The 10th Annual World Aquatic Health Conference (WAHC) held Oct. 16-18 in Indianapolis, Ind., was once again a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas.
The annual conference, presented by the National Swimming Pool Foundation® was, as always, open to all members of the aquatic community, including pool service professionals and technicians.
The WAHC featured more than 50 seminars on topics from recreational water illness (RWI) prevention and disinfection by-products to recreational aquatic facility management, drowning prevention, swimming health benefits, and new industrial technology.
The seminars went largely as scheduled, except for those focusing on the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC). Three members from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were expected to lead MAHC conferences but could not attend due to the government shutdown.
Several environmental health leaders who have worked on the MAHC stepped in and gave the presentations provided by the absent CDC members.
The conference was tailored for people involved in all areas of aquatic facilities, including those who service, regulate, inspect, manage, as well as manufacture products and conduct research for pools, spas and therapy pools.
This year, the conference had nearly 400 attendees from 39 states and global attendance from 7 countries included Australia, Canada, Mexico, Finland, Poland, Puerto Rico and the Ukraine.
The conference opened with a keynote address given by the highly sought after motivational speaker, Deborah Phelps.
Phelps shared a heart-felt and intimate story of raising three exceptional children, including her son Michael, the most decorated Olympian of all time.
She told attendees that water has been a safe haven that comforted her swimming children for more than two decades. Giving thanks to the attenders, Ms. Phelps recognized industry members for the gift they have given to her family,
as well as thousands of swimmers and families across the globe. Phelps thanked the industry for the innovation, technology, research and attention to making pools safer and healthier — a place where her family could thrive.
For Bob Luteutke, Ipssa Liason to NSPF and owner of The Pool Works in Anaheim, Calif., Phelp’s speech was one of the highlights of the show. “There’s maybe a handful of times that a stranger has thanked me for providing a safe swimming environment,” Luteutke said.
Additionally, Olympic bronze medalist and wellness coach, Catherine Garceau served as the Master of Ceremonies.
Garceau is passionately committed to provide solutions for chlorine disinfection by-products exposure and raising the bar on standards for swimming environments. She is also the author of “Swimming Out Of Water,” a novel detailing her personal moments of fear, failure, loss, triumph and breakthrough.
Pre- and post-conference events included a CPO® Certification course, the NSPF Certified Instructors annual meeting and awards ceremony, the National Swimming Pool Environmental Health Leader Symposium, and an Insider’s Tour of three unique aquatic facilities.
Additionally, Genesis 3 Design Group presented a class on Natural Swimming Pools and USA Swimming presented their Regional Build A Pool Conference.
For those who were unable to attend this year’s conference, NSPF presented live streaming of Thursday’s seminars on the MAHC and Friday’s sessions on RWIs.
Partners of the conference included The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) www.ndpa.org., The Aquatic Physical Therapy Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) www.aquaticpt.org., and Indiana University Aquatic Institute www. indiana.edu.
NDPA — a volunteer-driven non- profit organization — seeks to prevent drowning and aquatic injuries through education, leadership and support of the public.
The Aquatic Physical Therapy Section of the APTA held its summit as part of the WAHC, opening the door to disseminate the health and healing qualities of water, providing the latest scientific and industrial research.
The Aquatic Institute of Indiana University investigates the role of aquatic recreation and its relationship to health and the quality of life, with a mission to provide aquatic leadership on a national scale.