OXFORD, CHESTER COUNTY—Soft tasting, hard tasting, maybe mineral tasting. Everyone's water tastes a little different. One Chester County company is trying to make sure the water in the pipes is good for you and your house. In this week's Made in PA, FOX43's Michael Gorsegner looks into some new technology that trying to change the face of the water industry.
Flowing water is as natural to most of us as the sun rising and setting. But quicker then you realize, pipes can go from clean to clogged. One Chester County company has developed a product they believe turns the tables on scaling.
"Can't be done. That's where we have to show them the technology," said Pam McDowell from Scalewatcher North America based in Oxford, Chester County.
McDowell says the reaction to the Scalewatcher product is disbelief. This small system eliminates the need for big bulky water purifiers and chemicals, saving electricity, the environment and most important, some cash.
"You will actually save as much that first year that you have that unit as what it costs for that unit," McDowell said.
The cost for a residential unit is about $500. Much of the proprietary technology is hidden behind closed doors. But the company is not secretive about how it works. Water carries both calcium and magnesium. These particles cling to pipes over time, forming a hard ring called scaling. The Scalewatcher wraps around an incoming water pipe and through the force of electromagnetic fields, breaks down those byproducts.
"It puts the calcium and magnesium into a crystallized state which allows that calcium and magnesium to free flow right through the system," said McDowell.
That free flow eliminates the need for the classic salt driven water softener, not only saving the electricity it demands but saving the environment from the salt brine that gets cleaned out. Just as important is the feeling it gives. McDowell says her clients rave about how they feel after a getting out of a Scalewatcher treated shower.
"With our system, you will feel squeaky clean. Women love it. They find out that they use less moisturizer," McDowell said.
"In 1988, I came up with the idea. I improved it and I patented it a long time ago," said inventor and owner Jan De Boat Doelman.
The Dutch inventor created the company in 1991 and brought it to the U.S. and tiny Oxford, PA in 1993. With five plants around the world, including two in Vietnam, where we caught up with him via Skype, he says Scalewatcher works because of the technology and the people in the North American headquarters.
"This area is incredibly ripe. You have people that want to work. You have people that can work. You have a very, very high work standard," McDowell said.
In all, there are 22 models of the Scalewatcher. The residential models start at $199.