This industry owes a debt of gratitude to the service segment.

The work of cleaning, maintaining and repairing pools and spas kept many afloat through the tough times. And it promises to sustain the industry's health as more people purchase or inherit pools and turn to service professionals for help.

Our first group of Top 50 Service companies shows that this vital part of the industry rests in good hands.

As with our Top 50 Builders program, entrants submit a thorough application providing information on the six pillars that make a great service company: revenue, staff management and training, industry involvement, web presence, community contributions and customer service. PSN editors then scored each firm on the six pillars to assemble the list.

We are happy to honor this well-rounded mix of service-only firms and service operations attached to builders or retailers. They represent a variety of staff sizes and business models, with independents and franchisees included. For the latter, individual franchisees were judged separately.

Their impact is evident: Combined, these companies service 71,353 accounts, generate revenues of nearly $115 million and employ 1,137 workers.

Read on to learn the ranking, vital stats on each honoree, who ranked highest in some of our judging categories, and sage wisdom from the CEOs.

Thank you goes to Jandy for its sponsorship of this program.

Congratulations to our honorees — and thanks to all who participated!