I have been fascinated with water since my earliest childhood days. My parents said they could never keep my feet dry. A puddle, a ditch, a creek, a pond, a river, a lake, it didn’t matter, I needed to see what was living in, on, or around it. Nothing much has changed since I still love playing with water. In my past I have built many ponds from ½ an acre to an 8 acre lake. Today I have 4 ponds, each with its own unique profile of aquatic life. From bog gardens with pitcher plants, water forget me nots, Japanese iris, Lobelia Cardinalis, and Lady Trusses orchids. A pond for some fish to feed the heron and 18 different varieties of water lilies.
I always loved raising fish. There is something about spawning fish, mixing the milt from the males with the eggs of the female and watching life begin from that minute little black dot of life that forms within hours to the day of hatching, and raise them to adult fish themselves.
Aquatic plants are stunning! Most people never get to see the vast array of beautiful aquatic plant life since most people are averse to going into a swampy area when our flying biting buddies are at their peak. Also most natural wetlands have been destroyed by the infestation of rats called beavers. They wiped out the habitat of many flora and fauna and replaced it with a toxic soup that poisoned everything downstream. When you understand water chemistry as I do, it is downrite hateful of life to call a beaver swamp a wetland! I feel that our understanding of wetlands is almost nil for our government would have never allowed this rat to rain such destruction of such natural beauty as they did if they actually new.
I got into water filtration out of my own need for a solution to the iron problem I had with my well back in 1984. I started out with a “Patterson Iron Remover”. It worked so well I called the fellow I bought it from and asked if he had anybody selling them in my area, and so it started back in March of 1984. I sold 12 units that first year. 4 worked great, 4 so so, and 4 not at all. I quickly learned that there is a lot more to water treatment than I was being told.
I started my quest to learn the profession by taking the “Certified Water Specialist” course offered by the Water Quality Association. I was no more than half way through when I realized that most companies selling water treatment equipment had no idea what they were doing. Water chemistry has rules which you cannot break and there is rarely only one problem with water.
Starting a bar room brawl with water chemistry will soon humble you and if you ever think you have it all figured out you will have a curve ball thrown your way.
I took course after course until I finally made my “Level 6 Certified Water specialist”. I was the second in Canada to do so. My hunger for knowledge of water led me to California State University where I completed the “Water treatment Plant Operations”. This course covered everything imaginable about water. It took me 2 years to complete via correspondence and expanded my knowledge very broadly.
It was just a few years ago that after a zillion more courses and over 30 years experience in the field, the WQA.org presented me with my “Master Water Specialist” designation. There are less than two dozen that hold this designation in Canada I believe I am the only one with the California State University diploma in water treatment.
I very much enjoy my occupation as it brings many challenges and satisfaction in having so many successful installations. I believe it’s well over 4500 systems in the last 35 years. I am proud to say that we still serve the vast majority of our first customers that are still with us and living in the area. I have 3 generations in 4 families as customers.
Treating water is complicated at times, but my son Tyler and I are up to the challenge.
Douglas Heal MWS