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Water moving from one level to another – over weirs, vanishing edges into slot overflow channels, or from a raised spa into a pool – has become common in pool, spa and waterfeature design. Watershape University is preparing professionals for the challenges of customization with a powerful course on advanced fluid engineering.

In our campaign providing the most comprehensive and useful technical information available in the watershaping industry, Watershape University (WU) will be staging a live/online presentation of “Engineering 4311: Essential Advanced Fluid Engineering” – Feb. 26-27.

This rigorous 16-hour program, taught by WU co-founder, David. J. Peterson, PE, IWI, provides detailed instruction in fluid engineering for custom pools, spas, and other types of watershapes. The course is a sequel to “Engineering 2311: Essential Basic Fluid Engineering,” which was presented synchronously online Aug. 28-29, and Nov. 6-7.

A recorded version of ENG 2311 is available for review for students who have taken the class and are now taking ENG 4311. ENG 2311 is a prerequisite for this advanced class, however WU may accept equivalent credits from other programs teaching basic fluid dynamics.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are seeking credit.

 Learning outcomes include:

[] Define the meaning and scope of advanced hydraulics, hydrology, and fluid dynamics design, including complex gravity-fed and water-in-transit systems.

[] Detail water-in-transit engineering including vanishing edges, slot-edges, gutters, and water features.

[] Demonstrate use of the WatershapeAdvisor series of software worksheets, including surge basin design, gravity and drainage systems, channels, lazy rivers, level-bottom slot channels, and more.

[] Practice analyzing vanishing edge and slot-edge pool and spa combinations, as a class project.

In-class activities includes a detailed project worth 50%, and an online exam accounting for the remaining 50% of the passing score.

“We’re excited to offer this important knowledge of fluid engineering,” Peterson said. “As pools become more complex, water-in-transit designs are becoming more common all the time. This course goes a long way toward preparing designers and builders for more challenging custom projects.”

The course fee is $1300.

Sign up here.


Failure to accurately estimate and price projects is a common and costly misstep. Because reliable cost-estimating should be a cornerstone of all watershaping contractors, Watershape University is now offering an online/on-demand version of its popular "Business 3452: Essential Cost Estimating Workshop."

Why do watershaping companies fail? It’s not because there aren’t enough customers out there, or because taxes are too high or the price of rebar went up.

Businesses fail – or at the very least are not profitable enough -- because don’t charge enough. Fixing that mistake starts with accurate cost estimating.

That’s why Watershape University has moved this fundamental issue to the head of the line. As of now, “Business 3451: Essential Cost Estimating Workshop” is available on line and on demand.

The eight-hour course, which previously has been presented in person and live on-line, covers a wide range of job-costing concepts and recommended practices including the categories of costs, breaking down overhead, understanding profit margins, and a detailed analysis of the estimating process.

Students receive a special cost-estimating spreadsheet that streamlines the estimating process for watershaping professionals. Past students of the course say the software alone is worth the price of admission.

Learning outcomes include:

[] Determine the correct markup and gross margin for your business using actual profit and loss financial data.

[] Execute "Watershape Advisor Estimator" software and implement software features to build assemblies and produce accurate estimates with detailed reports for the client, suppliers, subcontractors, and accountant.

[] Discuss payment schedule, cash flow, and construction contracts. Identify key factors to maintain a consistent payment schedule for project fees.

[] List methods for developing more accurate construction cost estimates and calculations for items such as weight of reinforcing steel, volume of excavation, trenching, concrete, and other details.

The cost-estimating course is the first long-form program available asynchronously on line, along with the more than 50 one-hour instructional webinars. All available when you sign up here

The fee is $700, which includes access to the course recording file, which you can watch as many times as needed, and access to the spreadsheet, which is customizable to fit your business. To take the course, click here.

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In addition to the course being available on WU’s learning deliver system,  it is available as part of Bel Aqua’s online Dealer Day website. The online “meeting” is the place holder for Bel Aqua’s annual in-person dealer event. 

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 In addition to the course being available on WU’s learning deliver system,  it is available as part of Bel Aqua’s online Dealer Day website. The online “meeting” is the place holder for Bel Aqua’s annual in-person dealer event. 

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Also, check out these courses from WU’s at this year’s Pool & Spa Show “Experience”. Available at the show site through February 8. These courses are part of the show's All Access Pass.

Design 3422: Vanishing Edge Design & Detail: This brand-new course from David Peterson dives into the many details and considerations for incorporating a vanishing edge into your next project. The presentation reinforces how a properly functioning and aesthetically pleasing water-in-transit design incorporates all facets of system engineering. This program lays it all out for you, complete with an exclusive handout. Find inspiration in the beautiful imagery, and discover the mastery behind these amazing projects. Access it here

Construction 3731: Crack Prevention: Bill Drakeley returns to the digital lectern with more expert concrete advice. All concrete can crack, but that doesn't have to ruin your projects. This course covers how concrete cracks, why it cracks and the ways that cracking is driven by mix design and placement procedures. Access it here

Service 2311: Automating a Service Department: Paperless workspaces are on the rise, and longtime industry-member Julie Kazdin is here to help you modernize your service department. She’ll cover many of the different tools available to managers, such as scheduling software, GPS, picture programs, and automated job boards, and how incorporating these software solutions into your business can make your service operation more efficient and organized. Access it here

Stay tuned for future WU online offerings.

wu logoWatershape University recently secured an important benchmark in its campaign to elevate the watershaping industry with its brand of marquee educational programs – evidence that when the Wolfpack sets its sights on an outcome, it does not stop until the objective is achieved.

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12 2 20DCimageIn a show of gratitude for those who have committed their resources and efforts to educating the industry, Watershape University recently staged a webinar focused entirely on thanking contributing individuals and organizations – and offering an exciting glimpse of the future.

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Watershape University will join NESPA for an online presentation of WU's Advanced Fluid Engineering program as part of 2021's "Virtual Pool & Spa Show." The emergence of this dynamic presentation is a true silver lining in a time of ongoing uncertainty – and opportunity.

wu logoAt a time when in-person events are few and far between, WU recently presented a dynamic presentation about the history of water in architecture at historic sites near Pittsburgh, Pa., taking students on a fascinating journey through time and space.

wu logoThe Wolfpack recently returned to in-person instruction with a successful essential builder program in September. WU is also continuing its robust online presence with courses that cover technology, design, business and architectural history.

Open waters banner logoThe Blue Mind concept popularized by author and marine biologist Wallace “J” Nichols manifests itself in a numerous ways -- and the message is spreading, as can be seen in a spectrum of online resources that echo and amplify the profundity of an aquatic lifestyle as well as a broader appreciation of science and the natural world.


Avoiding 'shadowing' in the shotcrete-placement process is crucial to the structural integrity of pool shells, notes Dave Peterson. Here, he shares a detail that dodges the void creation that can lead to structural compromises.


b_400_400_16777215_00_images_BTS_Logo_865x649.jpgWith this edition of WaterShapes, Dave Peterson introduces a new, ongoing series that will focus on plan schematics builders can use to improve, fine-tune and fortify their projects. He starts here with a simple way to eliminate visual insults to waterline tile and interior finishes.


 wu logoWatershape University is sensitive to the fact that our industry is facing unprecedented demand and an ongoing shortage of skilled labor, all during the current global pandemic. Add it all up and the ability to adapt has never been more crucial.

Case in point, we had scheduled a much-anticipated live presentation of ENG2311: Essential Fluid Engineering for