Businessman Stan Dreval was exhibiting at a health expo in his hometown of Fort Lauderdale, FL, when he discovered a passion for water. He stopped to visit with a water treatment distributor and was immediately intrigued. Dreval began researching the industry potential and learned that Florida is one of the top five states in the nation for water contamination. “To say that the water quality in this area is ‘poor’ would be a huge understatement,” he said.
That ah-ha moment led Dreval to establish WaterLux Premium Water Filtration, which today is a thriving family business. “Clean water has always been our obsession. Our goal was to make safe, pure, contaminant-free and delicious drinking water available to all residents who wish to say goodbye to poor quality water. So we began researching exactly how we could make this dream materialize. We started in 2012, selling alkaline water ionizers online. In 2014, we attended WQA Aquatech USA in Orlando, where we met Aquaphor Project Manager Roman Kershteyn and became a dealer for Aquaphor RO water systems. Later that year, we signed up with Hague Quality Water and became their representative in the Fort Lauderdale area. Hague and Aquaphor are two of the most trusted names in home water filtration. We quickly realized that by working with these two phenomenal companies, we could reach our dreams.”
WaterLux is growing rapidly. Their service area in southeast coastal Florida spans Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. “Our main focus is residential. However, we are expanding into commercial water treatment. Right now we are working with an owner of specialized coffee shops to offer solutions for water treatment. We are also planning to hire more service and sales staff, open more offices, expand into a larger facility and add new products and technologies as they are offered. That’s fate. We didn’t plan to go into this business but obviously are glad it happened.”
Growth from online marketing, social media
“One of our biggest challenges was obtaining leads and increasing awareness of our new company in the local market. In addition to conventional methods, we decided to heavily utilize online marketing, applying the experience from our earlier water ionizer online sales. We recently implemented a two-stage online marketing campaign and are getting a lot of good feedback. We’re focusing on targeted clients. Everyone needs fresh, clean water in their house but some groups of people, like new homeowners, are more inclined to get systems if they just moved in, or those who are doing renovations. These clients are more likely to add water treatment than those who’ve been in their houses forever and are used to the way their water tastes.
“Social media as well is a huge opportunity for us. We share our experiences and our clients write reviews about what we’ve done. The most rewarding part is to hear how people are happy about the tremendous improvement in the water quality in their homes. They, their family members and their houses are protected. Referrals from satisfied clients go a long way. A lot of people are calling us—some for brands we don’t sell—but we’re getting quality leads for our products. We’re growing from internet-based sales and utilize an online sales application for water treatment. That’s not too widely used by dealers. We’re trying to bring new technology to an industry that was once based on face-to-face home sales.”
Access to fresh, clean, safe water
“Our goal since the start was to provide access to affordable water filtration systems that can improve people’s quality of life and promote healthy living. Every household should have a water treatment system and access to fresh, clean, safe water.” That’s one reason that WaterLux offers financing options. “We tell our clients they don’t need to spend anything extra out of their budget to have whole-house water treatment. The low monthly payments are offset by the savings they’ll see from less soap usage, lower hot water usage and lower bills.
“Basically, Florida is like a swamp. The natural environmental conditions can produce dangerous water quality issues. We see a lot of contaminated groundwater. We see a lot of chemicals as well, such as chlorine and ammonia in city water. The water is also hard. We use Aquaphor’s RO-101 system, which is able to provide the cleanest water by removing the contamination and also enriching the water with essential minerals. For the whole house, we use Hague WaterMax, a unique combination of a water softener and purification system, all in one. We started with Aquaphor and Hague, are still with them and will continue to grow with them. We look forward to new technologies that are affordable and easy to implement.”
WaterLux is flourishing thanks to three family members with diverse experience, as well as “good support and training from Aquaphor and Hague.” Dreval has a Master’s Degree in international administration and business administration. His father, Vladimir, is the technical one, an engineer. His stepmother, Katrina, is the marketing specialist who comes up with beautiful ideas like the WaterLux slogan: fresh-squeezed water. They’ve sent employees to Hague’s factory for training in Groveport, OH and plan to visit Aquaphor’s factory in Europe for further training. In addition, WaterLux is a member of the Florida WQA.
Dreval is delighted that he discovered the water treatment business. “I couldn’t be happier.” That fortuitous meeting with Aquaphor’s Kershteyn at WQA Aquatech not only led to a flourishing business for the Dreval family, but also a lasting bond between the two men. “We’re now good friends, close friends.”