By Denise M. Roberts

“During my final two years of college, I was hired at the local water municipality, where I learned about plumbing on a much larger scale,” said Steve Procick, CWS-1, owner of Savanna Springs Water Solutions. “While working on the distribution system, I became very interested with water itself and the problems untreated water had on the end user. With a business degree and a strong water background, it was a perfect match.”

So began Procick’s journey into the water treatment industry. He does it all: sales, service and installations. His wife Carol works in sales and marketing, constantly bringing new ideas to get their business name out there. Part-time installer Rick Walski, a true perfectionist, makes sure every install is completed as if he were putting it into his own home. “We even have a mascot,” said Procick. “A big, yellow rubber duck!”

Savanna Springs, which is named after his daughter, Savannah, serves northeast Ohio and the Youngstown area, better known as the Steel Valley. “We service the tri-county area that includes Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana Counties,” Procick said. “Being new to the industry, we knew we needed to team up with an industry veteran and because of their superior products, great training programs and family atmosphere, we joined the Water-Right family. We offer both residential and commercial services to treat high iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide levels. Also hardness levels in the municipal water is in the 14-grain range, while at a nearby lake, well water is in the 150-plus-grain range. We have the Sanitizer Plus, that can handle all of those problems, but we treat each customer on a case-by-case basis to customize each system to their specific water problems and needs. Our best-selling products are softeners and RO systems.”

Finding the right starting point
“I wanted to be a part of something that had a real impact on people’s lives; that’s what our industry is all about, solving our customer’s water problems,” Procick explained. “I find the most rewarding thing about the business is when I finish a job for a customer that had really bad water and now they suddenly have great water. Their appreciation and pure joy is contagious and satisfying. We really make a difference in our customers’ quality of life. Leaving a customer’s home and family with safe water, how does it get any better than that? My wife and I started this business together, fours years ago this March, and enjoy every second. It’s truly a family business because we all make sacrifices to ensure we are successful.”

To meet the changing needs of his customers, Procick ensures that everyone is constantly training, whether that requires travel to Wisconsin for Water-Right training seminars or participating in WQA and Moti-Vitality webinars. “We’ve found Kelly Thompson’s book and webinars extremely useful for conducting business and keeping up with our industry while preparing for WQA certification. Carol is studying for her certification and I am preparing for the next level.”

Being a community business
“One of the worst situations that we’ve seen, beside 200-grain hardness, was a nasty hydrogen sulfide odor,” Procick said. “It was so bad it turned new copper tubing black in a very short period of time. Our job was to make it better, proving ourselves as a cando business. Our biggest challenge being a young company is trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t when trying to attract new business. Our suppliers have been instrumental in our success, but it’s that WOW service that every customer deserves and gets that goes a long way in establishing what we stand for as a water treatment company.”

Maintaining contact with customers on a regular basis isn’t limited to the office. “The best part of the industry, hands down, is the people, the customers. We are very active in the community as I coach all of my children’s little league teams. So we constantly see our customers out and about and have become very good friends with a lot of them. We will continue to earn the trust of our community and be known as a company that was built on trust, loyalty and education.”

Always keep moving forward
“As the population increases and safe drinking water resources become scarcer in the US, I think the industry is set for major growth for a long time,” Procick said. “It’s getting much more expensive for municipalities to treat water as directed by US EPA and regional regulations so other options should become more cost effective, such as more deployment of POE systems. From the US perspective, water is no longer simple; there needs to be a broader emphasis on education and training. One thing I would like to see the industry embrace with more enthusiasm is a requirement for certification and licensing nationwide to provide our customers with certain levels of expertise from every company they may come in contact with. And, within five years, I would like to see Carol and I both reach the CWS-VI certification through WQA.”

In many ways, Procick echoes the sentiments of dealers across the country. Motivated for success by personal perspectives and experience, they see the industry moving in a direction that is positive for those who are willing to engage the necessary opportunities to move forward and have the grit to keep going, even when things aren’t always positive. Procick, although new to the water industry, already has a good handle on what it will take to still be in business in 20 years. “We just keep moving forward,” he said.

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