Pool Reflections …
A day in the life of a Florida public pool inspector
By Lauren Broom
The pool industry has been eagerly anticipating an in-person pool trade show for a year following the cancellation of in-person events due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Attendees want in-person education, as well as a place to meet colleagues and their pool industry representatives. So the excitement was understandable when the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA) announced that they were going to organize an in-person show in 2021. The “Everything Under the Sun Expo”, took place from February 17-20, 2021, and after talking to both attendees and exhibitors, it was a total success. The show offered many educational courses while safely keeping attendees socially distanced. Face masks were predictably required, but the show took safety to a new level by having instructors, rather than students, change classroomsthereby minimizing crowding at doorways and halls. It was an unusual protocol, but it worked.
Attendees travelled from as far as California and New York to attend the pool show. They were excited about an actual in-person show and were pleased to be able to meet with company representatives in person, something that hasn’t happened in a year. It is important to be able to meet your reps in person and see the products they have to offer.
The cancellation of most swimming pool trade shows in 2020 gave rise to the popularity of social media industry groups on sites like Facebook. Stephen Little, owner of Claro Pools, calls California home but traveled to Orlando for the show and like many others, stopped by the 14 PSI Industry Lounge Facebook Group booth at the show, to socialize with others from the Facebook group. The 14 PSI group has 3700 members and the show gave members a chance to meet one another for the first time.
According to Ken Scott, owner of Aqua Bliss Pools, “people were flocking to the Lounge,” no surprise given the comfortable lounge chairs and the free beer. The group was also there to support Ken Scott’s non-profit organization called ‘Stitching for Swimming’. The new non-profit allows pool companies an opportunity to donate their torn Hammerhead brand pool vacuum bags to be stitched up and resold to pool techs. The pool tech’s money is then donated to an organization called the ZAC Foundation, where the money is used to fund children’s swim lessons.
Most attendees thought the show was good but lightly attended by both attendees and exhibitors. Most attendees said the educational track was top notch. “The classes were smaller but the education was the educational quality was good” said Michael Brownfield, an attendee of this show. He thought the only deterrent to the education was the block scheduling for classes versus pre-
Lauren Broom is a Certified Pool Operator Course, CPO ® , instructor and a former health inspector for the Florida Department of Health. Lauren has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and is a registered sanitarian.
She has 16-years of experience in commercial pool inspections and waterborne disease outbreak investigations.
Lauren lives in Palm Bay, Florida with her husband of 17 years and their 3 children. Lauren can be reached at [email protected]
Lauren Broom with Stephen Little, Claro Pools, California
Lauren Broom vious years where you could just choose which classes to attend. FSPA purposely scheduled block classes as a precaution in case show organizers needed to help identify any Covid cases after the show closed. FSPA’s top priority this year was to have a safe and healthy show for the aquatic industry, said Mary Anderson, FSPA Education Program Manager, who organized the educational track this year. “Mary Anderson did an awesome job organizing this show,” stated Brownfield, noting that she dealt well with the challenges brought about by trying to organize a trade show floor as well as classes during this pandemic.
Covid-19 did not stop companies from showing off their new wares, nor did it prevent the return of companies that have come to the show for many years. Ken Moyer with Brenntag, a pool chemical distributor, has been an exhibitor at this show since 1985. “The show is a little slower but that is to be expected this year. I want to support the industry by being here” Moyer said.
® booth was packed and seemed to have the new cool product at the show.
Many pool techs were excited and purchased the product.
The husband and wife team who created this new product has never been employed in the pool industry. They invented The Skimmie
® from the issues they experienced as homeowners servicing their own backyard pool. She works in real estate and he works in the health care industry. The Skimmie
® was invented to help pool owners clean out their skimmers with ease, and to keep users from having to bend down or touch the debris in the skimmer.
The hook on the opposite side of the pole is designed to lift the skimmer lid and pull out the skimmer basket. The fine mesh net is designed to catch small debris and keep it out of the filtration system. The length of the pole allows the user to remain standing while cleaning out the skimmers.
The pool show always has some new and unique tool and this one seemed to be it this year!
It is still to early to know if there will be other in person pool shows in 2021, but the Florida Swimming Pool Association deserves a big congratulations for a job well done in presenting this year’s in-person “Everything Under the Sun Expo.
Ken Scott, of Aqua Bliss Pools in, Deerfield Beach, Fla. has a new non-profit orgranization supporting children’s free swim lessons
Facebook group 14 psi Pool Industry Lounge organizers Ken Scott & Jeff Hampe pose with 14psi member
Lauren poses at the 14psi booth
New Fun Tool — The ‘ Skimmie’