As folks gather around the water cooler to exchange the latest daily gossip, the water cooler itself is becoming a frequent topic of conversation. Specifically when it is a Rome-based Business Water Solutions water cooler.
The business model was developed as a means of getting away from plastic. “The goal was for stand-up water filtration systems that do away with the plastic jug,” said Ryan Somerville. So instead of an employee having to hoist up a 40 or 50-pound water jug, finding a place to store jugs, or having to call for service when you’ve run out of jugs, the Business Water Solutions coolers connect directly to an in-house water supply and use multi-levels of filtration to
generate clean, pure drinking water.
When a business purchases one of the systems, a Business Water Solutions install crew will come in and take care of any plumbing and electrical needs that may be necessary at no additional charge. A minimum of five filters are used to make sure the water is the best tasting and cleanest water possible. The third filtration is about to become a household name in Rome because it uses a reverse osmosis system since the city’s main water filtration plant will be converted to this type of system.
Somerville said reverse osmosis senses everything that may be bad in the water. It's anything that the first two filters might not have detected. The system then uses a fourth and fifth filter, adding vitamins and minerals to the water for a specific taste. It's nothing like cherry or watermelon, but Somerville said some water aficionados insist that the Business Water Solutions water is the best water they've ever tasted.
"We try to be creative with the customer and do our absolute best to put the cooler wherever they like it," Somerville said. Some installations can take as little as 15 minutes, while others may take a couple of hours.
Some of Business Water Solutions' largest clients are the local schools, Rome, Floyd County, and Darlington. As schools re-opened after the initial wave of COVID-19, water fountains became passe, and a model which included a foot pedal created a touchless water cooler. "We were able to install our water coolers where their fountains already were because there was water and power, and that's all we needed," said Somerville.
The company started about five years ago as a very small company looking to make a difference for its customers. It is now one of, if not the largest, water cooler distributors across the Southeast, with sales reps in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. The company has about ten reps, and Somerville sees tremendous potential for growth across an even larger footprint.
Sometimes people grow too quickly, but we don't want to do that. We want to make sure all of our customers are taken care of," Somerville said. "When you call our number, we guarantee within 24 hours that we will be out there or we will give a free month of service. That's our incentive to get our maintenance reps out there."
In addition to being environmentally friendly and cost-effective, the cooler system helps keep employees well hydrated. Therefore, they better focus on their jobs throughout the day.