BI Pure Water
Founded in 1995 by Scott Foster, BI Pure Water (BI) is looking forward to its 20-year anniversary in 2015. Headquartered in Surrey, British Columbia, BI works across Canada performing water and industrial wastewater treatment for a variety of clients.
Originally starting BI with his father-in-law, Scott came from a background of studying hydrology, and knew he wanted to do business with water treatment. Scott had a vision of finding new ways to treat water without chemicals, which he quickly discovered was impossible.
“Chlorine is a necessary fact of life at this point,” Scott explains. “But it’s now used much less often, even in swimming pools, due to technology advances in filtration.”
However, Scott was determined to stick to his guns about limiting chemical usage. He started BI with a focus on mechanical filtration and UV with more efficient chlorination.
Selling a solution
BI set itself apart from its competition by providing customers with a solution to individual problems, rather than a product. “We assess the client and cater a solution to their respective situation,” Scott continues. “We manufacture systems using the latest equipment and technologies in containers in our factory, which can be efficiently shipped and easily installed in any location.”
BI services any market that requires a treatment plant, from municipalities and private resorts to resource companies with remote camps – even agricultural customers. Treating water for animals results in healthier, longer-living animals. “We’re not making water systems for huge cities,” says Scott. “That’s for the larger companies.”
Scott is a high achiever with a modest demeanor that charms employees, as well as clients. He also happens to be a world master track and field athlete and coach.
Scott leads his staff in the pursuit of excellence by constantly pursuing better methods and new markets. Over the years the large manufacturing facilities and skilled engineering staff have been utilized for other manufacturing processes.
The company recently shipped a $3.7 million chemical plant produced with a chemical engineering partner for Phoenix Gold Mine in Ontario, which is an advanced system that destructs cyanide used in gold extraction. The system is generating a lot of interest with mining companies.
With advancing membrane technologies, BI has been designing other custom waste treatment systems, such as a hog waste recycled water/fertilizer pellet system for ATD Waste Systems.
BI also recently acquired rights to a best-selling German membrane product that treats sewage and waste with better results.
In September 2012, BI began the one-year installation of a wastewater system in Baker Lake, Nunavut. The Baker Lake project was followed by several more contracts for difficult-to-service Nunavut communities, including Kugluktuk (formerly Coppermine), Kugaaruk. Additionally, in 2014, the company serviced Cambridge Bay for its seventh Nunavut treatment plant.
BI’s package plant remote monitoring system allows the status of the water and plant information to be viewed both on-site in Baker Lake, as well as at headquarters in Surrey, over 1,000 miles away. After installation of its package plants, BI provides training for local operators to be able to service and maintain the remote systems; it also monitors remotely for troubleshooting and continual operator training.
No stranger to success, BI has won awards for several of its projects across Canada.
A water treatment system for Van West Utility Corporation of Whistler ingeniously incorporates a small UV lamp, which did not require U.S. certification, making it less expensive for the water users. The system was awarded a BC Water and Waste Association Small System award in 2007 and is a model for small water systems that want to get away from chlorine use.
Another green water treatment plant for the small Kootenay community of Ymir won a North American Water and Waste Magazine Top Small System Award in 2009, an Association of Professional Engineers and Geologists of BC Environmental Award, as well as the BC Water and Waste Association Small System Award of the Year. It provides a model for water treatment plants to reduce carbon footprint and conserve energy, saving costs over the long run.
With other projects receiving similar accolades, BI has built a reputation for quality work and innovative water treatment projects in a variety of locations, even beyond Canada. BI ships complete package plants across the world, with clients in the Peru, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Alaska.
Quality crafters and craftsmanship
BI self-performs everything in terms of manufacturing and designing equipment and systems for its clients, but works with suppliers to obtain the materials needed to build such. With engineers trained in the most current technology and products available, BI’s employees are able to design the most effective solutions for every client’s needs.
Citing labor as one of BI’s biggest expenses, Scott points to maintaining a quality staff, along with careful safety practices, as key influencers in long-term growth. Seeing customers return, both through chemical and parts reordering and new projects, also indicates BI’s sales will continue to increase over the coming years.
The company has alliances with research advances as it contributes its staff, knowledge and equipment to research projects with the University of British Columbia, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and private companies with inventions partly funded by government technology grants.
With a struggling economy, Scott is cautious about his company’s stance in the market. “We’re growing by giving our customers the best possible service and servicing a wider variety of markets,” he details.
Scott sees having a solid plan for the future as key to BI’s continued success. With the expectation that the company will continue to grow at a moderate rate, Scott looks forward to new clients and new opportunities in the coming years. “Every project is different, like every challenge - it’s kind of like detective work,” he laughs.
BI provides water filtration solutions across the world, for a variety of clients, with great success. With a mission to provide every customer with a complete custom treatment solution, BI proves its knowledge and experience with every new project it tackles. Moving forward, BI can only continue to grow and innovate the technology of the field. BI Pure Water serves communities and the world as a purely customer-focused water filtration company.