The Best of 2009

Every month, Water Quality Products (WQP) writes an article profiling a successful water dealer who has gone above and beyond in terms of business practices through the Dealer Insight (formerly Dealer of the Month) e-Newsletter.

At the end of the year, we asked readers to identify which of the 12 dealers we featured in 2009 should be recognized as Dealer of the Year. The votes were tallied and we announced the results at the WQA Aquatech USA 2010 tradeshow. The winner: Ernie Wilmink, president and founder of “The Key” Water & Air, Intl.,
Lindsay, Neb.

WQP recently caught up with Wilmink to gain insight into his success and see what he has in store for the coming year.

Wilmink’s business specializes in ozone, a technology he says is “at the heart of every operation.” Many of his endeavors involve reducing the environmental impact of chemicals by finding ways to implement ozone disinfection. There are three projects Wilmink is focusing on for the rest of the year.

An initiative started by the Nebraska Environmental Action Coalition is searching for better ways to slaughter cattle in private operations rather than using big slaughterhouses. The group approached Wilmink, specifying a portable 53-ft slaughter facility called a mobile meat processing unit. A mobile unit would face the challenge of treating a different water source with unique challenges in every area. The unit would also have to treat the wastewater produced in the process so that it could be safely released into the environment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has invited Wilmink to a summit in Missouri to talk about this project and other ways ozone can help reduce the impact of chemicals on the environment in rural areas.

In an upcoming trip to Europe, Wilmink will be working with European breweries and manufacturers of beer tank trucks to implement ozone for their disinfection capacities.

He is also working to introduce chemical-free milking units to dairy operations. Using ozone instead of iodine, these units eliminate pathogens in milk, allowing users to save money on chemicals and earn more through producing higher-grade milk. wqp

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About the author

Rebecca Wilhelm is managing editor of Water Quality Products. Wilhelm can be reached at 847.391.1007 or by e-mail at [email protected].