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 Our History 
From the time we opened our doors in 1988, our LivingWaters™ development team has been in the forefront of the water treatment business. During that time we have won a hard earned reputation as industry leaders not only in product development, but also in the way we market our products. 

In those days people interested in improving the quality of their drinking water had two basic choices:

  • either invest in a treatment device filled with granulated activated carbon, or;
  • buy an expensive reverse-osmosis (RO) system and put up with RO's many disadvantages.

In those days, one of the more popular drinking water filters was a unit sold by a company that specialized in multi-level marketing. These filters consisted of nothing more than a section of 4" PVC tubing filled with granular activated carbon. The company's army of multi-level salespeople enthusiastically marketed these products (along with the business opportunity) for $149.00. The filter contained less than $10 dollars worth of parts. 

We looked hard at this product and thought to ourselves: There has got to be a better way! 

Making better products wasn't really all that hard. Making products people could AFFORD to buy was the real challenge!
 The Advent of KDF® Redox Media 
About that time a man named Don Heskett invented a new water treatment media called KDF®. It was the first practical redox (reduction-oxidation) media and it had five significant advantages for water treatment.
  1. KDF® is ten times as effective as carbon at removing chlorine and the disinfection by-products of chlorine. 
  2. Used properly KDF® removes heavy metals even better than the best reverse osmosis systems. 
  3. Microorganisms like bacteria, algae, molds, spores, and viruses in water are killed when they pass through the media. 
  4. These dangerous organisms have a hard time growing in water treated with KDF® (renders water bacteriostatic.)
  5. KDF® doesn't waste water.

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KDF® solves the problem of Legionaire's Disease

These advantages of KDF® became important when hotels around the country had to scramble to find a fix for their air coolers that were infecting people with Legionaire's Disease. 

The first known outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease was at a convention for ex-service personnel in Philadelphia USA, in 1976. 

A total of 221 people contracted the disease and 34 died. 

Most of those that died were Legionnaires and that's how the disease got it's name. 

To cool air for their convention halls, hotels use rooftop mounted fans that suck outside air through cooling pads saturated with water. 

The problem was that the water reservoirs used to supply the water were breeding dangerous bacteria

These bacteria were then carried in the air stream to people sitting for hours in the rooms below. 

Once the problem was identified, hotels across the country had a serious problem on their hands. To change to coolant-based central air conditioning was so expensive (both for the equipment and ongoing cost of operation) that it was out of the question. Chlorinators were installed but these required a lot of maintenance and over time, proved troublesome and unreliable. 

With Don Heskett's invention of KDF®, hotels found their solution. All they needed to do was install a standard-sized filter filled with the media on every cooler and change the media periodically. 

For commercial applications like this the KDF® solution is elegantly simple, and most importantly - it works reliably! 

That is how KDF Fluid Treatment International was born, and Don Heskett became a very wealthy man! 

In commercial applications like these, the cost/benefit ratio is so favorable that the question of price is nearly irrelevant. But for drinking water applications, the most significant disadvantage of KDF® was then, and remains today, its cost. 

Compared to things like granular activated carbon IT IS EXPENSIVE! That is why only a few manufacturers use it. 

Herein lies the problem for people who manufacture water treatment appliances. 

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 How Marketing Choices Affect Product Development 
Not all water treatment products are alike.

Basic water filters using paper and/or granulated charcoal filters are very cheap to build but they don't offer many benefits except chlorine removal and improve the taste of water. These units are commonly available for less than $150.

Reverse osmosis systems can also be built very cheaply. Bargain basement units available in the big box stores use cheap cellulose acetate membranes that do not require much pretreatment. These units are available for less than $250 but they can't remove chloramine (a popular disinfectant that is replacing chlorine) and they don't provide high removal rates of contaminants in real world conditions.

Ionizers are not expensive to build, but because most are sold using multi-level marketing schemes, it can cost upwards of $4,500 to buy a product that has less than $100 worth of parts. Worse yet, these products can actually make water worse for human consumption because the technology increases pH by concentrating cations in the product water. In simple English, cations include the metals and heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic, uranium and more. These are very toxic, and especially harmful to those who might already have a serious illness like cancer, multiple sclerosis, parkinsons, diabetes, high blood pressure and more.

Because most people aren't chemists or experts at water treatment technology, they are easily mislead by sales people whose primary goal is to sell a product that makes them a commission.

The truth is that what people WANT in a water system depends on what they KNOW about water quality and treatment options. This requires people to become educated - not SOLD!  

That is why we rely on a truly educational approach. Our brochures are educational. When customers ask questions we answer them objectively and totally avoid sales hype or high-pressure sales techniques of any kind. 

Once a customer purchases our product we made it a point to deliver way-above-average customer service. 

Making the decision to market through customer education instead of commissioned salespeople and/or multi-level marketing is the best decision we ever made. 

By taking excessive commissions out of the equation we don't have the same limitations of the vast majority of our competitors. As a result, We can give people a lot more for their money! 

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Of course marketing is one thing, but the most important thing is the quality of the product. We were among the first to incorporate KDF®55 along with granular activated carbon (GAC) in a drinking water system. We retailed our first product for $99.00. It was not only better, it was cheaper than the competition. It was a hit and we sold a lot of filters. 

Because our technology was superior, to avoid competition we were advised to create a unique housing and create replaceable cartridges that only our housings could hold. This was the approach taken by many companies like MultiPure. 

Because we were a small company, we didn't want to spend the money to create some new proprietary housing to hold our innovative technology. So, we decided to make our new filter out of standard components readily available in the marketplace and hope for the best. 

What happened nobody expected. Because we put our innovative technology in a standard sized cartridge, we inadvertantly had opened up a whole new market. People who already owned water treatment systems began buying our replacement cartridges to put in their systems. Because our filters kept water from breeding bacteria in the storage tanks of RO systems, people began retrofitting their RO system post filters with our filters as well! 

This taught us an important lesson. By designing our innovations around standard sized components, we could appeal to a much broader market. 

It didn't take too long for some of our competitors to see where they had missed the boat. They started making standard sized cartridges with KDF®55 and granular activated carbon as well. We didn't mind. Their advertising helped make people aware of this new option and the market for the product got a lot bigger. A rising tide floats all boats. We all won - including our customers. 

That's when we learned another valuable lesson. Don Heskett, the inventor of KDF®, liked us. He liked our approach, and he liked the publicity we brought to his product. Even though we were small fish in his ocean, he was always as close as a telephone call. 

One day we got one of those calls that helped us leapfrog our competition once again. 

It was clear that KDF® worked to kill pathogenic organisms. That was obvious from its performance in lab tests. But in the real world performance seemed inconsistent. One product would work great and another - well - not so great. 

Part of the problem is that nobody really knew why KDF® worked to kill microorganisms in the first place. 

One line of reasoning was that when water passed through a bed of KDF® granules (KDF® is made out of highly refined copper and zinc) the effect was to create millions of tiny electrolytic cells. It was thought that single-celled organisms moving through this environment were destroyed because their cell membranes couldn't handle it. 

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Eventually, further research demonstrated this is only a part of the reason. Another is that KDF® causes dissolved oxygen in the water to be turned into ozone and hydroxyl radicals, both potent germicides. There are others as well, but this understanding led to why products made with KDF® were inconsistent performers. 

The problem is that carbon tends to take dissolved oxygen out of water! This compromises the effectiveness of KDF® when it is used in drinking water systems. 

Some manufacturers were making their drinking water cartridges by putting the carbon in first and KDF® second. Some of our big-name competitiors were actually filling carbon-block cartridges with the stuff! Unfortunately, these didn't work well at all. 

We never made our cartridges in that way so we were not among those who had problems. That is why our product worked so well in test after test. But to this day MOST of our competitors who use KDF® HAVE NOT changed the way they use this valuable media in their systems! 

Because we stayed close to the engineers at KDF® Fluid Treatment we found out about this important research long before many of our competitors and that led to our next advance. 

We were the first to incorporate KDF®55 in Doulton® Sterasyl® ceramic technology. This made our systems the first to be able to offer the advantages of KDF®, plus COMPLETE protection against cysts like Cryptosporidium and Giardia. 

That was the beginning of our modern LivingWaters™ technology. Since then we have had many advances that have kept us at the absolute leading edge of water treatment technology. 
  • We were among the first to use a special media capable of removing Fluoride from water. 

  • We were among the first to use Centaur® Catalytic Activated Carbon to remove chloramines from water. 

  • Now, we are the first to use all of these technologies in combination with a patented technology called capillary membranes to create the world's first fail-safe, redundant, water treatment system capable of offering COMPLETE PROTECTION against ALL BACTERIA, as well as cysts, molds, spores, virus, and other pathogenic microorganisms WITHOUT THE NEED FOR POWER OR WATER WASTE. 
Through all of this, our customers have been the real winners! Because we have always used standard-size commercial grade cartridges, people who bought filters from us over 15 years ago have been able to update them to the latest technology with a simple filter change. 

That means that even though they bought their systems many years ago, they still have the best water treatment systems in the world today. 

That, is the meaning of the word VALUE. Giving our customers value, along with our outstanding history of customer service, is why our customers love us, and why to this day, MOST OF OUR SALES come from customer referrals.

It is a track record of which we are very proud!

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Serving your water treatment needs since 1986

LivingWaters™ Engineered Water Treatment Solutions
P. O. Box 7261
Woodland Park, Colorado 80863
Phone: 719-687-2928

To email us, click here.

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