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SUCCESS16After17yearsinbusinessGeorgeandChristineCieshaveseensmelledandtastedallthatwaterhastoofferfromwaterthatranbloodredtowaterthatlledtheroomwiththescentofsulfur.TheirgoalatNorthernIllinoisWaterWorksistoprovidethecustomsolutionthattheircustomerssodesperatelyneedwhateverthenatureoftheproblem.ForGeorgeCieswaterrunsinthefamily.Hisfatherownedasmallchemicalcompanythatprovidedwatertreatmentchemicalstomunicipalitiesandalsotolargerswimmingpoolsupplydistributors.Georgerstworkedforhisfatherthenforanumberofhisnow-competitorsbeforebranchingoutonhisown.GeorgeandapartnerwhomhehassinceboughtoutstartedNIWaterWorksin1996.AlthoughthecompanysmostvisibleservicemaybethewatercoolersstandinginmanyDeKalb-areaofcesthecompanydoesmuchmuchmore.SaysGeorgeTheve-gallonwaterserviceisreallyonlyapartofourbusiness.Weinstallresidentialandcommercialwatersystems.Wecombinewatertreatmentwithcoolersthattreatandcoolthewaterallinonemachineforcommercialorresidentialuse.Weprovideironltershydrogensuldesystemsandsystemsforalltypesofproblemwaterapplications.Arsenictanninsironhydrogensuldeandbacteriaareprobablyourbiggestproblems.Wealsodealwithwellcontaminateissuesresidentialwaterconditioningandindustrialandcommercialsystems.GeorgeandChristineemphasizethatthereisnosuchthingasone-size-ts-allwhenitcomestowater.WecancustomizeyourwatertoanythingyouwouldlikeinyourhomesaysGeorge.Thatcustomapproachiscrucialascustomerscometohimwithallmannerofwaterproblems.OneofthemorecommonissuesfacingNIWaterWorkscustomersishardwaterbecausethewaterinDeKalbCountyseepsupthroughlayersofbedrockandpicksupmineralsalongtheway.Georgehasseenstrangerphenomenahoweverincludingchocolate-coloredandblood-redwater.Onanotheroccasionacustomercalledinwithgreenwater.Throughtestingwefoundhighlevelsofcopperintheirwater.Webroughtinanelectricianandfoundtheyhadgroundingissues.Itwascausingcorrosioninthepipingwhichleadtoleachinginthecopperpipes.Electricalproblemswereaffectingtheirwaterquality.TosolvethesevariedcrisesGeorgeandChristinelooktoqualityproductsandreliablevendors.BecausethecompanybelievesthatthebestservicedependsuponhavingthebestmaterialsNIWaterWorksisaproudsupplierofHellenbrandInc.products.Georgesaysthathebuys90ofhisproductsfromHellenbrand.Theyareaninnovatorintheindustry.TheircommitmenttoqualityhasservedGeorgeandChristinewellallowingthemtoweathertherecessionandevenmovefromtheiroldfacilityonPineStreetinDeKalbtoalargerbuildingonOaklandDriveinSycamore.Theyknewthemovewascomingatsomepointbutwatertrulyshowedthemtheway.ChristinelaughsIlovethisstoryWewere45minutesawayfromleavingforourvacationwhenwegotaphonecall.Therewasaoodatourofce.Wepullupandtherewasoneofouremployeespushingwateroutthefrontdoor.WerealizedrightthenthatwedoutgrowneverythinganditwastimetomoveWeendedupatthisnewlocationbecauseofapinholeleakinabathroomnextdoor.AnotherkeycomponenttothesuccessofNIWaterWorksisrelationshipbuilding.Georgesaysthatheandhisservicetechniciandoubleassalespeople.Mostofoursalescomefromcustomerreferralsandrelationshipsthatwevebuiltwithplumberswell-drillersandotherbusinessesinthecommunity.SaysChristineWewearalotofhats.OncehesintroducedhimselftoanewclientGeorgegetsdowntothebusinessofndingoutpreciselywhathiscustomerneeds.WhenIsitdownandtalktoacustomerIdoaninterviewwiththemandIndoutwhattheirissuesarewiththeirwaterandwelookatGeorgeandChristineCiesfrontrowwiththeirNIWaterWorksTeamlefttorightJimmyDaviesSteveSundstromandNickKlei