns retired as the CEO from California Spa and Pool Industry Education Council.  Joe and Don had served on the NSPF Board of Directors together for over 15 years.  Joe sent the following note to Don on his retirement. Hi Don, I recently saw on CNN where you are retiring […]

  • Healthy Body Seminars Reveal Why Pools and Hot tubs are good for your health and your family  -  May 17, 2012

    If you read the papers (or Internet), you would think the aquatics field is all about death and pain. The exception is during an Olympic year when we witness some amazing athletes in bathing suits. I have the privilege and blessing to speak to groups around the world. Most people in the pool and spa […]

  • Almost Half Of Americans Are Afraid Of The Deep End Of A Pool.  -  May 17, 2012

    Two-thirds of Americans are afraid of deep water in lakes, rivers, and oceans A study performed by Gallup (n-815) and presented at the 2008 World Aquatic Health Conference (Melon Dash) indicates that 64% of Americans are afraid in the deep, open water (lakes, rivers, oceans, etc.)  Forty-six percent are afraid in deep water in pools.  Even […]

  • An Observation of Ernie Vornbrock  -  May 16, 2012

    My recollection of Coach Vornbrock is during a swim meet in the 1950’s when he is walking along the pool deck, carrying a stop watch, wearing the obligatory white shirt, white trousers and white tennis shoes. Ernie, who was in his 50’s, was a tall lanky man who wore wire rimmed glasses on his angular […]

  • Swimming Pool Code Changes Picking Up Speed  -  May 15, 2012

    During the last 90 days there have been a number of proposed changes to swimming pool health codes across the United States.  State codes include Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, and California.  This in addition to the national impacts from the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, Model Aquatic Health Code and the new rule making impact […]

  • Is Common Sense Drowning?  -  May 11, 2012

    In the past few years the swimming pool industry has experienced an aggressive use of mandates of swimming pool codes without the inclusive interests of all stakeholders in the aquatic industry. The Virginia Graeme Baker Act cost the swimming pool industry hundreds of millions of dollars and there are new challenges that the current language […]

  • Designing The Perfect Waterpark  -  May 11, 2012

    Waterpark Success:  Designing the Perfect Waterpark With today’s economy, everyone wants to build a waterpark and make lots of money.  The problem is, just because you build it doesn’t mean it’s going to make money.  Most people have no idea what it costs to construct a successful waterpark, let alone what it costs to operate.  […]

  • I’ve Been Red Crossed  -  May 10, 2012

    Every month there seems to be another update about the American Red Cross fees.  First the Red Cross changes fees, then everyone complains, and then the Red Cross changes fees, then everyone complains … it’s getting pretty old. I think everyone (and I mean everyone) needs to get over this.  Yes, I can understand that […]

  • Joe’s Favorite Quotes  -  May 10, 2012

      “Don’t confuse the urgent with the important.” “The ability to adjust is a sign of leadership.”  – William H. Danforth, Founder of Ralston Purina “People base decisions upon what they think rather than what they know.” “Don’t forget to do the homework.” “Who says?” “Who is “they”?” “Prove it.” “An answer is not necessarily […]

  • Swimming Is The Top “Aspirational Activity” For Kids And Seniors  -  May 10, 2012

    The Sporting Good Manufacturing Association partners with five other organizations to ascertain activity popularity. In 2011, they measured the activity of different age groups hope or wish to do (aspirational activity) for seven age groups ranging from six to 65+ years of age. “Swimming for fitness” was in the top three aspirational activities for EVERY […]

  • Swimmers Have A Lower Mortality Rate Than Runners And Walkers  -  May 8, 2012

    It is universally-accepted that physical activity is good for your health and reduces mortality rates. Studies that compare mortality rates between swimmers and other common physical activities are rare. The most compelling findings are those  of Chase, Sui, & Blair (IJARE, 2008, 2(3), 213-223)  that compared 40,517  men  20-90 years who completed health examinations from […]

  • Florida Makes Numerous Changes To Swimming Pool Health Code  -  May 2, 2012

    On April 27, 2012, Governor Rick Scott signed into law numerous changes to the responsibilities of the Florida Department of Health. The biggest change provides for sanitation and safety standard regulation pertaining to water quality to be the department’s main responsibility, while local enforcement districts may determine compliance with the construction standards. This change seems […]

  • Kentucky Needs To Update Its Pool Code  -  May 1, 2012

    The Kentucky Department for Public Health published proposed changes to the to the swimming pool and bathing facilities regulation in October of 2011.  Hydrologic posted the announcement and CH’s response.  The Business Lexington posted the following article authored by Tracynda Davis.   Kentucky needs to update its pool code Lexington, KY – One of the greatest […]

  • International Swimming Pool and Spa Code Released  -  April 30, 2012

    The International Code Council (ICC) has teamed up with the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) to develop the 2012 ISPSC.  The swimming pool code coordinated with the current requirements in the International Codes® and APSP standards.  Developed with the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP), the ISPSC establishes minimum regulations for public […]

  • Wish List For Chamionship Facilities  -  April 30, 2012

    When developing a new aquatic facility that is intended to be a venue facility for sport, there are a significant number of priorities to be managed.  Most facilities will not be selected in the bidding process to host a major championship event.  When prioritizing capital dollars for the final solution, decisions will be required to […]

  • Illinois Swimming Facility Legislation in Final Stages of Passage  -  April 30, 2012

    Significant modifications to the Illinois Swimming Pool Health Code are being proposed in the Swimming Facility Act.   SB 3727 (Harmon, D. / Currie, B.) passed out of committee this week and is now on the House floor.  The bill requires prequalification by the Illinois Department of Public Health for architects, engineers and contractors to complete […]

  • MAHC Disinfection & Water Quality – CH Response  -  April 27, 2012

    The CDC posted the Disinfection & Water Quality Model Aquatic Health Code Module for public comment on February 27, 2012. Hydrologicblog posted this announcement with the supporting documents. Disinfection & Water Quality Model Aquatic Health Code Module The Counsilman – Hunsaker team posted a group response in support of the public comment requirements. This response […]

  • Bob Hawken Retires From Neptune Benson  -  April 27, 2012

    Bob has been a fixture in the aquatics industry for 42 years.  He focused on the commercial swimming pool industry beginning in the early 1980’s and after a 6 year relationship with KDI Sylvan Pools, joined Neptune Benson.   It is reported that we will still see Bob on special projects.  The Counsilman – Hunsaker team […]

  • Pools and Hot Tubs – Does Science Support Pool Water Exposure Causes Cancer or Asthma?  -  April 26, 2012

    If something was published in scientific literature 50 years ago, you  simply go online (or have a librarian) go online to find the paper.  The upside is that scientific, scholarly  publications never go away!  This is an  awesome thing since today’s scientists can determine the edge of scientific  knowledge and push forward. This reduces wasteful […]

  • Reasonable Pool ADA Requirements  -  April 25, 2012

    The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) testified today before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution in support of reasonable pool and spa entry requirements for travelers with disabilities and called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to work for sensible measures that provide access while protecting children from harm. AH&LA ADA Counsel Minh Vu, […]

  • Decorative Water Features Need Robust Water Treatment  -  April 25, 2012

    A recent article published by The Washington Post discusses an outbreak of the bacterial infection known as Legionnaires’ disease which reportedly affected eight Milwaukee area people in 2010.  The outbreak has been linked to a decorative water feature located in a hospital lobby that had been visited by all eight of the people who contracted […]

  • ‘Pool-mageddon’ Delayed, Feds Grant Reprieve for ADA Compliance  -  March 16, 2012

    ADA retrofit edict goes off deep end The Justice Department on Thursday issued a 60-day stay for hundreds of thousands of public pools that had been required to install ramps and wheelchair lifts by today or else face lawsuits over violating disability laws.

  • Joe Hunsaker’s Passing  -  March 11, 2012

    Joe Hunsaker, who died March 11, 2012 at age 74, struggled with multiple sclerosis since 1978  and cancer recently, is survived by his beloved wife, Charmaine Wilke Hunsaker who has been a loving partner for the past ten years, his children: Scot Hunsaker (Sue), Stephanie Hunsaker Policy (Al), Eric Hunsaker (Cindy) their mother and good […]

  • Joe Hunsaker Recipient of the 2012 International Swimming Hall of Fame Paragon Award  -  March 8, 2012

    The 2012 annual Paragon Awards will be presented on Friday, May 11, 2012, at a ceremony at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. The Annual Paragon Awards are presented for outstanding contributions to Competitive Swimming, Water Polo, Competitive Diving, Aquatic Safety, Synchronized Swimming and Recreational Swimming. Read More at the […]

  • Public Pool Health & Safety Act of 2012  -  March 5, 2012

    On February 16th 2012, California Assembly member Michael Allen introduced Assembly Bill 1726, known as the Public Pool Health & Safety Act of 2012, regulating the qualifications of those persons operating swimming pools, wading pools, water attractions and interactive fountains.  Effective January 1st 2014, the proposed law would require every swimming pool, wading pool, water attraction […]

  • Doug Cook Named Aquatics Power 25 By Aquatics International  -  March 1, 2012

    Aquatics International honors 25 standout leaders in the aquatic industry annually.  The 2012 group focuses on professionals that will impact the industry significantly in the near future in additional to their notable accomplishments already.  Doug is a Partner and Regional Director with Counsilman Hunsaker where he leads multiple studios that design and engineer national and […]

  • Input Needed for the Model Aquatic Health Code  -  February 28, 2012

    Disinfection and Water Quality Module Just Released For Public Comment The Disinfection and Water Quality module for the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) was posted on February 27, 2012 for public comment.  This module could potentially be more impactful to today’s operators than other modules.  The deadline for public comments is April 27, 2012.  Counsilman […]

  • How Green is Your Pool?  -  February 26, 2012

    How green is your pool? Normally, a green pool is a sign of trouble.  But these days it is hip to be green – in the earth-friendly sense, that is.  Whether you are dreaming a new facility, pondering improvements to what you have, or are just wondering what you can do better right now, here […]

  • MAHC Regulatory Program Administration – CH Response  -  February 15, 2012

    The CDC posted the Regulatory Program Administration Model Aquatic Health Code Module for public comment on December 7, 2011.  Hydrologicblog posted this announcement with the supporting documents. The Counsilman – Hunsaker team posted a group response in support of the public comment requirements.  This response can be viewed at the below link. Counsilman – […]

  • Five Municipalities Partner for Aquatics Success  -  January 16, 2012

    How do five municipalities agree on the replacement of two outdated swimming pools in two different locations with the support of the community and local school district? Cooperation, mutual respect, and options were vital to success. The Municipalities It began when a 1997 Park Survey revealed community interest in new swimming pools for the Centre […]

  • Whimsical Aquatic Wellness Center for Children  -  January 7, 2012

    An aquatic therapy center for children with rehabilitation needs and developmental disorders should be designed with a balance of inspiration, innovation, and accommodation, where aesthetics and function merge. Interactive Water The size of the pool must be large enough for several children and their therapists at one time, about 50 square feet of water surface per […]

  • Pool Water Tightness Tests  -  January 7, 2012

    What is the definition of a water tight swimming pool? Believe it or not, there is not agreement on how a swimming pool should hold water.  The differences centers around being water tight before or after the final finish is applied to the pool shell.  An example would be should the pool be water tight […]

  • Neptune Benson Acquires Lawson Aquatics  -  January 2, 2012

    Neptune~Benson, a manufacturer of commercial pool filtration systems, announced today that it has acquired the business of Lawson Aquatics, Inc. a manufacturer of main drain and rim-flow system components.  While Lawson Aquatics will be managed out of Neptune~Benson’s headquarters in Coventry, Rhode Island, the company will retain its key personnel and will continue to operate […]

  • MAHC Hygiene: Counsilman – Hunsaker Response  -  December 29, 2011

    The CDC posted the Hygiene Model Aquatic Health Code Module for public comment on October 31, 2011.  The Counsilman – Hunsaker team posted a group response in support of the public comment requirements.  This response can be viewed at the below link. Counsilman – Hunsaker Response

  • UV and Chlorine Water Disinfection Research  -  December 10, 2011

    Purdue University, was awarded a grant of $75,000 as the first step in a three-year program to research combined UV and chlorine swimming pool water disinfection methods. The research will examine the effects of combined treatment on water and air chemistry in chlorinated, indoor pool settings.  The grant, managed and administered under the NSPF industrial […]

  • Regulatory Program Administration MAHC  -  December 10, 2011

    CDC posts Regulatory Program Administration Model Aquatic Health Code Module for public comment with a closing date of February 5, 2012. Click for module Click for Annex The Regulatory Program Administration module for the MAHC was posted on December 7, 2011, for public comment.  The Regulatory Program Administration Program Module follows a best practice and […]

  • National Swimming Pool Foundation Grants  -  December 8, 2011

    The NSPF mission statement is: To enhance healthy living by increasing aquatic activity through education and research.  In support of this mission, the board has awarded four grants totaling $180,995. One health benefit grant was awarded to Utah State University and three injury prevention grants were awarded to University of Arizona, Purdue University, and the […]

  • Children’s Aquatic Wellness  -  November 24, 2011

    An aquatic therapy center for children with rehabilitation needs and developmental disorders must be designed with a balance of inspiration, innovation, and accommodation, where aesthetics and function merge.  Athletic Business’s November issue features an article describing keys to success on designing an aquatic therapy center for children. Interactive Water The size of the pool should […]

  • Kentucky Pool Regulations – CH Response  -  November 9, 2011

    Scot Hunsaker with Counsilman – Hunsaker responded with comments to the Kentucky Department for Public Health regarding changes to the pool regulation.  A copy of these comments is listed below: November 9, 2011 Ms. Kathy Fowler Interim Director Division of Public Health Protection and Safety Kentucky Department for Public Health 275 E Main St, HS1CB […]

  • Kentucky Pool Regulations  -  October 31, 2011

    The Kentucky Department for Public Health is currently working to revise the swimming pool and bathing facility regulation, 902 KAR 10:120. The current regulation has not been updated in many years and is under consideration for revision.  The Division of Public Health Protection and Safety have met several times and drafted proposed changes.  At this […]

  • Addicted to Subsidies  -  October 24, 2011

    Nationwide we continue to hear the latest news: Public facilities closed due to city, county and state financial challenges! Public aquatic facilities have to maximize revenue opportunities and minimize costs, which require a committed and serious approach to rate structure, programming, marketing, and operational efficiency. Here are some ideas that are presented in the October […]

  • Cold Comfort  -  September 15, 2011

    Shovels often go into the ground after Labor Day, that way the new pool is ready for swimmers on Memorial Day. Whether the timetable will be maintained depends on a host of factors, the most variable of which is weather. Except in extreme conditions, pool construction can proceed as long as precautionary measures are taken […]

  • Water Utility – Focus on Energy  -  August 20, 2011

    Talk about energy efficiency! A geothermal system uses neighboring Lake Andrea in Pleasant Prairie, WI, to heat the 50-meter pool and cool the air in the 305,000-square-foot municipal RecPlex. The energy-efficient equipment added about a half-million dollars in project costs, but annual energy expenses were halved. Joe Bush provide a nice summary of energy saving […]

  • High-Altitude Theming  -  August 15, 2011

    The best way to immerse guests into a theme is to pay attention to all the details, large and small. Gina Kellogg presents a case study in Resort and Recreation Magazine of Evergreen Wings & Waves Water Odyssey adjacent to Evergreen Museum in McMinnville, OR, welcomes guests to the aircraft-themed waterpark with a retired Boeing […]

  • Sometimes Genius is a Few Steps From The Obvious  -  June 12, 2011

    During the run up to the Final Four several weeks ago, one of the TV networks did a segment on Pat Summit, the coach of the woman’s basketball team at the University of Tennessee. She has the most wins among the coaches in woman’s basketball and her team finally lost in the semi-finals of the […]

  • MAHC Ventilation – CH Response  -  June 12, 2011

    The CDC posted the Ventilation Model Aquatic Health Code Module for public comment on April 13, 2011.  The Counsilman – Hunsaker team posted a group response in support of the public comment requirements.  This response can be viewed at the below link. Counsilman – Hunsaker Response

  • The Abiltiy To Adjust Requires Leadership  -  June 11, 2011

    Last Saturday I had the privilege of visiting a friend who operates a shop that repairs and restores old slot machines. In twenty minutes, he showed me through his inventory of these vintage gambling devices which were interesting to look at as well as hearing their stories.  The oldest slot machine in his collection was […]

  • Art of the Deal  -  June 10, 2011

    Donald Trump wrote a book called Art of the Deal, which underscores my belief that there is more art in our work than science. “Art” is somewhat synonymous with years of experience, i.e. past experience which has influenced the response by CHA to two similar, but different, recent situations.

  • FINA Dryland Training Guideline Request  -  May 25, 2011

    May 25, 2011 Cornel Marculescu, FINA Executive Director       Dear Mr. Marculescu,  My name is Scot Hunsaker and I am president of Counsilman – Hunsaker which is an international aquatic engineering, planning, and design firm.  I had the pleasure of meeting you this past fall in Punta del Este at the 1st FINA World Aquatic Conference […]

  • Counsilman – Hunsaker Partners With FINA World Aquatics Convention  -  July 10, 2010

    Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), based in Lausanne, Switzerland is the sole worldwide sports organization governing swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, water polo and open water swimming. FINA has signed a sponsorship agreement with Counsilman – Hunsaker for the 1st FINA World Aquatics Convention to be held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, September 27 – 29, […]

  • Word Pictures  -  May 12, 2006

    Assuming that each of you is familiar with the Rock and Roll legend Chuck Berry, I’ll relate a story about the power of word pictures.  In 1987, a documentary movie, recently on HBO, was filmed about Chuck Berry.  It was his 60th birthday celebration and was performed at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis.  His […]

  • Doc Counsilman: As I Knew Him  -  May 24, 2004

    When James ‘Doc’ Counsilman, my coach, mentor and business partner for 25 years, died earlier this year at 83, friends and admirers chose different words to describe the man they knew. Inspiration is the word I choose. His coaching, discoveries and his leadership all left marks in the sport’s history; but I remember the man […]