Friday Night Lights: The Beginning of WaterFleet

My wife and I, who run a business that, among other things, produces water treatment equipment for the water bottling industry, were driving down I-37 one day heading towards work. We were looking at the multitude of work trucks, all heading for the newly burgeoning oil field play called the Eagle Ford Shale. We thought out loud to each other, how could we participate? I know from many years of business, that the best way into something is to find a problem that needs to be solved. We wondered what it might be.

A few months later, I was sitting in the stands at a high school football game, waiting for half time when my daughter would perform with the dance team. Sitting next to me was Stacy, a friend and fellow dance dad. Stacy asked me how business was going so I began telling him that I really wanted to figure out a way to provide some services into the Eagle Ford boom. I told him I had heard that safety showers at drilling rig sites were connected to non-potable water and that OSHA wasn’t too happy about it. I wondered if he had an opinion. It was relevant to Stacy because he is a petroleum engineer and was running a drilling program for an exploration company.

What I didn’t realize is that he spent a lot of time at the sites, even lived in the housing. He began to tell me about what that is like. To the question of the safety shower and non-potable water issue, he said, “Alan, that’s not even the half of it” and proceeded from there to explain life in a man camp where non-potable water is pretty much the reality. He told me how you can’t brush your teeth or take a pill with the water from the sink and how showers are a crapshoot on whether you will smell better before or after you wash yourself. As he unfolded the scene, I began to see a problem that needed a solution. It was the beginning of WaterFleet, and it happened under the Friday Night Lights.