It was a hot summer afternoon of 2014 in South West Florida. At that time I was working for a local water treatment company – Clean Water America. Clean Water America has a few stores throughout Fort Myers where people can walk in, see, learn about and purchase any water treatment equipment you can imagine – whole house water filters, water softeners etc.
Vickie, store manager, walks into my office and with a wide smile tells me that there is a gentleman, who is also a plumber, looking to get more information on a reverse osmosis purifier with mineral post filter. I thought to myself “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” Vickie saw my reaction and her smile got even wider.
Here is why.
In a water treatment business there are professionals who deal with water treatment products only and then there are plumbers. Not to say that all plumbers do not know what they are doing when it comes to water filters. But the ones that do come into water treatment stores are just looking for a quick education on a particular water problem. They get all the information and leave without making a purchase. Then they purchase equipment from a wholesaler and install it for their customer.
I was ready to handle all the questions very quickly and go on with my task at hand. Boy I was wrong.
I stepped out of my office into a store floor where all the equipment was displayed. There he was looking at under-sink reverse osmosis water filters. This plumber was in his late sixties and did look like a plumber. Through large windows of the store I saw his working van with typical plumber signage all over it.
“Complete waste of time” – I thought to myself again.
After a handshake and a quick formal introduction the plumber proceeded – “I am looking for under-sink reverse osmosis system with a mineral post filter.” “I am not looking for anything fancy, but mineral post filter is very important to me.” – he added without giving me a chance to reply.
“This is what we have” – I replied, showing all the options for under-sink reverse osmosis systems. “But the mineral post filter you would need to purchase separately” – I added pointing at the stack of filters on the shelf.
Then I noticed that he was somewhat disturbed and very emotional. On top of that not many plumbers come in with such requests. My curiosity started to climb.
“What’s going on?” – I asked him bluntly.
“Well, here is the deal” – plumber replied with uncomfortable tone. I could sense that he needs my help to point him in the right direction, but it wasn’t very pleasant for him to open up.
After a long pause he proceeded:
“My daughter has Crohn’s disease, she just got released from a hospital after a week long stay there. She is severely dehydrated and doctors told me that she needs minerals – calcium and magnesium among others.
My daughter is very weak, she can’t keep making frequent trips to the store just to buy heavy bottled water. And municipal water, which is full of chlorine and other decontamination byproducts, only upsets her stomach even more. ”
By this time I was completely lost. Of course I have seen commercials on TV about different drugs to treat-control Crohn’s disease symptoms. But I didn’t know anybody who was suffering from it nor was I aware of what it was.
In my eyes he was no longer a plumber but a father who is trying to help his child anyway he can. As a father myself I can relate to how painful it is to watch your child suffer.
In 2008 Puricom was one of the first companies to introduce mineral post filters for reverse osmosis systems and I was very familiar with them.
“All the mineral post filters are designed with a purpose to improve purified water’s taste, they are not meant to be a mineral supplement. The amount of calcium and magnesium added to water is very minute. ” – I replied.
“Every little bit helps” – he said with a smile and a sense of relief.
Maybe he realized that I was genuinely trying to help him. I didn’t represent mineral post filter as a magic supplement that will be a sufficient supply of calcium and magnesium. In fact, just the opposite.
He has already done his research on water filters and this was the best option for his daughter. I only reconfirmed what he already knew.
Reverse osmosis water filters remove just about everything from water including beneficial minerals along with all the bad stuff. They produce high quality water and are easy to use. Most reverse osmosis water filters include multiple stages of filtration such as particle filtration, carbon, reverse osmosis membrane and some have mineral post filters.
The plumber paid for the equipment and rushed out of the store.
I went back to my desk and researched Crohn’s disease. I was shocked to find out how much it affects a person’s life and how many people suffer from it.
Since then I joined a Facebook group dedicated to Crohn’s to learn more about this terrible thing that affects thousands of people.
Two weeks later the plumber came back just to let me know that his daughter absolutely loves the reverse osmosis system that he installed for her. And picked up a few more mineral post filters just in case we sold out.
When the going gets tough I just remind myself that there are daughters and sons who don’t happen to have a father with plumbing skills or people who are unable to install a reverse osmosis system because they are renting. But still want and need pure water that tastes great.
ZIP is the only countertop reverse osmosis system that doesn’t require any connections and comes with a mineral post filter.
If you know anybody who needs and wants pure water for whatever reason, share this page with them.
And remember in a tough situation – every little bit HELPS.
If you haven’t figured out who is the salesman in this story, my position with Clean Water America was in sales and marketing.