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Get to Know the Water Treatment Experts at Culligan of Medicine Hat

Portrait of a woman drinking a glass of water at home, Culligan of Spokane


Jonathan Jaikaran, a senior agrologist and regional sales manager for Culligan of Canada, jokes that he joined the company “only about 19 years ago.” It’s a nod to the decades-long tenures that Culligan team members are known for as well as the fact that, as a self-proclaimed water geek, Jaikaran is passionate about continually learning about the latest in water treatment and technology. We spoke with Jonathan about what he loves most about his job and how he and his team are helping customers address leading water quality issues in Medicine Hat.

What are the top water quality issues you see in Medicine Hat?

The city has hard water and higher levels of total dissolved solids. (*Note: “Hard water,” as defined by the not-for-profit Water Quality Association, contains between 7.0 and 10.5 grains of dissolved calcium and magnesium per gallon; “very hard water” contains more than 10.5 grains per gallon.) Our primary water-treatment solution in Medicine Hat is water softeners and Culligan’s Aqua-Cleer drinking-water purification systems.

The majority of the branch’s business lies in the surrounding rural community of farms, acreages, and smaller municipalities that use well water as their primary source of water. In these residences, we have systems that remove iron staining, high levels of hardness, total dissolved solids (sodium in particular), hydrogen sulfide gas, organic color staining, various levels of sediment, and many of the nuisance bacteria strains that inhabit well water.

Our staff here has a high level of expertise in well water, and our branch manager is a former technician who specialized in well-water applications.

What are municipalities using to treat their water?

From a treatment standpoint, cities have different ways of disinfecting water—some use chlorine; some use chlorine plus ammonia (chloramines).  At certain times of the year we receive a higher than usual number of people that call our office and complain about the smell.

In the world of water treatment, chlorine is the sprinter; it is a high-dose, explosive type of managed disinfectant. Chloramines are the distance runner where it has a much longer residual throughout the distribution system.  (Culligan reverse-osmosis filtration systems filter out chlorine and chloramines, lead, arsenic, sodium, heavy metals and other materials that can negatively affect drinking water’s smell and taste and cause health harm.)

What kind of feedback do you hear from customers about their Culligan water system?

It just gives them peace of mind. They’re able to get back to their daily routine without having to worry about their water supply. It’s such a worry, especially for people with kids. And when people spend a lot of money on a house, they just need to get their water dealt with—it’s like fixing a leaky roof.

What do you love most about your job? What keeps you passionate about your work?

You get to solve a lot of problems and you get to see results.  Some are health related and some are aesthetic.  We help people get back to their daily lives, and when you see the end result, it’s really powerful. One single product can make an incredible difference. You’re facilitating ease and confidence in someone’s life.

The technology is changing, too. For instance, we have a chemical feed system that we use with well water. We used to use a high dose chlorine treatment solution (with that chlorine filtered out through a filtration system); now we’ve shifted to a new product that’s more environmentally friendly.  We also recently launched a salt free water conditioner and a tankless RO system.  I still enjoy going to seminars; I still am a geek when it comes to water.

What makes your team stand out?

We have service people who have spent their entire career with Culligan. Our branch manager in Calgary has been there for 38 years. People will stop our sales and service reps in stores and say, “Thank you for what you’ve done!” and tell them about the referrals they’ve made.

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