By Denise M. Roberts
Family-owned and operated, The Water Store was founded by Dennis Boudrieau and his son Dana in 1985 to meet the local need for a plumbing supply store with pool and spa chemicals. After about a year, many customers began inquiring about water quality and water testing. Dana searched for and purchased a small water-testing lab to meet those requests. In a bid to be a full-service company that could not only diagnose water quality issues but provide solutions as well, the firm purchased a small and relatively new one-man water treatment company. Thus, The Water Store became a primary dealer that installs and services residential, commercial and industrial water purification systems southern New Hampshire and north-central Massachusetts.
While working full time and attending business college in 1988, Dana continued to address the region’s water quality problems, including service on orphan systems. “I’ve always found this work enjoyable and interesting,” Boudrieau said. “From offering a variety of high-quality water filtration equipment for staining, bad smells and taste to installation and maintenance of our own and orphan systems, we provide quality service on quality products.”
In 1995, Dana and and his wife Mere- deth purchased the Water Store and invested heavily in building a stronger service department with new trucks and a large stock of filtration equipment. Still growing every year, they found it necessary to move to a larger store. Boudrieau’s best friend, Dean Deschenen, joined the company as Service Manager in 1999, which allowed the team to take on more service and installation work, producing even more growth and expansion. In 2008, Boudrieau hired his hard-working nephew, Dillon Mercier, as Service Technician. This resulted in a smoother, more productive process that reduced wait times for customers and provided more time for Boudrieau and Deschenen to concentrate on quoting and installing more filtration equipment. In 2010, the company purchased new fuel-efficient service vans, and at that point was able to put two services vans, a quote pickup and one in- stallation box truck on the road. This helped the team to keep up with the workload.
Part-time employees are hired as needed and at the time of the interview, another serviceperson joined the team. The company strives to help consumers maintain safe and healthy lives with good water quality. It offers free water tests to determine if water filter systems are operating properly. The tests also indicate if any secondary parameters are not met and can be used for job estimates. In addition, The Water Store specializes in arsenic removal, RO systems, water softeners, iron filters, in-line cartridge filters, acid neutralizers and carbon filers, and provides local residents and realtors with free, no- obligation quotes. In the Granite State, there is also quite a bit of radon water/air work,
another area in which the company specializes. “Additionally, we provide a wide range of state-certified laboratory tests to keep businesses, schools and restaurants in compliance with state regu- lations,” said Boudrieau. The lab tests are also for homeowners (and future homeowners) to meet bank and mortgage company requirements for transaction approvals.
“In large part, our success is due to customer satisfaction,” Boudrieau said. “I couldn’t do it myself, and I think this team effort makes The Water Store second to none, especially with an Office Manager like Meredeth keeping customers happy and well informed and keeping everyone on the right track. Many of our leads come by word of mouth, which means a lot to us. It’s a reflection on our efforts to provide world-class service to the com- munity. We take great pride in our work, and consumers know this is where all their water needs can be met. Every call, every day, gets the attention our customers expect; no call is left for another day. Each one is important and we want our customers to know that they can rely on us. Customer care, knowledgeable technicians, professional installation and service are all what make The Water Store what it is today.”
Boudrieau also remarked on the challenges the company has had to face and overcome. The 2009 economy could have been far worse but for the wisdom of being prepared. “We’ve been through downturns before, such as in the 80s, and we knew how to plan for it. It’s one of the many issues most companies face. Another is dealing with the lack of knowledge about equipment sold at big-box stores and online. That’s a huge issue. Consumers are not educated about these systems and don’t know what to do if anything goes wrong.”
As the water industry evolves, The Water Store continues to grow. Boudrieau hopes to maintain that growth into the future to bring sons Deven and Derek into the business, should they so choose. And, in keeping with a renewed focus on ecological demands by customers, the company keeps preservation and sustainability at the forefront. “Water quality is an important aspect of our planet,” said Boudrieau. “We’re making every attempt to provide our customers with the best products and systems to maintain that quality.”