Author: Sarah Schmid Stevenson / Source: Xconomy
In most of America, people expect clean, drinkable water to pour from the tap.
However, there are deep cracks emerging in the nation’s aging water infrastructure, and the Trump administration’s Environment Protection Agency has been quietly working to “roll back” clean water protections in favor of industry priorities. Municipalities with tight budgets risk making disastrous cost-cutting decisions like those that sparked the Flint water crisis, which drags on to this day.
This looming public health disaster is what keeps Megan Glover, co-founder and CEO of 120WaterAudit, awake at night.
She began the company, based in Zionsville, IN, with a mission to provide consumers and institutions with easy, reliable kits to test their water for contaminants. A year after launching, 120WaterAudit has partially evolved into “a turnkey customer relationship management solution” for utility companies.
“Our niche is being the consumer interface for water quality managers,” she explains. “Customer service is usually the last thing on their plate. They can use our technology for compliance testing, customer service, and automated results.”
Despite its foray into CRM, the company still offers user-friendly testing kits for homes, schools, and utilities. A kit including an empty 1 liter bottle is delivered in the mail. Customers fill the bottle with a water sample first thing in the morning, six to eight hours after the faucets were last used. They then complete “chain of custody” information and ship the sample back using a pre-paid label.
Once the sample reaches the lab, results are returned to the customer within two weeks. The kits start at $54 for a basic lead test. The process should be repeated every 120 days, Glover says, to ensure maximum water quality.
With a background in marketing technology, Glover started the company after a conversation with her mentor about the situation in Flint. When asked if her water at home was safe, Glover realized she didn’t know the answer. An idea was hatched, and the company started selling direct-to-consumer kits from its website.
It didn’t take long for a public utility company to notice, she says. “Pittsburgh came to us and said, ‘We offer free water-quality testing, but we’re three months behind.’ They had a 20,000 kit backlog,…
Click here to read more