The web site for all professionals and consumers who've made or want to make water a part of their lives


By Paolo Benedetti 
Through the years, I’ve seen plentiful discussions of the fact that geotechnical (or soils) reports are required for proper watershape engineering.  And it’s not just about complex vanishing-edge or perimeter-overflow pools:  It’s about all swimming pools, spas, fountains and waterfeatures.  Let’s consider that case closed.
But who exactly should 

10-year logoBy Bruce Zaretsky

Bruce Zaretsky opened his very first On the Level column back in August 2007 with a question: ‘Does the size of a project or its budget correlate with its creativity or quality?’

‘I know many of us have clients who think that way, believing the more money they spend, the better product they’re going to get,’ he wrote. ‘And my best guess is that there are

10-year logoIn April 2001, as part of his “Details” column in WaterShapes, David Tisherman argued forcefully for constant, competent on-site supervision of watershaping projects. In his article, entitled “Super Vision,” he noted, “Call it quality control, attention to detail or perfectionism: There’s no


By Paolo Benedetti

It shouldn’t be too surprising that, as a designer and builder who cares about quality and craftsmanship, I’ve spent some time thinking about bidding and ethics.

As I see it, bidding against other contractors to win the opportunity to install a project is a fair and worthy exercise if the project’s specifications are 

By Brian Van Bower

For the best part of 20 years now, trend watchers have tracked Baby Boomers and have kept telling us that, as we aged, we’d definitely become homebodies – so much so that the words “nesting,” “cocooning” and “staycation” have all taken significant places in our social vocabulary.

It’s a concept I’ve touched upon in these pages – numerous times, in fact – while observing that watershapes and other aquatic amenities go hand in glove with

WS Site Screen ShotHere’s a quick tour of the new, starting with the pulldown menus at the top of the home page:

Articles. This section already includes about a year’s worth of the information that’s been published in our twice-monthly newsletters. Right away, all new newsletter features and articles will be uploaded to the site immediately; within a few months, everything we’ve ever published in newsletter form will be ready and available to all readers 

By Paolo Benedetti

PaoloBenedettiColorTheoryEven though most people think it’s simple, working with color in the presence of water is surprisingly complex. This is why I find myself calling up my patience when a client says, “I want the pool finish to be blue so that the water will

By Kim Skinner

KimSkinnerInsideTDSJust how much do swimming pool chemicals add to the total dissolved solids (TDS) content of the water? Do all chemicals of equal amounts (by weight) add identical amounts of TDS to swimming pool water?

These are important questions, because elevated TDS levels can

By William D. Palmer Jr.

WilliamPalmerGreenBuildingCodeThe state of Rhode Island and the city of Richland, Wash., recently adopted the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) as part of their building codes for commercial buildings.

That might not sound important if you don’t happen to work in either of those small markets, but it’s the tip of a big green iceberg

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_201002PB0.jpgBy Paolo Benedetti

Although the details of a well-organized equipment pad are seldom the object of as much appreciation as are the purely aesthetic touches on a project, they are no less important to its success, says Paolo Benedetti.  Here, in the latest installment of his series on design and engineering solutions to common construction challenges, he offers advice on a key part of pad organization – that is, the management of its wiring connections.  

With today’s watershape circulation and support equipment becoming ever more complicated, there’s an increasing need to make equipment pads as uncluttered as possible.  With that in mind, I’ve developed a few simple wiring strategies that let me keep things neat, organized and serviceable.

It requires some improvisation, unfortunately, because for all the efforts manufacturers have undertaken to improve product performance, in many cases they have failed to make the wiring task as easy as it should be.  A classic example is found in

By Mark Holden

Have you had just about enough of the current chatter about the environment?  Have the terms “global warming,” “carbon footprint” and “sustainable landscape” become more irritating to you than they are inspiring?

If so, all I can say is that I don’t think you’ll like the future.  Indeed, for those of you who’ve spent the last little while waiting for the Green Revolution to fade away need to set aside any hope that it’s just a fad – just some trumped-up, pop-culture phenomenon that will go away as suddenly as it came to prominence.

In fact, the green movement – or whatever you want to call it – is rapidly on its way to

SantaClausTO: You

FROM: Santa

1. May your clients be patient and understanding whenever

201002BVB0By Brian Van Bower

Watershaping carries us onto the properties and into the private lives of our clients, and it does so to such a personal, even intimate level that I see the value and importance of getting to know them to the best of my ability.  Invariably, that means asking the right questions and knowing how to listen and interpret the answers.

This isn’t a new topic – in fact, it’s been about ten years since I wrote an early string of WaterShapes columns on