By Donald A. Mounce
Over the next few months, as WC&P celebrates its 50th anniversary of publication excellence in 2009, this column will take a special look at some of the leading executives, companies and organizations of our industry. This month, we will focus on Doug White, Group Vice President of the Water Quality Group and HVAC Group within Watts Water Technology, and the current 2008-2009 WQA President.
Growth through quality product development and through the acquisition of key companies is the key to the success and future of Watts Water Quality, according to Group Vice President Doug White. A leader on the Watts team since arriving from Honeywell Corporation in 2001, White immediately relocated from Boston to Phoenix to assume responsibility for the Water Quality Group as well as the HVAC Group.
“As a corporation, we plan to grow at a double digit rate over the next five to ten years, with half of our growth coming from quality new products and the other half coming through acquisitions,” adds White. “In our Water Quality Group, we plan to become the only US national distributor to dealers and OEMs.
“We are well structured to take this position with our quality product diversity and our distribution network. We currently have warehouses in Southern California, Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio, and two locales in Florida—Tampa and Dunnellon.”
Company Growth and Services
Watts Water Technology, headquartered in Andover, MA (NYSE Symbol WTS) is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of valves and regulators. The 139-year old corporation has 8,500 employees and annual sales of approximately $1.5 billion (USD), with a significant amount of that growth coming from the acquisition of over 50 companies throughout the years.
“We have major market shares in back flow prevention, behind the wall valves, plumbing supply lines, and radiant floor heating,” notes White. “We also have residential RO and water softening systems, all of which are dedicated to the plumbing and HVAC markets.
“We manufacture and sell products on a global basis. Our plant locations include the US, Mexico, Europe, China and North Africa. These company products include water valves, pressure and flow regulators, and water treatment and water quality products. HVAC products, plumbing supply lines, gas supply lines, PEX pipe and fittings, hydronic heating, turf warming, electric tile mats and a variety of instruments and gauges put Watts products into nearly any type of water or utility application.”
“We have recently introduced several new products to the marketplace, primarily with conservation in mind,” notes White. “ScaleNet is a non-backwashing scale reduction system.
“ZeroWaste RO systems do not waste any water and are plumbing code and NSF approved. HydroSafe is a whole house filtration system incorporating UV that is perfect for homes that utilize wells.”
As the current President of WQA, White notes that the water quality industry must continue to focus strongly on resolving its two biggest challenges—regional salinity concerns and water conservation. “We averted a major threat to ion exchange water softeners in California with the veto of AB2270. But salinity will continue to be an issue.
“The industry needs to find solution to scaling that will not involve brine discharge. Ion exchange softeners and most reverse RO systems simply waste too much water.”
“Manufacturers have talked for years about a 4-to-1 waste ratio with RO,” adds White. “But we all know that actual in-home use is more like 18-to-1. With products such as the Zero Waste RO system, Watts has taken a leadership role in providing such solutions to the marketplace.
“We plan to work hard with regulators to make such units mandatory, and encourage other manufacturers to meet and exceed these standards for the best interest of the industry. That will lead to growth and acquisition through quality for all of us.”