Water Well Journal

October 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/728580

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Page 46 of 90

G reg Gruett is a regional sales manager for Water-Right Inc. and covers the east coast of the United States from Pennsylvania to Georgia. He has been a principal part of Water-Right for more than 25 years as part of the family business. Gruett is responsible for technical and sales training within his assigned area of responsibility as well as the open sessions held at their corporate headquarters. Gruett recently sat down with Water Well Journal to talk about the water treatment industry and how contractors can take advantage of its growing market. Water Well Journal: What are some recent developments in water treatment technology? Greg Gruett: Water conditioners that remove iron, manganese, and sulfur without any chemicals are one recent development. They're using air technology to re- generate, and they also use ozone to sanitize the bed after every regeneration. The benefit here is: no chemicals. We're just using oxygen to regenerate the units. The second is Wi-Fi technology for total water manage- ment in the home. Many companies are working on this tech- nology, which will give real-time usage and salt alarms. Reverse osmosis is another advancement that removes most heavy metals, including arsenic and lead. WWJ: When speaking with contractors, what questions are you getting the most often right now? Greg: Contractors see water treatment has really taken off and that water quality is just as important as water quantity today. They want to know if they need to have a standalone com- pany. The answer is no. It can complement your current well drilling and pumping business. WWJ: How do you think contractors can turn water treat- ment into a diversification opportunity? Greg: It's natural today for well drillers to diversify into water treatment. They're the first on the site, and they're the gate- keepers. They understand geology, pumping, and flow rates. So it's natural for them to treat the water, too. They also have the trust of the customer. They can bring up the water quality issues before the customer even experiences bad water. The opportunities are there. But they have to take the time. They have to be trained on what waters they can treat successfully. A test kit is a tool they have to have for the trade. They also have to be able to test water on site and be able to recommend proper solutions. WWJ: What are some of the valuable resources you think contractors need for those doing treatment work? Greg: They need a manufacturer and wholesaler who is will- ing to train them in the field and teach them to stay "in the box." That means showing them what waters they can treat successfully and what waters are more difficult to treat. The box is really small for contractors new to water treatment until they have more experience. Then their box becomes bigger and bigger. There is technically no water we can't treat, but we try not to jump into the quicksand or the real problem jobs first be- cause that will take up too much time for the contractor. When looking for a manufacturer, it's also important for them to have field support. A 1-800 number staffed with tech- nical experts who can walk you through the problems you're having while you're in the field is also very important. WWJ: What are some major hurdles contractors face in getting qualified to do water treatment? Greg: Time, time, and time. It takes time to educate yourself, to provide service to your customers, and to test water. It's a service business. It's not a one-time sale. It's not a put it in and run kind of deal. You have to be there for the cus- tomer. Once you install a water treatment system, you inherit that customer for life. We call it the well driller's syndrome. When they're slow they're looking for opportunities. But it has to be a full-time job. They need to commit to their customers and show they're going to be there in the long run. WWJ: What are some rules and regulations contractors need to be aware of when doing water treatment? Greg: T here are state regulations, national plumbing codes, and county codes. Sometimes cities even have their own regu- lations for cutting into a pressurized plumbing line. So each state and county has different regulations. You have to be familiar with your local plumbing codes and whether or not you're required to have a master plumbing license to cut into a pressurized line. Greg Gruett "It's a service business. It's not a one-time sale. It's not a put it in and run kind of deal. Y ou have to be there for the customer." GROUNDWATER WEEK Q&A GREG GRUETT Regional Sales Manager of Water-Right Inc. By Jennifer Strawn waterwelljournal.com 42 October 2016 WWJ

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