By Donna Kreutz
Jason Eiring was a second-generation master electrician by trade when he and a friend started an electrical business in Wisconsin. He began in the business working for his father in the summers after high school while attending Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac. “My dad had his own electrical business in the 1980s through 1994. I worked for him but I knew I wasn’t going to go into his business. I had other dreams and aspirations.”
Then another opportunity came along. “We had heard about a water treatment/well business that was looking to hire someone and possibly sell out, so I inquired with the owner. The former owner and I agreed to start working together on some jobs. My friend stayed with electric and I did water. One thing led to another and, six months later, I bought the water treatment company,” Eiring said. That was 16 years ago.
“I had to learn the trade hands-on as fast as I could. I kept the previous owners (a man and wife) on staff for four or five years,” he said. “I saw an ever-changing industry that had a large growth potential. I really enjoyed the variety of the work and what I thought was a great opportunity to grow this existing water business. I remain in the business because I love to help people with their water problems and to get solutions that will make them happy. The most rewarding part is simply making people happy with the services we offer.
“Like many business owners, I wore many hats when I first purchased the business. I was a service tech and an installer and did most of the sales calls. I also did most of the billing at nights and on weekends,” Eiring said. “Now I spend most of my time behind a desk and a computer overseeing operations. I still enjoy doing occasional sales calls and working in the field once in a while.”
The company is more than 25 years old and serves mostly small towns and rural areas. “There is not any real high population density in our area,” he said. “We serve all of Sheboygan County and parts of Manitowoc County, where we continue to expand our market share. We primarily serve the residential market but also have a strong presence in commercial and some light industrial.”
The business started out as Shaver Water Conditioning before Eiring purchased it in 2003 and transitioned it to Complete Water, Inc. He began by building the water conditioning equipment out of the existing shop in Hingham. Now Complete Water offers a variety of water treatment options from Hellenbrand, which still assembles many of its models in Wisconsin. “We really like EcoMax; it uses about 50-percent less salt and 40-percent less water. Our other go-to unit is their Iron Curtain Storm,” he said.
“Some of the biggest challenges we face are educating people on the importance of water quality and how important it is to work with trained professionals who know the water industry. We have solutions to fit every need and we’ll work to fit any budget. Water quality is crucial, not only aesthetically but more importantly from a health standpoint. We all know water is the key to life and that safe, clean drinking water is of utmost importance. We are slowly but surely conveying this message to all our customers and beyond.”
Eiring said: “Our water issues are pretty standard: a lot of high iron and a lot of arsenic. Arsenic has no taste, no smell, nothing you can see. The government mandated testing well water for arsenic in 2014 in real-estate transactions. That helped us grow quite a bit. Chloride discharge is another issue. And, we do a lot of well work. Water treatment is our bread and butter for sure, but being involved in well work there are a fair amount of electrical issues that I can address. We are a full-service well company. We don’t drill wells, but we do dig water lines, do pumps and pressure tanks. In Wisconsin, we have to bury lines six feet deep so they don’t freeze.”
In 2017, Eiring relocated the family business a few miles from the small town of Waldo, which is halfway between Milwaukee and Green Bay, west of Lake Michigan. Eiring is President and his wife Amanda works part-time in marketing and accounts, while also raising their four children. In addition, “My brother-in-law is one of my technicians and my sister’s father-in-law works for us, very part-time.” The company also has four full-time employees.
Lately the company has been branching out on social media. “We’ve upgraded our website, have a blog and Facebook is huge for us. Amanda and one of our office ladies started this years ago and Amanda has run with it the last year. She makes a point to post something weekly (or every two weeks) to educate people and get people thinking. It is rather modern, but that’s the thing. Everybody’s going to social media and the Internet.”
“Our company has grown every year for the last 15 years and our biggest challenge was the fact that we outgrew our original facility. In 2017, I decided it was time to build a new facility for our business and it currently has solved this challenge. I, of course, hope to outgrow this facility as well someday and will then add onto it. I definitely anticipate adding on to this 6,280-sq.-ft. building in the future. We are trying to grow our salt delivery service, so we may need more space for salt storage. We feel truly blessed to be part of an industry that is providing quality water and services to our community and friends.”