Dan Thomas began his career with Culligan as a delivery driver with the branch in Richmond, IN, all the way back in 1978. About 20 years ago, he began managing that location, and today he is also the General Manager of two Ohio-based stores: Culligan of Dayton and Culligan of Jackson. We sat down with Dan to talk about his region’s water issues, how Culligan helps solve them, and why he’s stayed at the company for more than four decades.
Is the water consistent across your entire service area, which includes counties in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia?
No. We’re all over the map in that you’ve got well systems and systems from cities, towns, or villages, and their water quality is not the same. Every time we go out we do a water test, and everything’s catered to what the water quality is into the home. That differentiates Culligan since one size doesn’t fit all. We’re not like a big box that says, “Here’s a water softener. It’s X dollars, put it in.”
In addition to hardness, what are some problems you find with well water?
Well water folks can have high iron, and when they run the laundry, the clothes come out with stains. They may have water with sulfur that smells like rotten eggs and is corrosive, so we’ll plumb filters into a softener. They may have issues needing ultraviolet (UV) light to clean the water because they’re outside farming areas and have animal byproducts running into well casings. We can also install a drinking water system to improve the taste and quality of the drinking water.
Do people with municipal water also seek better drinking water?
Yes, because people don’t want to drink chlorine and ammonia, which some cities may use for sanitizing. And you’ve got hundreds of miles of plumbing pipes that have been in there for who knows how long. It seems like the older the infrastructure of the city water systems is, the more issues they’re having. Last year, Dayton had a water main break, and you couldn’t use the water—there was a boil water advisory.
We offer reverse osmosis that will give you water that’s bottled–water-quality from your kitchen sink. We also offer a whole–house water treatment system so you have the best water quality of anybody on your block if you’re the only person who’s got Culligan equipment in there. You have your drinking water, your UV, your water softener, and whatever filters you may need.
What kind of feedback do you most often hear from customers about their Culligan products?
They like how the water feels when they wash their laundry and bathe. They like when it doesn’t smell. They like that it’s crisp-tasting water.
Do people think about water differently today than when you started in the business?
People want higher quality water now in addition to having soft water. They see water problems all over the United States and in their local areas. There are all kinds of things in water now that people just don’t want to drink or have coming into their house.
Why do you like your job so much?
I’ve gotten to work with some really good folks. I’ve also gotten to meet some really good customers and have been be able to correct some pretty big water issues. I’ve seen grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, and now the children are grown and out on their own, and they come to Culligan for their water products. It could be two or three generations of people.