Friday, July 19, 2013

Once upon a time

I don't remember exactly but thirty-some years ago there was a severe water shortage in California that threatened those in the cleaning industry who used large amounts of water. Californians called and wrote asking for a system that used recycled water. In response I hired Tom Schubert, a water treatment engineer, to design two water recycling systems.

The first was a complete plan for a mini-treatment plant that could be constructed at the office of a cleaning firm. It used proven technology and all the necessary components were locally available. Designed for a one-truck operation, it could be expanded to handle several trucks. These plans were made available free of charge to Bane-Clene® operators.

Tom also designed a portable recycling system that could be mounted in a service van. The technology was quite simple. Indianapolis has a plentiful water supply and we never planned to use it in our own operation but we built a prototype and installed it in a company van to show that it was indeed workable.

A grand introduction was planned for our convention that year. Guess what happened a few weeks before the big promotion? California had a deluge, reservoirs were full and water was plentiful again. Guess how many portable recycling units we sold? I don't think anyone even built a recycling plant with those "free" plans that cost our company a substantial sum.

But here's something that happened as a result. Have you heard of “unintended consequences??” A large franchise (Hint: initials are SS) heard about the new recycling system and used the information to sell against us. We were told on numerous occasions that people with the franchise would tell prospects, "Bane-Clene uses dirty water to clean your carpets."

Recently I read an article in a Dalton publication about the eleven steps in Green Carpet Care. Step number seven was, "Select carpet extractors that recycle water/cleaning solution to use water and chemical more efficiently." Naturally, it was written by a person who sells that type of cleaning equipment. I hope they have better luck selling them than we did.

©Bane-Clene® Corporation 2013 Reprinting or electronically publishing this article is strictly prohibited without permission from Bane-Clene Corp.

I'd like to hear your comments on this article.
Please e-mail me at