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

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DESIGN ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION
WaterShapes
 
THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE FOR PROFESSIONALS AND CONSUMERS
WHO MAKE WATER AND OUTDOOR LIVING PART OF THEIR LIVES
 

December 16, 2020                                                                             www.watershapes.com

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FEATURE ARTICLE

Making New Waves


Water and air quality can spell the difference between an indoor pool environment that is pleasant and healthy versus one that is far from it. The need to resolve those issues led to Steve Kenny’s escalating involvement with this high-end, all-tile lap pool; a project that has unfolded over more than a dozen years.    [more]

 

BENEATH THE SURFACE

 

Detail: H101

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Safe and secure chemical storage is a key consideration for commercial watershape facilities, or any aquatic setting where chemicals are kept in large quantities. This handy detail from Dave Peterson addresses the list of concerns and issues that arise from the need to store and control chlorine and acid supplies.  [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

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Natural Inclinations

It started out as an innovative project that pointed toward a new type of pool. Ten years later, explains Ryan Harmer, BioNova's flagship “natural swimming pool” was expanded to include multiple layers of biological water treatment, as well as aesthetic mastery.     [more]]

 
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Carecraft
 
 
WaterShapes World
 
 

A Hopeful Holiday

Saying goodbye to 2020 has become an unofficial national, if not an international, pastime. As Eric Herman points out in his year-end homily, that’s especially true now as the holidays approach and a new year unfolds with the prospect of better, hopefully virus-free days ahead.   [more]

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DIRECT CONNECTIONS

 
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Riding the Tides

Managing the torrent of sales leads can be a frustrating challenge for busy builders, renovators and service techs. There are some practical ways to ease the strain, says industry marketing consultant, Brett Abbot, which he shared on an Ask the Masters podcast this past August.    [more]

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Open Waters
 

Splendor Beneath the Seas

Renowned sculptor, Jason deCaires Taylor believes that for art to truly inspire change, it must be more than simply thought-provoking, but must also reach further and provide wide-ranging benefits on multiple levels. To clear that high bar, Taylor has decidedly aimed low -- beneath the waves to be specific.   [more]

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WOLFPACK CORNER

 
Wolfpack
 
 

Premium Webinars

Watershape University is working to provide the best education available in the industry, offering long and short-form courses across in-person and on-line platforms. Part of that effort includes special paid one-hour webinars that yield treasure troves of detailed technical information, and spread-sheet calculations.  [more]

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ESSENTIAL

 
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Floating on Sunshine

Set high on the bluffs overlooking Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, this composition in water, tile and vanishing-edge drama is his best work to date, asserts watershaper Juan Roca. When it first appeared on the magazine’s cover, it was still under construction.  Now it is complete, he says, which leads him to share new images of his masterpiece in modern design and high-caliber watershaping.  [more]

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in March 2006, has been digitized for all readers. Click hereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.

 
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We Browse 

So You Don't Have To...

World’s 18 Strangest Pools: Popular Mechanics assembled an eclectic list of swimming pools that in one way or another qualify as “strange” – in the process showing off a spectrum of watershaping diversity.  [more]

Weird and wonderful water from around the world. 

The History of Concrete: Second only to steel as the world’s most widely used building material, the use of concrete embodies the history of built environments.  [more]

It’s one of humankind’s greatest inventions.


     
 
On Tap
 
 

FibroPool’s FH055 Heat Pump

FibroPool (Bay Saint Louis, Mo.) manufacturers the FH055 Heat Pump with a high-pressure differential compressor and a titanium heat exchanger with a 55,000 Btu output. The unit runs exclusively on a 12-gauge, 220-volt circuit, drawing the same power as a standard table saw. For details, click here.   For details, clickhere

Pentair Offers Backwash Controller 

Pentair Pool Products (Sanford, N.C.) makes the CS400 Backwash Controller. This semi-automatic programmable controller can backwash up to six filters in sequence via its multi-port pressure-distribution valve. Features include user-configurable settings, alarms, calculated cycle time and valve control to ensure pump and heater protection. For details, click here.

     

Corporate Engagement Teammates

Watershape University appreciates the support of the following industry leaders. . .
 
AandA Manufacturing
 
Aquamatic
 
Aquatic Floors
 
Basecrete
 
 
Carecraft
 
CMAHC
 
 
 
 
ClearWater Tech Ozone
 
CMP
 
Diamond Spas
 
 
International Watershape Institute
 
Lightstreams
 
 
 
 
 
Miracote
 
Master Pools Guild
 
Paddock
 
Paramount
 
Pebble Technology
 
Pentair
 
Twinscape
 
Watershape University
 
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DESIGN ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION
WaterShapes
 
THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE FOR PROFESSIONALS AND CONSUMERS
WHO MAKE WATER AND OUTDOOR LIVING PART OF THEIR LIVES
 

December 2, 2020                                                                                               www.watershapes.com

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FEATURE ARTICLE

Making the Public Leap


It should be an obvious point --  designing and building commercial pools is an entirely different animal than working in the residential market. But according to Mark Holden and Shawn Tracy, many watershapers they encounter who are new to the commercial realm find themselves in deep water when they realize what they don’t know can be costly, or worse.   [more]

 

BENEATH THE SURFACE

 

Detail: A420

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While the term “swimming pool” is indelibly ingrained as the common descriptor of watershapes large enough for human immersion, Dave Peterson has coined a new term that better captures the essence of many such installations – and shares a cool design detail here that's great for what he now calls "social pools."  [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

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Luxury at Koloa Landing

The remote location is just one of the hurdles facing those who build pools for resorts on the Hawai'ian Islands. But as watershapers Loida Levinthol and Sean Newbold tell it, sensible practices and a strong reputation can make even the biggest projects run as smooth as volcanic glass.     [more]]

 
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Carecraft
 
 
WaterShapes World
 
 

Commercial Clout 

While residential activity is booming these days, the exact opposite is true in the commercial pool market, where sales are slow and most facilities are closed.  Dark days indeed, notes Eric Herman, but also a good time to consider the role "public water" plays in both the industry and society.   [more]

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DIRECT CONNECTIONS

 
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Gratitude is the Attitude

In 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.    [more]

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Open Waters
 

Solar Solutions

Since 1990, more than two billion people have gained access to better drinking water through widespread efforts of a spectrum of government agencies, charitable organizations and private-sector players. In many instances, it's a combination of solar power and water treatment that's giving hope where once there was only thirst.   [more]

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WOLFPACK CORNER

 
Wolfpack
 
 

Advancing Fluid Engineering

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. [more]

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ESSENTIAL

 
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Splashes of Color

Of all the projects he’s pursued in the past few years, says David Tisherman, he can’t easily think of another that rivals the achievement of this one with respect to balance, color, harmony or sheer beauty. The key words here, he adds, are color and energy, with one flowing irresistibly from the other in a reinvigorated backyard that was once drab, uninteresting and crowded with an old pool that just didn’t fit with its surroundings.    [more]

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in October 2002, has been digitized for all readers.  Click hereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanshp in detail.

 
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We Browse 

So You Don't Have To...

Worldly Pools: From ruins in Pakistan to a modern Texas watershape, here's a survey of great swimming holes.  [more]

There’s even a cruise ship to round out an impressive list.

Water's Rich History:  If you've ever questioned the importance of water to human beings, this insightful survey tracks that "connection" from ancient days to modern times.   [more]

As you'll see in detail, the story is fascinating -- and critically important.

     
 
On Tap
 
 

Rhino Shrink Wrap Offers Fast Tent

Rhino Shrink Wrap (Holmes Chapel, U.K.) makes the Fast Tent System for cold-weather construction. The modular system uses self-supporting inflatable ‘air beams’, so no at-height is required, which allows for rapid deployment and easy relocation. It is made with double flame-retardant skin, also provides superb insulation. For details, clickhere

Hayward Expands Automation Line 

Hayward Industries (Elizabeth, N.J.) has expanded its OmniPL line of mid-range smart pool and spa automation. The system can control up to eight variable-speed pumps and includes four built-in relays. Select models are “salt ready” and the system offers a wide range of LED control features. For details, click here

     

Corporate Engagement Teammates

Watershape University appreciates the support of the following industry leaders. . .
 
AandA Manufacturing
 
Aquamatic
 
Aquatic Floors
 
Basecrete
 
 
Carecraft
 
CMAHC
 
 
ClearWater Tech Ozone
 
CMP
 
Diamond Spas
 
 
International Watershape Institute
 
Lightstreams
 
 
 
Miracote
 
Master Pools Guild
 
Paddock
 
Paramount
 
Pebble Technology
 
Pentair
 
Twinscape
 
Watershape University
 
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DESIGN ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION
WaterShapes
 
THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE FOR PROFESSIONALS AND CONSUMERS
WHO MAKE WATER AND OUTDOOR LIVING PART OF THEIR LIVES
 

November 18, 2020                          www.watershapes.com

 

FEATURE ARTICLE

Balinese Balance

Bali has been captivating visitors for centuries with its relaxed island culture and unique Asian-Tropical design tradition. His clients wanted to capture that spirit in their small backyard, and the fact that Scott Cohen had visited Bali himself brought out his own love of the place in an inspiring design.    [more]

BENEATH THE SURFACE

Detail: C203

 

Managing waste water in the form of run-off and especially filter-backwash effluent can be surprisingly problematic, observes Dave Peterson, especially when the issue is left to an afterthought. In this detail, he offers an elegant waste-water solution in the form of a simple backwash pit.  [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

 

Heater Help

The presence of unwanted cold water can lead to call-backs for builders and technicians who install heaters improperly.  That's not good, notes Mike Fowler, who writes that keeping customers warm and happy requires following these sizing, selection, installation and maintenance procedures.   [more]

 
   
Carecraft
 
WaterShapes World
 

Buen Diseno 

At their best, watershapes make artistic statements that compliment and amplify the surrounding environment while also reflecting the personalities of both the designer and the homeowner. As Eric Herman observes, it’s a connection that’s hard to define -- but you know it when you see it.   [more]

 

DIRECT CONNECTIONS

 

Exploring Chemistry Options

In one of Watershape University’s first Wolfpack Webinar Wednesday presentations, Jason Davila guided a deep dive into ozone, UV and AOP technologies. Since chlorine does not adequately kill some common pathogens, he suggests considering these three sanitizing approaches as a reliable arsenal of illness-preventing options.   [more]

 
Open Waters
 

Grecian Milestones

Humans have been inventing ways to control water since the dawn of recorded history and almost certainly long before that. Several of the most noteworthy ancient hydraulic achievements  emerged from Greece, where technologies such as the water wheel, positive-displacement pumps and the world’s oldest operating fountain were all devised.   [more]

 

WOLFPACK CORNER

Wolfpack
 

Behind the Curtain

Producing Watershape University's online courses may seem  simple and straightforward, but as Brett Herman reports, there are many moving pieces and technologies involved, all of which must be coordinated and smoothly implemented to make these presentations compelling and effective. [more]

 

ESSENTIAL

 

Mastering the Greens

Creating watershapes and landscapes that are natural in appearance is always a challenge, says Ken Alperstein of Pinnacle Design, a firm that specializes in high-end projects related to top-flight golf courses. For this project in Shady Canyon, however, the ante was upped considerably by the site’s location in an environmentally sensitive coastal canyon in southern California – a design challenge intensified by regulatory scrutiny every step of the way.   [more]

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in December 2006, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanshp in detail.

WaterShapes Web Cafe
 

We Browse 

So You Don't Have To...

Chlorine Science Basics:  Chlorine’s history, fundamental science and diverse applications have far-reaching effects, but did you know how widespread these uses really are?  [more]

Take a look:  It's a handy chlorine-chemistry primer. 

Inquiring Minds: The free-floating, single-celled algae known as diatoms are remarkably diverse and variously crucial to the balance of all natural bodies of water -- and much more!   [more]

They may be tiny, but they're also remarkably mighty. 

   
On Tap
 

Delta Fountains Offers Geyser Nozzles

Delta Fountains (Jacksonville, FL) manufacturers Geyser Nozzles designed to produce highly aerated water columns of water. The water-level dependent nozzles can be used in ponds, pools, basins, and sumps to reach heights from a small bubble on the water’s surface to 30-foot geysers. For details, click here.  For details, click here

Ramuc Produces Non-Slip Surface

RAMUC (Rockaway, NJ) makes Skid-Tex, a slip-resistant deck-paint additive for production of non-skid deck and pool surfaces. The product is designed for use with the manufacturer's pool paint, which may be used to renovate aging pool surfaces, splash pads, steps, shallow lounging areas, beach entries and wading pools. For details, click here.   For details, click here

   

Corporate Engagement Teammates

Watershape University appreciates the support of the following industry leaders. . .
AandA Manufacturing
 
Aquamatic
 
Aquatic Floors
 
Basecrete
 
 
Carecraft
 
CMAHC
 
ClearWater Tech Ozone
 
CMP
 
Diamond Spas
 
 
International Watershape Institute
 
Lightstreams
 
 
Miracote
 
Master Pools Guild
 
Paddock
 
Paramount
 
Pebble Technology
 
Pentair
 
Twinscape
 
Watershape University
 
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DESIGN ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION
WaterShapes
 
THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE FOR PROFESSIONALS AND CONSUMERS
WHO MAKE WATER AND OUTDOOR LIVING PART OF THEIR LIVES
 

November 4, 2020                                          www.watershapes.com

 

FEATURE ARTICLE

Circular Engagement

Adaptation, design flexibility, multi-functionality and an ability to vanish  completely were all required in this masterful project engineered and designed by Daniel Netz.  Here, he explains the ideas and processes that resulted in a waterfeature meant to be both iconic and completely retiring.    [more]

BENEATH THE SURFACE

Detail: A770

 

While many construction details are forever hidden from view, notes Dave Peterson, others stand front and center. This waterwall treatment, for instance, is a prime example of a simple design idea that shapes the fluid characteristics of the feature while also keeping it from splashing into the surrounding area.   [more]

SPECIAL COMMENTARY

 

Failures of Trust

Engineers carry an almost sacred trust, with watershapers relying on them to design structures and systems that are reliable, science-based and code-compliant. When that trust is broken, says Dave Peterson and Bill Drakeley, the consumer’s investment is at risk -- as is the watershaper’s reputation.   [more]

 
   
Carecraft
 
WaterShapes World
 

Just a Guy in a Pool

Sharing time in a pool has a way of carrying everyone involved to a relaxed state of mind that lets the rigors of daily life temporarily slip away. It's a sensation Eric Herman recently experienced with a group of friends, all of whom lead energetic, stressful lives.   [more]

 

DIRECT CONNECTIONS

 

Fighting Dementia

As our population ages, concerns about preventing dementia are becoming more and more pronounced. Getting involved with water is one of the possibilities a group of researchers has identified as a way to push back the tide of this debilitating cluster of impairments and conditions.   [more]

 
Open Waters
 

Building the Ultimate Wave

Australia has long been known as a surfing mecca, boasting some of the world’s most awesome breaks. Now, that reputation is moving inland, where the world’s largest (and arguably its most innovative) wave pool is redefining how to catch and ride the waves.   [more]

 

WOLFPACK CORNER

Wolfpack
 

Exploring History

At 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.  [more]

 

ESSENTIAL

 

Completely Contemporary

Taking great pride in developing watershape and landscape designs that combine an appreciation for the setting with an understanding of the clients’ tastes, Roger and Sheri Soares have prospered for years on the high end of the hotly competitive Phoenix marketplace. In this project, they took advantage of spectacular views, blended their work into a hillside and worked out all the harmonic links between the desert and the home’s modern style.   [more]

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in June 2005, has been digitized for all readers. Clickhereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanshp in detail.

WaterShapes Web Cafe
 

We Browse 

So You Don't Have To...

Winterizing Ponds: As the weather turns cold, here’s a look at what you need to know about caring for fish and plants when snow falls and ice forms.  [more]

The fulfilling challenge of caring for life beneath the ice.

Tokyo Aquatic Center Opens: Postponed until 2021, the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games will feature a state-of-the-art venue for swimming, diving and artistic swimming.  [more]

It's a gorgeous place to swim a few laps -- or compete for the gold.  

   
On Tap
 

Pentair Refines Commercial Heater 

Pentair Pool Products (Sanford, N.C.) has updated the MasterTemp commercial heater.  The units now have bronze headers, allowing easier access to the thermal regulator and bypass valve. In addition, the header's internal components are now plastic for light weight and corrosion-resistance. For details, click here

Aquamatic Offers Solar Bench

Aquamatic Cover Systems (Gilroy, CA) has introduced the HydraLux Solar Moving Bench. The system, which requires no tracks, deploys the HydraLux cover by moving the full length of the pool -- and will move off of the pool as needed. Designed primarily for commercial pools, the system is completely solar powered.  For details, click here

   

Corporate Engagement Teammates

Watershape University appreciates the support of the following industry leaders. . .
AandA Manufacturing
 
Aquamatic
 
Aquatic Floors
 
Basecrete
 
 
Carecraft
 
CMAHC
 
ClearWater Tech Ozone
 
CMP
 
Diamond Spas
 
 
International Watershape Institute
 
Lightstreams
 
 
Miracote
 
Master Pools Guild
 
Paddock
 
Paramount
 
Pebble Technology
 
Pentair
 
Twinscape
 
Watershape University
 
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THE RESOURCE FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS, AND BUILDERS

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Hayward
 
DESIGN  ENGINEERING    CONSTRUCTION
WaterShapes
 
THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE FOR PROFESSIONALS AND CONSUMERS
WHO MAKE WATER AND OUTDOOR LIVING PART OF THEIR LIVES
 

October 21, 2020                                                                                                      www.watershapes.com

 

FEATURE ARTICLE

Mastering the Long View

Great work often takes time. This project, for instance, was years in the making and had to overcome a whole string of hurdles that came courtesy of an unusually tricky site and the local building department. Using his experience and education, Kevin Cobabe found ways to step up and develop solutions for the project’s myriad challenges.   [more]

BENEATH THE SURFACE

Detail: S034

 

Installing structural steel in a swimming pool means negotiating a variety of fittings, contours, corners and curves. This latest detail from Dave Peterson offers critical guidance when installing steel that bends, but doesn’t break.  [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

 

Lessons in Frustration

Upgrading a classic (but tired) kidney-shaped pool should not have been a particularly tall order -- or so homeowners Kris Anna Andersen and R Lee Steele thought. Little did they know the depth and complexity they'd face in trying to reclaim the pool’s simple beauty and update its equipment.   [more]

 
   
Carecraft
 
WaterShapes World
 

The Consumer View

For clients and prospects, dealing with watershaping professionals should be a trouble-free experience. But sometimes it’s not, as Eric Herman notes here, suggesting that the industry needs to be more open to what consumers are saying, both positive and negative.  [more]

Aquamatic
 

DIRECT CONNECTIONS

 

A Checkerboard Beauty 

Creating works of watershaping art requires both close attention to detail and control over the installation process, says Joan Roca. To show what he means, he profiled a spectacular project on a recent episode of Wolfpack Webinar Wednesday.   [more]

Open Waters
 

Victory in Venice

In a dramatic example of human ingenuity, Venice, Italy, scored a major victory in its fight to survive rising waters that threatened its very existence. Nearly five decades in the making, the solution involved a system of barriers meant to prevent potentially devastating floods.   [more]

 

WOLFPACK CORNER

Wolfpack
 

In Person and Beyond

The Wolfpack recently returned to in-person instruction with a successful program in September. But WU is also continuing its robust online presence, offering courses that cover technology, design, business and architectural history.   [more]

ESSENTIAL

 

Making Frames

To Colorado pond/stream specialist Dave Garton, a certain ‘flexible responsiveness’ is the quality of utmost importance in all of his watershape designs. It’s an approach, he says, that calls for a keen understanding both of the setting and of what makes his clients tick – a dual awareness he puts on eloquent display here in discussing how he maximizes the personal appeal of his designs even as he works across a broad range of project types and styles.    

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in May 2009, has been digitized for all readers.  Click hereto see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanshp in detail.

WaterShapes Web Cafe
 

We Browse 

So You Don't Have To...

Swimming supports mental health: Anxiety, depression and a host of issues are positively impacted for people of all ages and conditions, just by taking a dip.     [more]

Turns out it’s as good for your mind as it is for your body.  

Water’s earthly origin still a mystery: The means by which our oceans first came to be is one of the earth’s biggest secrets -- one that continues to baffle scientists and spark debate.   [more]

Inquiring minds want to know:  How on earth did our planet get so darned wet?

     
On Tap
 

Thursday Pools Introduces the Backfill Eliminator

Thursday Pools (Fortville, IN) has developed a new pool-shell system designed to eliminate the challenge of backfilling under shallow lounging areas. The Backfill Eliminator is integrated into the pool’s structure, eliminating the need for backfilling while allowing groundwater to flow freely and preventing it from accumulating beneath the pool. For details, click here

Finnleo Features the Summit Sauna

Finnleo (Wyborg, Finland) makes the Summit Sauna, an outdoor sauna designed to withstand the elements. Made with a heat-treated Canadian Hemlock interior and exterior components, it features an all-weather metal roof and a foundation of cedar runners. The units are prebuilt with prefitted wall and ceiling panels and durable vinyl flooring. For details, clichere

     

Corporate Engagement Teammates

Watershape University appreciates the support of the following industry leaders. . .
AandA Manufacturing
 
Aquamatic
 
Aquatic Floors
 
Basecrete
 
 
Carecraft
 
CMAHC
 
ClearWater Tech Ozone
 
CMP
 
Diamond Spas
 
 
International Watershape Institute
 
Lightstreams
 
 
Miracote
 
Master Pools Guild
 
Paddock
 
Paramount
 
Pebble Technology
 
Pentair
 
Twinscape
 
Watershape University
 
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Hayward
 
DESIGN ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION
WaterShapes
 
THE DEFINITIVE RESOURCE FOR PROFESSIONALS AND CONSUMERS
WHO MAKE WATER AND OUTDOOR LIVING PART OF THEIR LIVES
   

October 7, 2020

www.watershapes.com

A Study in Contrasts, Part 2
 

FEATURE ARTICLE

A Study in Contrasts, Part 2

Here, in the second part of a dual project profile, Reid Schindler discusses the sleek, contemporary design he created right next door to a completely rustic, free-form pool he discussed in WaterShapes’ last edition.  It's an entirely different (and appropriate) set of design criteria, challenges and solutions. [more]

BENEATH THE SURFACE

Detail: S032B

 

Preventing voids or 'shadows' during shotcrete application is always crucial -- and particularly tricky in designs in which the steel must be close together.  In those cases, writes Dave Peterson, consider this detail.  [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE

 

Rising High, Part 2

Mark and Zachary Trapani specialize in elevated, above-grade pools, mostly above the concrete canyons of New York City.  As they discuss here in the second and final part of this series, it's a niche that requires careful analysis, creativity and sharp eyes for detail -- especially in existing buildings.[more]

Watershape University
 
Carecraft
 
WaterShapes World
 

A Shining Takeaway

Given the industry's current struggles to keep up with the overwhelming demand for watershapes, Eric Herman suggests that it's time to consider what's driving the buying frenzy – and spend some time in the buyer's shoes.  [more]

Aquamatic
 

DIRECT CONNECTIONS

Direct Connections
 

Chemistry is for Everyone

This time, the folks at Ask the Masters and Pool Pro Podcasts delve into the many reasons why understanding water chemistry and how it can best be managed is beneficial to both watershapers and consumers.  [more]

Open Waters
 

Expanding Blue Mind

The 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.   [more]

Watershape University
 

WOLFPACK CORNER

Wolfpack
 

Estimating Success

Accurate cost estimating is essential for all successful watershape-construction businesses -- especially when sales activity is at a frenzied pace.  That in mind, Dave Peterson is preparing an upcoming live, online course on job costing that couldn't be more timely.  [more]

ESSENTIAL

 

Emotional Foundations

At their best, say landscape artists and educators Cynthia and Gary Kinman, watershape and landscape design and construction are integrated reflections of the clients' personalities and desires -- and even their feelings about family and life itself.  A case in point is the huge project profiled here, in which the pair used their technical skill, patience and personal ideals to transform a steep, forbidding hillside into a client-centered celebration.   

This article, originally published in WaterShapes in July 2006, has been digitized for all readers.  Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanshp in detail.

WaterShapes Web Cafe
 

We Browse 

So You Don't Have To...

Accommodation Upgrades:  A Hawaiian masterpiece heads a list of stunning pools that raise the bar for design.  [more]

Perfect for anyone who needs to recharge a bucket list.

The Downward-Diving Dog:  A seven-year-old whippet named Spitfire has dock-diving prowess must be seen to be believed as he flies the length of the pool and brings home the gold.  [more]

He makes it look easy because, for him, it's all about the treats he gets after a performance!  

On Tap
 

Pentair Offers AcuPort Control Unit

Pentair Pool Products (Sanford. NC) brings remote-control capabilities to commercial equipment rooms by combining its AcuPort modules with the company’s Acu-Trol controller and a facility’s LAN service to provide secure system access via Windows-based laptops and other devices that are part of its WiFi network or through the Internet. For details, click here

FAFCO Offers Hybrid Heating System

FAFCO (Chico, CA.) has introduced CoolPV, a hybrid photo-voltaic/solar pool-water heating system that generates household electricity while simultaneously heating water in the same rooftop footprint. In addition, water flowing through the panels to be heated also serves to cool the photo-voltaic panels to extend the panels’ service lives. For details, click here

Corporate Engagement Teammates

Watershape University appreciates the support of the following industry leaders. . .
AandA Manufacturing
 
Aquamatic
 
Aquatic Floors
 
Basecrete
 
 
Carecraft
 
CMAHC
 
ClearWater Tech Ozone
 
CMP
 
Diamond Spas
 
 
International Watershape Institute
 
Lightstreams
 
 
Miracote
 
Master Pools Guild
 
Paddock
 
Paramount
 
Pebble Technology
 
Pentair
 
Twinscape
 
Watershape University
 
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THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        September 16, 2020                                                                                                                                                                         www.watershapes.com  
FEATURE ARTICLE

A Study in Contrasts, Part 1
Watershaper Reid Schindler was asked to create side-by-side designs for neighboring business partners. The kicker, he says in the first of a pair of articles, was that the two projects were direct stylistic opposites.  [more]


BENEATH THE SURFACE
     
Detail:  S032
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.   [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
A Beautiful Wreck  

Part of a team that recently completed an intricate splash pad on the shores of Washington's scenic Puget Sound, Kent Walker guides a tour of a design centered on a faux shipwreck -- and its cargo of interactive features.   [more]
ESSENTIAL

Forms and Figures
 
Water and works of art have been near-constant companions for millennia, but that traditional pairing seems to be generating new enthusiasm, says watershape designer/builder Randy Beard, with more and more property owners seeking to make unique statements by putting artworks on display in and around water.  He takes a look at this emerging trend here, using a number of his recent projects in southern California to illustrate the point.  
   
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in July 2008, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
DIRECT CONNECTIONS

Exploring New Efficiency Rules
It might be the biggest change the pool industry has seen since passage of the Virginia Graeme Baker Act: The U.S. Dept. of Energy is banning most single-speed pumps and changing the way all of these devices are rated.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Culture of Conflict

Will a flood of litigation compromise the watershaping industry's reputation and/or success -- and how might 'alternative dispute resolution' fit into the picture? Here's Eric Herman's take on both fronts.    [more]

OPEN WATERS

The Journey 
into Design 
 
The discipline of landscape architecture is based on a single process, says Mike Farley, that can be applied to a variety of design types.  Here's how you can pick up this systematic approach without having to go to college.     [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . . 

Pools by Architects: Ten beautiful watershapes set high standards for creativity and integrated design.   [more]
There's a reason these designers are all renowned. 
Beautiful Derelicts: Even abandoned swimming pools can be visually appealing, even if they're a little gross.   [more]
I guess it really is all in the eye of the beholder. 
WOLFPACK CORNER
Fluid Engineering
Goes Digital
In a ground-breaking presentation, Watershape University's Essential Fluid Engineering Workshop spread out over two intensive days of online instruction -- and it may have been a first-ever event for the industry. To learn more, click here
 
Bradford Offers Custom Waterfalls   
 
Bradford Products (Leland, NC) offers its Bradford FX line of sheeting waterfalls. The units create continuous, unbroken sheets of water that cascade into a surrounding basin or pool and come in two formats -- either fully enclosed and pressure driven or set up as a simple overflow system in which water fills an open trough before cascading. For details, click here.
Original Statuary from World of Bronze
 
World of Bronze (Las Vegas, NV) fabricates fountains and statuary made of solid bronze. Made using the lost-wax process, the cast products are initially finished to a multi-tone, antique patina with hand-applied highlights; these variations in color and intensity are then hand-rubbed to bring out details and textures in ways that recall classic works of art. For details, click here.
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        September 2, 2020                                                                                                                                                                          www.watershapes.com  
FEATURE ARTICLE

Design and Desire
Working with an ample budget, great clients and a large, open canvas all spelled 'opportunity' for Jason Brownlee -- a chance to integrate multiple design elements into a composition in which water, stone, tile and fire define a European look that also offers a dash of mystery.  [more]


BENEATH THE SURFACE
     
Detail:  A201
This time, Dave Peterson shares a simple, reliable way to extend stone veneer from the deck surface all the way down into the pool's interior.  It's a great way, he suggests, to create a transition from dry to wet surfaces that is durable, graceful -- and visually seamless.  [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Art of the Waterfall  

No matter whether it's a pond, stream or swimming pool, waterfalls are an appealing part of the composition -- which is why Larry Carnes includes them in most of his projects. Here, he shares some approaches to making these features both naturalistic and completely mesmerizing.    [more]
ESSENTIAL

Liquid Glass 
 
The relationship between glass and water can be a powerful one, says John Gilbert Luebtow, a modernist sculptor who uses water to spectacular effect in some of his work.  Here, he explores the nature of that relationship while describing three major projects in which the 'visual dance' between water and glass is expressed in multi-dimensional shapes and sweeping, organic lines. 
   
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in January 2001, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
DIRECT CONNECTIONS

Botched Plaster Bonding
For more than three decades, concerns about plaster have beset the pool industry with a variety of contentious questions and pointed debates. If there's one thing almost everyone agrees on, however, it's that there's a need for a reliable interface between concrete and plaster.  [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Imagination in Demand

As the weird summer of 2020 strectches toward the fall, watershapers continue to report unprecedented sales activity. Perhaps that sweltering demand justifies charging design fees, suggests Eric Herman -- and maybe kicking them up a notch or two as demand meets supply.   [more]

OPEN WATERS

Long Live 
the Sundlaugs 
Despite its position just a few degrees south of the Arctic Circle, the small island nation of Iceland arguably leads the world in its passion for public swimming pools.  Eric Herman finds this Icelandic embrace of the aquatic lifestyle both amazing and inspiring -- and ample motivation for a bit of vocabulary expansion.    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . . 

Now You See It: Chinese architects create a mixed-use property that uses water in clever vignettes.     [more]
Geometry, light and water can be a magical combination. 
Legacy of a Master: One of the 20th Century's most influential artists had a real flair for using water.    [more]
Mr. Halprin made his own rules while redefining design. 
WOLFPACK CORNER
Living with
Devastation
This year's fire season has once again wrought widespread destruction across several western states.  For many, however, it's much more than a story on the news but a life-altering tragedy. 
One of those who suffered as a result of one such cataclysm is our own, blue-minded Wallace J Nichols, who lost his home in a firestorm that has consumed thousands of acres of forested land near Santa Cruz, Calif.  To appreciate the way he's evaluating and handling the situation, click here
 
Pentair Premieres an LED Bubbler   
 
Pentair Pool & Spa Equipment (Sanford, NC) has released the ColorVision Bubbler, a combination of ColorVision Niche and Pentair GloBrite LED lights that produces vivid fountain-like water movement. The low-voltage system requires minimal water flow and brings a colorful, energy-efficient element to pools, ponds, fountains and more. For details, click here.
Hudson Aquatic Offers Treadmill Systems
 
Hudson Aquatic (Angola, IN) makes the AquaGaiter, a drop-in underwater treadmill designed to upgrade any facility or backyard with all the benefits of rehabilitation, aquatic conditioning or general exercise as part of a wellness program. The units feature variable-speed adjustments and are available with heavy-duty and high-speed options. For details, click here.
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        August 19, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                www.watershapes.com  
FEATURE ARTICLE

Splashing for All
Splash pads have jumped in popularity by bringing fun to a variety of public spaces.  But there's one key factor to keep in mind in their design and installation, writes Chris Thomas, that helps these inviting, entertaining features serve the broadest possible spectrum of visitors.   [more]


BENEATH THE SURFACE
     
Detail:  P783
With 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.  [more]

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Raising the Floor  

Movable pool floors have been around a long time, but perfecting and popularizing the concept has proved an elusive goal. Here, Diego Merkenbreak explores the process of changing that situation -- and making these projects more functional, reliable and common.   [more]
ESSENTIAL

A Window into Nature 
 
Microsoft's corporate campus near Seattle has been the birthplace of much of the world's most significant consumer-electronics technology.  When it came time to adorn the ultramodern facility with a watershape of it own, writes Jon Mitovich, the scope and complexity of the system was intended to reflect the scale and grandeur of the world's most famous software company -- and to fill a circumscribed space as though it had been there from time immemorial. 
   
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in February 2003, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
DIRECT CONNECTIONS

Diving Deep

Ask the Masters has released a detailed, four-part series of podcasts profiling a stunning, challenging residential project in Scottsdale, Ariz., that includes multi-layered waterproofing, acrylic-panel installation, an all-tile finish -- and an incredible level of on-site coordination.  [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Trade Show Respite

It looks as though in-person, traditional trade shows won't be happening for a while. But as Eric Herman points out, when these events do come back, they will likely do so with renewed vigor -- and might even be accompanied by what could prove to be popular online versions as well.   [more]

OPEN WATERS

Comedic 
Chasm 
There's a long tradition of pools being used in movies to great dramatic effect, but portrayals of the pool and spa industry itself are nearly non-existent. One exception, reports Jim McCloskey, can be found in the 1967 film Don't Make Waves, which features a comedic take on the glamorous life of a "pool tycoon."    [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . . 

Bird's-Eye Pools:  Photographer releases series of striking swimming pool photos that qualify as high art.    [more]
Hockney has a rival with these aquatic dreamscapes.
Speaking of Hockney:  Here's why this artist's iconic paintings continue to inspire and provoke us.   [more]
They are the crown jewels of the pools-as-art genre.
WOLFPACK CORNER
Across the
Platforms
Watershape University is responding to the current health crisis with caution and optimism by offering both online programs as well as in-person events in the fall.
Whether you attend via a computer screen or in a physical classroom, the scheduled programs are designed to provide much-needed fundamental education.  If you want to know more about what this means to you as a watershaper, click here
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Hayward Manufactures Waterproof Remotes   
 
Hayward Pool Products (Clemons, NC offers the programmable, fully rechargeable and completely waterproof AquaPod to take pool and spa control right into the water. Backlighted for nighttime use and engineered to float horizontally, the units enable users to turn up the heat, turn on the lights or activate waterfeatures with just a touch. For details, click here.
A&A Launches Line of Waterfeatures
 
A&A Manufacturing (Phoenix, AZ) produces LivingWaters fixtures that use six custom-configured jets to bring continuous, ever-changing dancing-water effects to pools, spas and other waterfeatures. The height-adjustable nozzles can retract flush with a watershape's floor when not in use and can also be installed as stand-alone enhancements for backyards. For details, click here.
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        August 5, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                www.watershapes.com  
FEATURE ARTICLE

Finding Fountains
Moving from backyard ponds to commercial fountains is a big leap, says Tim Krzeminski, one that requires diligence, expanded skill sets and organizational discipline -- not to mention the raw courage needed to tackle bigger, more complex systems with huge public profiles.   [more]

GOURMET WATER
     
The Art of Service  

Pool service can be complex and challenging, with the level of difficulty largely determined by decisions a builder makes long before a technician ever shows up. That's why Steve Kenny infuses his design and construction approaches with awareness of the basic needs of gourmet water.   [more]


DIRECT CONNECTIONS
     
Hydraulic Harmony
Welcome to 'Direct Connections,' a new department that is now part of the WaterShapes feature array. What you'll find here are videos and multi-media presentations on technical and business topics -- including this podcast by Dave Penton about a key factor in system engineering.  [more]
ESSENTIAL

Softening Edges 
 
Among all of the elements defining superior naturalistic watershapes, accomplished pond/stream specialists know that edge treatments are generally what separates great work from the ordinary.  Here, watershaper Steve Sandalis highlights these transitions, sharing techniques he uses to soften edges and create areas where grassy verges, plants, beaches and rocks combine to make impressions in various and seamlessly beautiful ways. 
   
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in January 2010, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
SPACE RELATIONS

Eastern Eclectic

Five years in the making, this project pushed his team to explore the limits of their creativity, says Ben Dozier.  The result is a set of garden rooms that involve classic styles, plantings, sculptures, garden ornaments and fine hardscape treatments. And then, of course, there's the water.  [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

Fire-Fighting Pools

The concept of fighting fires with pool water has been around for decades, observes Eric Herman. But despite the brutal logic in support of deploying systems to make it possible, too many pools in fire-prone areas are simply not equipped to help in knocking down the flames.   [more]

OPEN WATERS

Learning by 
Adventure 
In this edition, Eric Herman checks in on a program that provides teens and young adults with life-altering learning experiences -- in  this case courtesy of an ambitious organization that challenges them to build a schooner that serves in equal parts as sailing ship and classroom.  [more]
WE BROWSE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO . . . 

Status Symbols: An insightful look at how the swimming pool became an iconic symbol of the good life.   [more]
It's about way more than keeping up with the Joneses!
Mid-Century Magic: Check out these simple (yet stunning) martini-modern swimming pool designs.   [more]
Frank, Dean and Sammy would be immensely proud.  
WOLFPACK CORNER
Constructive
Engagement
Support from businesses within the watershaping industry enables Watershape University to provide top-flight educational programs on line -- and, in the not-too-distant future, live and in person. 
But it's more than the usual sort of sponsorship. Instead, it's what we call engagement.  If you want to know what that means to you as a watershaper, click here to learn more. 
 
THE SHOPPING CART
 
Palapa Structures Makes Palapas and Tiki Huts    
 
Palapa Structures (Los Angeles, CA) specializes in palapa and tiki-hut structures in a variety of formats featuring one- to four-pole configurations and sizes ranging from seven- to 12-feet across. Made with a double layer of thatch and four-section steel frame assemblies, the covers come with African reed, bamboo or SynthThatch - or as snap-on panels. For details, click here.
Fountain People Improves Fountain-In-A-Can
 
Fountain People (San Marcos, TX) has upgraded its familiar Fountain-in-a-Can (FIAC) product line with a new, manual Integral Throttling Valve that allows a fountain's water height to be adjusted from the top-plate without ever having to enter the fixture: On-site adjustments are now fast and easy using a wrench at the surface of the fountain. For details, click here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THE ESSENTIAL E-NEWSLETTER FOR WATERSHAPE DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS AND BUILDERS

        July 22, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                   www.watershapes.com  

FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Patient Perfection  

While true perfection is an elusive goal, Grant Smith believes in pursuing it by exceeding engineering and construction standards and paying attention to fine aesthetic details. And as he reports here, sometimes he ends up chasing it for clients who like to change their minds.  [more]
FEATURE ARTICLE

The Shaq Pond
Installing a pond for basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal was a personal thrill, notes Greg Wittstock. But even if he and the all-star project team were a little bit starstruck, they stayed focused and approached the work as an expression of aquatic art at the highest level.    [more]


FEATURE ARTICLE
     
Pathways to Efficiency
Creating swimming pools that save on energy costs is a consuming passion for Douglas Cook. As he explains here, he achieves best results with combinations of energy-smart solutions -- often including solar heating and power generation -- that can lead to dramatic savings.  [more]
ESSENTIAL

The Science of Lighting        

When designed and installed properly, a landscape lighting system enables clients to enjoy their watershapes and landscapes well after the sun goes down.  But achieving those satisfactory results, says lighting expert Mike Gambino, requires an understanding not only of the aesthetics of lighting design, but also an appreciation of the technology behind the beauty and an ability to lay components out in ways that electrically balance the system. 
   
 
This article, originally published in WaterShapes in February 2008, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
SPATIAL CONNECTIONS

Refined Expressions

Water can be used in almost every setting to add interest, beauty and a sense of tranquility.  But what that means in design terms changes in response to a setting's needs and a client's expectations, say Janet Rosenberg and Glenn Herman -- and produces a spectrum of solutions.   [more]

WATERSHAPES WORLD

A Cautionary Note

A surge in pool sales is a beautiful thing, observes Eric Herman.  But with this groundswell of popularity, it's more important than ever to educate homeowners -- especially those with young children or grandchildren -- to be mindful of the value of safety and drowning prevention.   [more]