Dave Loney, president and owner of Anthrafilter, shares his thoughts on where the municipal and industrial water market is headed – from both a U.S. and global perspective – as well as how the economy is driving current trends.
Todd Schnick: We are coming to you live from Dallas, Texas. This is day three of AWWA ACE 2012 and Water Online Radio. I am your host, Todd Schnick, joined by my friend and colleague, Todd Youngblood. Todd, we are having a good time. This afternoon session is going grand.
Todd Youngblood: I hope it just lasts forever. Every guest is better than the one before. What an education! This is unbelievable.
Todd Schnick: Our next guest is going to continue that trend. I am excited to introduce Dave Loney, who is the president and owner of Anthrafilter. Welcome to the show, Dave.
Dave: Thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here.
Todd Schnick: It is our pleasure to have you here. Take a second to tell us about you and your background.
Dave: I have been in the business for 41 years starting August 1st. Anthrafilter has been in business since 1976. We are starting our 36th year on August 1st.
Todd Schnick: Congratulations.
Dave: Thank you very much.
Todd Schnick: Tell us about Anthrafilter. What are you doing out there and how are you helping and serving your marketplace?
Dave: What we do is we will go into a water plant, a potable water plant, or a wastewater plant and we will remove all of the materials filtered and we will remove it, dispose of it, and we will clean out the filters. We will then provide and install all new materials and filter media and retrofit the filter back into almost new condition.
Todd Youngblood: Dave, I just cannot help myself from asking, but I am looking at the buttons that you have on your lanyard there. Tell us about that, young man.
Dave: This young man is my great-grandson. He will be two years old on September the 11th. My great-grandson is the love of our life. The wife and I have four grandchildren and this is our first great-grandchild.
Todd Schnick: I can see, and the better half of the family is not on the mic. I just have to add that for our audience. Tell us a little about the customers that you serve. What markets are you aimed at with Anthrafilter?
Dave: We are aimed at the industrial markets, and more so our municipal markets. We service filter plants and water plants in municipalities and wastewater plants throughout North America, but we ship North America, South America, Central America, and we ship offshore to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and our materials go almost worldwide. That is increasing, particularly on the European side.
The trend is to get into the Asian markets and the industrial markets, municipal markets in India and Asia – that seems to be where the business is growing. Unfortunately, they seem to be many years behind the U.S. markets, and they are behind in their water business and their water filtration. They are also suffering, again, because of the financial situations of those countries.
I think that we will see in the future a lot of international business from our products that are basically all manufactured in the USA.
Todd Schnick: Dave, let’s shift gears for a second and let’s look at the water industry as a whole. What do you see as important coming trends in the next 3-5 years?
Dave: I think the trends are going to be that municipalities are going to have enough potable water and wastewater capacity to service their towns and cities and the people in those towns and cities.
The unfortunate thing is that we talk to municipalities’ superintendent at a water plant, the manager of a water plant, or a consulting engineer, and they would say they were looking to do a filter, two filters, three filters, or ten filters, and would you please give us a price. We would like to do it in the next six months.
Today, unfortunately, with the reduced revenues coming into the municipalities, particularly, we get calls now saying we would like to do two or three filters in 2013 and could you give us a price because I have to put the money into our budget and hopefully they will pass that budget for the following year.
Business has changed in that regard. A lot of municipalities don’t have the revenues and incomes that they used to have even 3-5 years ago.
Todd Schnick: Dave, I am curious about some of the technological aspects of Anthrafilter and what you are doing. I would think that very advanced technology being applied here in the U.S. – you talked about your global marketplace before – are there differences in the technologies between the U.S. and a lesser-developed country?
Dave: We haven’t done much in the lesser-developed countries, but technology certainly originates in the United States of America. This is where the people are who have the knowledge and also have the expertise in producing water plants and wastewater plants to the utmost degree of efficiency.
I think what is going to have to happen internationally in the European, Asian, and Indian countries and so forth, is that we are going to have to lend people from our country to them to put them in business and get their water plants working and up to date.
Todd Schnick: Dave, Anthrafilter is exhibiting here at ACE 2012. What are your goals and objectives and strategies here at the show?
Dave: Our goals and objectives are to talk to as many people as we can, particularly consulting engineers who are promoting water plants and managers and superintendents of water plants. We also like to talk to the operators who run the water plants. These are the people who know what happens in the filters and how the filters are running.
They can talk to their managers and superintendents and promote improvements or replacements of the materials in their filters. Everybody in the water and wastewater business working at plants are all beneficial to our company.
Todd Schnick: I hate to say it, but we are out of time. Before we let you go, how can people get in touch with you and, more importantly, the good works at Anthrafilter?
Dave: They can get in touch with us online at www.anthrafilter.net or they can call us at 1-800-998-8555. That is an international 800 number, and we are located in Niagara Falls, NY. We have an office in the state of Florida, as well as offices and a warehouse in Canada as well.
Todd Schnick: Dave Loney, president and owner of Anthrafilter, it was so good to have you. Thank you for joining us.
Dave: Thank you for your time. I appreciate it a lot.
Todd Schnick: It was our pleasure. That wraps this segment. On behalf of our guest Dave Loney, my co-host Todd Youngblood, all of us at Water Online, I am Todd Schnick, and we will be right back with our next guest.