Blue Ribbon water filtration systems save money and protect the environment

Specializing in solving municipal water problems, Blue Ribbon Water is a full-service water filter installation and service company for homes and businesses on the North Shore.


Not all tap water is created equal. Even in a region like the North Shore, each city has a different profile of levels of chemicals, minerals and sediments in the water flowing from its taps. Newburyport’s water is fresh but loaded with sediment. All cities use chlorine as a disinfectant which produces harmful toxic by-products. In many cities the water tastes and smells horrible.

Newburyport entrepreneur Bill Cooper took note of these water issues and asked himself: how can residents get cleaner, healthier, better tasting water? And if there are variations, how to provide a water filter that meets these different conditions? These simple questions are at the heart of Blue Ribbon Water, the whole-home water filtration company that Cooper co-founded in 2019.

“Every city has a different little nuance,” Cooper says. “We make sure the filter that goes into someone’s house is the right filter for that town or city.”

Cooper has combined this personalized approach with a meticulous attention to customer service and transparent, responsive communication to grow his business. After retiring from a career in corporate America, Cooper wanted to put his experience in managing complex systems and keep customers happy to use them in a smaller-scale local business. When a friend complained about the substandard service he received while trying to purchase a home water filtration system, he and Cooper realized they had found an opportunity.

“I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart,” he says. “Leaving the corporate world was an easy decision.”

Tap water problems

Blue Ribbon Water was launched at a time when concerns about the quality of tap water are high. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, where municipal pipes contaminated drinking water with lead, has fueled public concerns about water quality, and more recent product headlines. chemicals known as PFAS have brought these fears closer together. In fact, a recent survey by the Environmental Working Group found that more than half of people don’t trust their tap water.

For many, the answer is bottled water. However, even though bottled water tastes good and has generally been well filtered, it comes with its own set of problems. It’s an expensive choice: Americans spent more than $36 billion on bottled water in 2021, according to data from the Beverage Marketing Corporation. And single-use plastic bottles are an environmental peril, producing carbon dioxide during the manufacturing process and damaging marine life when plastic waste ends up in the ocean.

“We are creating a monstrous plastic pollution problem,” says Cooper. “What is the alternative? Going back to tap water you don’t trust? It’s a vicious circle. »

The way to break the cycle, Cooper argues, is a system that filters all of a home’s water before it reaches the faucet. Home filtration provides clean water at a fraction of the cost of bottled water; by some estimates, bottled water costs 2,000 times more than tap water. Filtering your home’s water also eliminates the hassle of carrying heavy bottles of water from the supermarket home and throwing them away when you’re done.

Seamless and personalized

Blue Ribbon Water’s goal is to make the process of filtering your own water as efficient and seamless as possible. Using water quality data that each city is required to file with the state each quarter, the company chooses the equipment and filter cartridges that best target the specific problems that a given water supply has. is likely to have. The filters themselves use carbon blocks made with microscopic pores that are small enough to block contaminants, but large enough to allow water to pass through.

If hard water – excessive levels of dissolved magnesium and calcium – is a problem, a water softener can be added to the system to prevent plumbing corrosion, mineral buildup on faucets and damage to fixtures. and water heater.

The data-driven approach doesn’t stop at installation. Once a system is operational, Blue Ribbon Water combines water quality data with information about a household’s water consumption habits to calculate when each filter cartridge needs to be replaced. The company sends an automatic notification to customers, with a link that allows them to schedule a time for a Blue Ribbon Water technician to come and change the filter.

“It can be a dirty, wet job, so we do it for them,” says Cooper.

The company monitors fluctuations in water quality to adjust schedules as needed. This summer, when Newburyport’s water began to experience more sediment than usual, Blue Ribbon Water reached out to customers in the town to encourage them to make an appointment earlier to change their filters.

And Cooper intends to continue to bring that same level of attention to detail to his work for as long as the quality of untreated tap water makes people prefer bottled water.

“We’re saying, look, you can fix this problem,” Cooper says. “You can control the quality of your water, and we have specific filters that can solve this problem.”

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