Tina Welch can probably tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the water of Northwest Ohio. She began working for Culligan of Lima (Ohio) in 1990—back when George H. W. Bush was president. She started as the branch’s office manager and took over as general manager in 2015. Welch is also general manager of the satellite store in Findlay, Ohio, which sells filters, bottled water, and salt.
We sat down with the industry veteran to ask about the local water, how Culligan helps treat issues, and why she has stayed so dedicated to the company.
Most of your customers have well water. What are some typical water problems they come across?
We have high iron and very high hardness here. Hard water leaves calcium inside your hot water heater and can damage the inside of your plumbing and appliances. It can leave hardness on your skin and gives you dry hair, and soaps can’t activate properly. We also have people who have sulfur water, which has a rotten egg smell and, if it’s not treated, it also ruins your appliances.
What are the most common ways Culligan helps homeowners with well water?
First we treat the raw water with a softener and a filter to get it to a working water. Then we sell a reverse osmosis (RO) system for drinking water, which takes out the total dissolved solids and makes the water taste a lot better. In fact, most people in the area—even with city water—would be surprised to know their total dissolved solids are well above the standard of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
So is reverse osmosis water purification also popular with customers who have municipal water?
Yes, we have people who are concerned about their drinking water and they use an RO.
Have views about drinking water changed since you started in the industry?
People nowadays do think more about how important it is to drink good water.
What do you love so much about your job and working at Culligan?
Well, we’re a really tight-knit group here. That’s one of my main reasons I’ve stayed here so long. Some of the employees have been here even longer than me. It’s a great company to work for—they care about their employees.
Also, every once in a while a person is so happy they call you. Those are the times you realize we are doing a very good service for people, and it makes you proud to work here.