When Pool Services Technologies debuted its Puripool system five years ago, it was a little-known novelty catering to the most eco-conscious of homeowners and commercial pool operators who can’t stand the sight of water going to waste.
Today, the San Marcos, Calif.-based company is doing more than just recycling pool water. In the past year, it launched a dealership program for its proprietary technology. Last month, it found its first buyer.
Weber Pools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area will offer the Puripool service, said owner James Calkins. You’d better believe he did some serious market research before shelling out $100,000 for the mobile filtration unit.
In an area where water is heavy with calcium, pools are refreshed on a semiannual basis to prevent stains. Calkins found that most of his customers would be willing to shell out a few extra bucks if it meant saving thousands of gallons of water.
There’s also an unrelenting drought throughout much of the Lone Star State.
“This area is growing by leaps and bounds with no way to grow the water supply very quickly,” Calkins said. “We figured it’s probably about time to start thinking about this and went ahead and pulled trigger on it.”
Weber Pools’ 20-foot Puripool trailer houses a generator, filters, injection tanks, ultraviolet rays and industrial-sized membranes resembling tightly coiled rolls of paper towels through which water can return to its purest state. Dirty water comes in, clean water goes out. The pool is never drained empty. In fact, you still swim while the water is being processed. That will be a major selling point for Calkins’ commercial clients.
“The biggest thing for commercial pools is that they can stay open,” Calkins said. “There’s no downtime.”
The system can process 40,000 gallons in about a day, ridding the water of cyanuric acid, total dissolved solids, calcium, phosphates and nitrates among other unwanted elements, all while retaining about 85 percent of the vessel’s existing water volume.
“It’s amazing to see how much stuff is filtered out of the water,” said Kevin Calkins. James Calkins’ son serves as Weber Pools’ operations manager. He’s tackled some pretty filthy pools and has been surprised by the results.
“You can literally see the difference in the water quality when the process is done,” Kevin Calkins added.
Weber Pools will be hyping the environmental benefits of the Puripool system at an upcoming Earth Day fair, where the system will be on display. He’ll also be reaching out to other industry professionals, offering the service to them at a discount, so they could in turn sell their customers on recycled water.
Meanwhile, Pool Service Technologies is continuing to explore ways to make the system more efficient. It recently developed a smaller model capable of treating about 20,000 gallons of water a day, making it ideal for residential pools, said Bruce Wettstein, company president. He’d also like to make the filtration system more compact to fit in a smaller trailer for towing ease.
Another potential advancement has nothing to do with mobility. Wettstein said he sees an opportunity developing a stationary model for permanent use at resorts where heavy-use pools are frequently drained. “We’re happy with what we’re doing, but we’ve got to keep moving forward,” he said.