Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher
For many years, the focus on residential water treatment did not take into account the number of dealers and technicians who also worked with commercial systems. The wholesale failure of the economy in 2007 prompted many dealers, large and small, to reach out to local businesses and establish vertical markets within their specialty offerings. This has helped the industry in numerous ways, as specialists have sought to advance in the marketplace by adding skills and training to their resumes.
The world is no longer defined by niche marketing, though it works well in some industries. The broader whole, including a much more concerned citizenry, is something every business can consider an optional revenue source. Rather than just looking at the residential customer, small regional businesses can take advantage of challenges, opportunities and revenue that have previously been overlooked. Now more than ever, the savvy dealer must match wits with the savvy consumer, all the while keeping in line with or ahead of increased regulatory demands, new technology and new applications. The divisions between the residential, commercial and industrial segments are not as clear as they once were and will likely lessen even more as time goes on. Those who are looking for new challenges should start in their own towns and cities—possibly even with their favorite restaurants—to add commercial installations to their product offerings. The more people want to feel safe about their water supply, the bigger benefit there will be to manufacturers and dealers alike.
In this issue, we cover some of these possibilities, including the broadening of one’s horizons to seek a marketplace outside the confines of the US. James Dallan’s article is a how-to for business people who want to explore foreign water treatment markets. Dan Theobald examines another possible market for revenue generation: wastewater recycling and reuse. In Part 2 of Dr. Everett Nichols’ article, he explains further and in depth the use of chitosan cationic water treatment. Dr. Henry Nowicki presents a comparison of activated carbon test methods and Dr. Kelly Reynolds explains more about drug-resistant bacteria in drinking water.
No industry stands still very long and water treatment is no exception. The changing focus of consumers and the emergence of new contaminants are two important things successful dealers must consider to stay relevant in today’s world.