Thank you SDVoyager for taking the time to introduce the President of Pure Water Industries, Bruce Wettstein.
“Bruce, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have been a swimming pool builder since 1995, starting at Mission Pools in Escondido. We did not have a pool growing up, but I always wanted one, so when I got the chance to work for Mission Pools, I jumped at it (I had had various construction jobs before this so I was used to building stuff, just not swimming pools).
I had always been told that swimming pools needed to be drained and refilled every couple of years to properly maintain them, so I did that to my personal pools once I was able to have my own, but it always seemed wasteful to me. My Dad owned part of a bottled water company in the ’70s and ’80s before bottled water was as popular as it is now, so I had had some exposure to quality water at an early age, and it just seemed like some of this technology could be used to efficiently process swimming pool water as well.
I consulted with a respected Reverse Osmosis (RO) man I knew, who explained why it could not be done (RO likes to take body of water A and create body of water B, and we were wanting to take body of water A and put it right back into body of water A but change the results! RO likes to have a constant source of water in which to create a constant end product, and we were in different water in every pool, not ideal for RO technology). I could not let this go, and the RO expert and I continued to talk until I was finally able to convince him that we could figure this out. That was in late 2008/early 2009 and we put our first trailer in service around March of 2009.
Has it been a smooth road?
Not a smooth road, but a very rewarding one. From being told it could not be done to getting the first trailer built and into service, was the first hurdle. Then to explain to pool owners and others in the industry that we could purify a pool in less than a day to better water quality standards than a drain and a refill could provide and protect the pool’s interior finish, we were met with skepticism.
The first trailer required us to stop by and make adjustments and confirm that it was running, where today’s trailers (we now build these for others and have them operating in 6 states currently) are fully visible and controllable via our phone/tablet/computer from anywhere we have signal and can connect. The struggles forced us to build a better machine and allowed us to really learn all that they were capable of (example: we are now approved by FEMA to provide safe drinking water in the case of an emergency, something not swimming pool related and an avenue that we did not see initially).
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Pure Water Industries story. Tell us more about the business.
We are in the swimming pool business and can do anything related to swimming pools, but what we specialize in is providing superior quality water for swimming pool owners. Our Reverse Osmosis trailers are brought to a pool owners home (or commercial facility) whenever the water quality needs to be addressed, be it from hard water issues (calcium) that build up from minerals in city water to an overabundance of pool chemicals. While the norm has always been to fully drain and refill a swimming pool, our process (we call it the Puripool Process) allows us to purify a swimming pool without physically removing the water, as well as saving up to 85% of the existing water already in the swimming pool.
One of the major advantages of using us is the ability to use the swimming pool while we purify, something that commercial properties appreciate as they do not have to tell their members/guests that the pool is closed. To date, swimming pool owners who have chosen us over a drain and refill have allowed us to conserve over 61,000,000 (sixty-one million) gallons of water in San Diego county alone, something that we are very proud of!
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
What initially started out as a desire to provide a more sustainable option for swimming pool owners and the water that they already had in their pool, we have grown in ways that we did not foresee back in 2009. From a trailer that we could not “see” initially to one that we can control remotely, to others asking us to build trailers for them (we have Service Providers successfully providing swimming pool purifications in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma and soon in Oregon) to inline systems that we have installed in Marriott properties (where the system sits at the ready and turns itself on and off as needed to provide a consistent water quality), we continue to see the opportunities for our systems and water conservation.
While the industry was slow to embrace us, they are now seeing what these systems are capable of, how they provide a safer water and bather experience, allow for less chemical treatment of the swimming pool, and conserve water. Additionally, we have made quality water for industries such as Karl Strauss Brewery, Alcoa Aluminum, and Siemens, to name a few, and have been FEMA approved to provide drinking water in case of emergencies, as we are 100% self-contained and mobile. We feel that there are many more opportunities that we have not yet begun to explore!”
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