How to choose a company to install a water filtration system for your business

If your business needs quality water, you might be thinking about getting a water filtration system installed at your business. Today, we interview Scott Stirrup of EcoWater of Atlanta, who has been providing water filtration units for Atlanta businesses for the last 8 years. We asked Scott for some tips for our readers for choosing a company to install a water filtration system at their business.

Let’s dive in and get started.

Why did you select EcoWater of all of the water treatment manufacturers to represent?

There are many brands of water filtration system to represent. We were curious about why Scott chose EcoWater. “There are many different water filter manufacturers out there,” Scott said. “[But] the majority of them are made in China. EcoWater products are made right here in America. I liked the idea of creating my business around American-made products. Plus, I believe it is a better product. They have been in business since 1925. That shows reliability and that they stand behind their product. They’re also owned by Berkshire Hathaway. With Warren Buffet and all of those smart people perfecting the water filter technology, I figured how can you go wrong?”

What are some of the biggest water concerns Atlanta business owners face?

 What’s the deal with the water in Atlanta? Scott told us that, overall, we have good water here in Atlanta. “Our local water sources here in the greater Atlanta area include Lake Lanier, Lake Allatoona, and the Chattahoochee River,” he said. “Water is a universal solvent. This means that everything it touches will carry away with it.” That means that pollution, prescription drugs, and commercial run-off all affect the water that we drink, bathe in, and cook with.

“We have a moderately hard water issue here in this area,” Scott said. We asked Scott why business owners should be concerned about their water. He answered, “Two reasons: chlorine and moderately hard water issues.”

Let’s take these one at a time.

First, let’s chat about chlorine. Thankfully, we have chlorine added to our water here in the United States. This provides us with some of the safest drinking water in the world. Chlorine kills all the dangerous bacteria that can make us really sick. However, many people are concerned with the health risks of drinking chlorinated water. Scott made it a point to say that he never stoops to scare tactics to get a new customer.

The truth is that most people don’t like the taste of chlorine in their water, juice, coffee, or tea. That’s why many businesses opt to invest in a commercial water filtration system that removes chlorine from the water. For example, restaurants, taverns, sports bars, and coffee shops want their customers to come back because of how good the drinks taste. To remain competitive, the hospitality industry uses filtered water every day. You might immediately notice the difference when you order a glass of water that wasn’t filtered at a restaurant.

Now let’s talk about the level of water hardness here in the greater Atlanta area. Scott told us that moderately hard water causes spotting on glasses, dishes, forks, spoons and knives. This affects all of the great restaurants, cafes, pubs, and sports bars in Atlanta. After all, we want to eat off of clean dishes and drink out of clean glasses, right? Spots like these are bad for business in the hospitality industry. Finding a dirty fork or glass might be a complete turn-off.

Speaking of the hospitality industry, did you know that filtered water causes hotel linens, sheets, and towels to last longer? Plus, your guests will enjoy softer towels and cleaner hair. Many places report that they also save on chemicals, detergents, and coffee and other beverages made from concentrate.

But the hospitality industry isn’t the only one concerned about hard water.

What industries use water filtration systems and why?

Scott told us that car washes are also prime candidates for using water filtration systems. “Imagine spending $12 on a car wash only to see water spots or a white film on your car’s paint,” he said. You’d never go back again, would you?

Car washes depend on repeat customers that come back each week. That means that auto detailers, car dealerships, and car washes that want to impress their clients should be concerned about moderately hard water spots too. Another benefit to car wash owners is that when the water is filtered, it means they won’t need to use as much soap and cleaning chemicals to wash their customers’ vehicles.

Other industries that use water filtration systems:

  • The printing industry
  • The paper manufacturing industry
  • Beer and soda manufacturers
  • Hospitals
  • Health clubs
  • Office buildings
  • Car washes
  • Restaurants

How to get your water tested

If you are concerned about your water quality, here are two options for you. Scott said, “First, you can go to your local Georgia Cooperative Extension. They’ll be happy to test your water for you. Expect to pay around $22 to have them test it. Your second choice is to go to our website and contact us for a free water test.”

What are some things to look for in a commercial water filtration company in Atlanta?

Look at the reputation of the company. You want someone that installs proven products and that will be in business tomorrow to service it. Take the time to read on-line reviews and talk to your industry peers.

Should I buy my water filtration equipment on-line?

 It may be very tempting to buy your commercial unit online. After all, every small business owner wants a good deal, right? But before you click Add to Cart, here are some hidden costs and risks to think about:

Who will install it for you?

“So let’s say you buy your filtration unit from the Internet. Who will install your business water filtration system?” Scott asked. “If you find a plumber, make sure they’re licensed and have experience installing business water filter units.” Scott informed us that all of his installers work under a Georgia-licensed plumber. This means you can have peace of mind knowing that your equipment is installed per the national plumbing code and the Georgia code. Otherwise, you could risk leaky pipes, flooding, and an increase in your premiums.

Who will warranty the product for you?

Next, you need to figure out who is going to warranty the unit for you. Most Internet deals come with a 30-day warranty. But you want a unit that is protected for longer than that, don’t you? For example, depending on the commercial unit a business owner chooses, some of Scott’s products are warrantied for up to five years. That means you know that your investment is safe and protected.

Who is going to fix it or maintain it for you?

We asked Scott what kind of maintenance is required on a good commercial unit. “Many of the commercial units we install clean themselves with a brine solution,” he explained. “This means that you will not have to replace your filters as often. However, the process discs have to turn freely to clean the system. Eventually, the O-rings have to be replaced. These need to be maintained just like your car’s engine needs regular oil changes and tune-ups to keep it working in tip-top shape.” So it’s good to work with an installer that will provide annual maintenance on your system. That way your system will always be up and running for your customers’ enjoyment.

We asked Scott if he ever gets phone calls to repair or maintain water filtration systems that he did not install. “Yes, all the time,” Scott said. “When a restaurant or car wash filtration system goes down, they want it fixed immediately. So sometimes we get emergency calls from frustrated business owners that can’t get their filtration company to help them right away. We try to drop what we’re doing and reschedule things as much as possible to accommodate new customers in a jam.”

So, even if you have an existing water filtration company that you like working with, it’s a good idea to have a trusted back-up service company to maintain your equipment in an emergency.

What’s the company’s customer service mindset?

Scott quickly added, “Not all plumbers like being in the customer service business. Sure, they’ll install your unit, but will you be able to get them to come back to service it for you? On the other hand, we recognize that the installation is not the END of our customer service, but is instead merely the beginning.”


We hope this article will give you a few things to think about before buying a commercial water filter system and choosing someone to install it for you. We want to thank Scott of EcoWater of Atlanta for answering our questions. If you would like to ask him a question you can check out his company’s website here.

Need insurance for your business? Great! Give us a call or fill out our quote form today and we’ll get you a free business insurance quote. We’ll make sure that your business is protected from whatever life might throw at you.

Part Two: Tips for choosing a water filtration system installation company

Welcome to Part Two of our article about choosing a company to install a water filtration system in your home! If you missed Part One, you can read it here.

Our bodies are made up of 80% water, so it makes sense that you want to drink only the good stuff! Today we’ll finish up our interview with Peter Van Cleave of Water for Life. We’re going to address:

  • The hidden costs of buying a filtration system online
  • Why you want a backwash system on your whole home filtration system
  • How to find the best filter for your money
  • Why testing your water before installing your system isn’t enough

Be wary of buying filtration systems off the internet

“Many of our customers were tempted to buy their filtration system off the Internet,” Peter said. “After all, it usually seems like the cheaper option at the time. [But] there are many hidden costs that the homeowner might not be aware of. We always encourage our clients to think things through before looking at a product online and buying it that way.”

Peter said that a good water treatment professional will want to discover your objectives for having your water filtered:

  • Why is having clean water important to you?
  • What are your major concerns?
  • What is the quality of your water to begin with so you get the proper filtration product?
  • Who will install the unit?
  • Who will maintain the unit?
  • How long will you be living in the home in which you’re having the filter installed?
  • Why is the difference between upfront and total costs important?

Once a water professional has the answers to these questions, he or she will be able to make suggestions and give the homeowner options. Buying a unit online because it was a good deal will most likely mean not getting everything that you need in a filtration system. Peter shares the following tips to help you think things through:

Be wary of miracle claims on the Internet.

Wild claims have been made about what some water filtration systems can do. Unfortunately, many of these claims are not based on real science, nor have they been verified by third-party labs.


On the other hand, all certified water treatment professionals are under a code of ethics from the Water Quality Association that requires them to be honest in their marketing promises. This is another reason to only buy equipment that has the NSF seal of approval.

Remember that ALL filtration units have to be maintained.

Take the time to figure out the cost of maintenance to get the real total expense for the system. Some filters are cheaper upfront, but the replacement cartridges and membranes are more expensive to purchase. Or, the replacement cartridges and membranes may need to be changed more frequently.

Clearly, this will add up over the next five years. So, before you buy that water filter online, calculate the cost for the next three to five years to get an accurate comparison between systems.

Does the system have a backwash system?

What’s a backwash system and why should you want one? Both are excellent questions. A backwash system is an electronic valve cycle that shoots water through your carbon filter, shakes it up, and cleans it. The jet of water removes dirt from the nooks and crannies of your filter, kind of like when you wash your hands with soap and water. This means that your carbon filter will last longer and you won’t have to replace it so often.

Two or three of the top whole-house water filtration systems sold on the Internet don’t have a backwash system. A whole house system that doesn’t have a backwash system might cost less upfront, but you’ll have to replace the filter three times faster than you would with a unit that does. A backwash system can save you up to $300 for every time that you would have to prematurely change the carbon filter.

Who will install the water filtration system?

Will you really save money buying the system yourself and then hiring a plumber to install it for you? The plumber may not know the brand of filter you bought. This means that they might take longer to install it as they try to figure it out. Plus, if they’re inexperienced they might install it backward, as we mentioned earlier. Or they might install it incorrectly and void the warranty. Also, they will generally charge more per hour.

Here’s a scenario. You have a plumber hook up your filtration system. He tells you it doesn’t work, so you call the manufacturer. The manufacturer says the plumber did not install it correctly, so they aren’t going to honor the warranty. Now, where does that leave you? Stuck, frustrated, and with dirty water, most likely. How does Peter know this? He’s gotten calls to straighten similar situations out. And yes, he has repaired units that were installed backward.

Remember, you need to invest in a unit based on your total cost, which includes:

A smart consumer wants the best buy, not the cheapest price.

The BEST water filter?

We asked Peter which filter he thinks is the best. His answer supported everything he taught us in this article. He said, “For my money, the best filtration system out there is the Kinetico K5 Reverse Osmosis system.”

We asked him why, and he said, “Yes this is the most expensive water filtration system upfront, running about $1,545. However, you save money [because there’s] little to no maintenance required. For example, the filter is equipped with a patented membrane technology called Everclean Rinse, which makes it last much longer than usual. The Reverse Osmosis membrane on this machine comes with a 10-year parts and labor warranty. That means you won’t have to replace it for 10 years! On the other hand, [the filters of some competitors] must be replaced every year or two at $200 a pop. Do the math and you can easily see that after 10 years you could have paid between $1,000 or $2,000 for membranes depending how often you are required to change them.”

But that’s not all.

“The Kinetico sediment cartridges last for 1500 gallons while the competition may only last for 500 gallons,” Peter said. “The same goes with the carbon filters. They last for one year while the competition’s [filters] have to be replaced after only six months. That means they last twice as long. This can really get expensive, buying two times as many filters over 10 years!”

We asked Peter if someone should spend money on their filtration system if they’re moving in less than ten years. “That’s the best part,” he said. “You can have your water treatment professional move this to your new home. All you have to do is state it in the real estate contract when selling your home.”

The lesson? The real price you pay for a filtration system includes installation, filter replacement, and maintenance. Take the time to find out your true costs.

A few words of wisdom on water testing

“Sure, someone may test your water in order to sell you a system. But if you think about it that isn’t really enough, is it? Make sure that your installer tests your water AFTER the filtration system is installed. After all, you do want to make sure that it is doing what they promised,” Peter said. “We also recommend having it tested annually too. Our self-serve customers can drop a water sample off to us for testing at any time. We also check it ourselves when we make our pro annual visits to install filter replacements. This means you can feel confident that your water is safe to drink year-round and for years to come.”

We hope you’ve found this article helpful! We want to thank Peter with Water For Life again for sharing his insight with us. If you have any questions for Peter, you can reach out to him on his website here. Don’t forget that it’s important to make sure the company you select is insured because even a small water leak from a hose or pipe connection can cause you thousands of dollars in water damage repairs. The suggestions here will save you a lot of heartache later on. We wish you much success in choosing the right water filtration company in Atlanta to work with.

Let us know if you want to talk insurance! As you can imagine, it’s one of our favorite topics! We can get you a free quote and get you the coverage you need.