Home' Splash Magazine : SPLASH Feb-Mar 2017 Contents I
n the second in the series of interviews with international leaders
recorded at SPLASH! 2016 on the Gold Coast, we spoke to
Michael Turner, international business development manager for
Neptune Benson. He talks about the acquisition by Evoqua, the
growth of markets for waterparks, and just what went wrong at the
In April 2016, Evoqua Water Technologies bought Neptune Benson.
Turner says the acquisition certainly provides Neptune Benson with a
much larger presence.
“Evoqua is an 8000-person company; they do about a million
dollars in business worldwide. They certainly are allowing us to
have more offices around the world, more support centres around
the world, and just a bigger presence. One of the things Neptune
Benson brings to Evoqua is that they ’re not really focussed
on aquatics. They have a lot of
industrial, municipal products they
take care of. And their missing piece
was aquatics; we fit that part for
them, and there’s going to be great
growth potential for us.”
He says the management of
Neptune Benson hasn’t really changed.
However, the CEO of the company
has been elevated to the board of
directors of Evoqua, and a new general manager has come in to run
the day-to-day operations.
“ Waterparks are probably 65 per cent of our business,” he says.
“ The remaining part is usually aquatic centres, swimming pools and
that aspect of it. But waterparks are a big part of our business.”
He says that as economies in Asia and the Middle East grow and people
have more disposable income, more waterparks are being built there.
“ Waterparks are probably the easiest cost-effective way to build
attraction facilities. You see huge growth in the Middle East – a
warm area – we see huge growth in Asia – another warm area. And
that ’s the quickest way to provide attractions to the citizens.”
He says the Middle East is definitely a growth area for waterparks,
despite the challenges they faced during the global financial crisis in 2008.
“ There were lots of projects going to be built for Dubailand and they
all stopped. We’re now seeing a re-emergence of some of the properties:
Legoland is getting ready to open up a waterpark there, Six Flags is
looking there, SeaWorld is looking there. So there is growth potential.”
He adds that the Australian market is one of the strongest markets
they have worldwide, second only to North America.
“Australia for various reasons is very strong on using our ultra-
The Rio Pools
Turner had been at Rio Olympic Games and saw first-hand what
was happening with the problematic green pools.
“ There were lots of challenges for FINA. From the reporting
and from being there, I’d say there was a mismanagement of the
water quality. They did not manage
the pH of the water, they overdosed,
and they had an older filtration
system,” he says.
He points out that some of the
competition pools were crystal
clear – those built by Myrtha using
Defender filtration and other modern
equipment – but the ones that turned
green were using older sand filtration.
“ They mismanaged the dosing of the chemicals and had no new
technology managing it,” he says.
He says that pH is the key.
“ We have to make sure the pH is the right level to maintain and
disinfect the water. The pH was put out of balance, and then the
algae was able to grow. I was there on the Friday when they drained
the pools that were green and pumped in the ‘Defender’ clean water
so they could use those pools for competition on the Saturday. It was
an all-night process to do that.”
He believes FINA won’t be using legacy systems in future.
“ They could have used legacy systems to hold the water, but they
needed to have something to maintain the quality of clarity and
“ We have to make sure the pH
is the right level to maintain
and disinfect the water.”
Turner was at the Rio Olympics
and witnessed the issues with
the infamous green pools
proving to be
30 SPLASH! February/March 2017
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