2018 was an exciting year for the pool and spa industry – both globally and locally. Things were afoot in the world of business, while there were interesting innovations, and sadly, a few accidents.
February saw the NSW government safeguard family backyard swimming lessons with a new amendment clarifying that the definition of a public swimming pool applies to a pool in residential premises used by members of the public for swimming lessons.
In March the VBA investigated former AFL star Nick Stevens over allegations of deception and reports that several customers who paid deposits to his regional pool company were left with incomplete pools, as well as debts outstanding to suppliers. Also in March, SPASA Victoria CEO Brendan Watkins resigned after 12 years in the job.
The ongoing Dreamworld inquest uncovered more unsettling facts in April – continuing over several weeks – while the Victorian government agreed to introduce mandatory barrier inspections.
In May, research showed that pool and spa service businesses were the second best achievers in the small business sector, while a DIY pool fence was recalled nationally. In June Evolve opened up the Poolrite businesses for investment, later deciding to put the whole business up for sale.
Fluidra and Zodiac closed their merger in July, and later the local executives explained the details to SPLASH!TV. SPASA Australia also launched the first truly comprehensive certification system for efficiency and sustainability in the swimming pool and spa industry: the Climate Care Certification Program; while also becoming a finalist in the Association of the Year Awards.
The big buzz in August was the SPLASH! Pool & Spa Expo – the biggest (and by popular consensus, the best) pool and spa trade show ever held on these shores. As part of the event the SPASA National Awards of Excellence were also held. Also in August, Hayward purchased Paramount and Pentair executives explained the new company structure to SPLASH!TV.
The National Drowning Report was launched in September showing progress had been made regarding swimming pool drownings.
An exciting new type of wave pool was tested in Queensland in November, while a gas pool heater leak sent a family of four to hospital, and in December six people were sent to hospital following an incident during a shock treatment at a public pool.
SPLASH! would like to wish all our readers and supporters an exciting and prosperous New Year! Here’s to 2019!