Warrenton resident invented system that provides fresh water even when the power is out.
By Debbie Eisele
Did you know more than 14,000 homeowners in Fauquier County rely on wells to provide their water to drink, shower, cook, and clean? If you are on a well and a power outage occurs, well pumps will not work. This makes obtaining fresh water impossible without the use of a generator, right? Well, not anymore, thanks to Judson Walls.
Walls, a Warrenton resident, and his wife, Barbara, know what it is like to be without water during a power outage; filling sinks and tubs in preparation, buying bottled water, and flushing toilets with buckets. An experience all too many well users are familiar with.
Creating The Dream
He decided to revolutionize the way well users obtain water without the costly expense of a whole house generator, or in conjunction with a generator someone may already have. In 2007, Judson began his journey—creating his invention and starting his company, Constant Water.
“We realized wells are great when they are working, and then we discovered what it means when they don’t work. It surprised us that nothing was out there to help with well water outages. Our exploration of solutions slowly began,” described Judson. He developed the initial concept for his idea throughout 2007, and in 2008, he and Barbara started the arduous process of developing an actual innovative design.
Judson’s journey was not simple. He said, “Figuring out how to go from a concept to a fully manufactured system is a huge undertaking. It has been a phenomenal experience, but we still learn something new every day. Every step has been an education in strategy, funding, and accounting for the business. Learning about system development, patents, trademarks, and marketing was definitely part of the process.”
Originally, paper & pencil was the method of choice for Judson to design his holding tank system. “I had to ask ‘how would it work?’ So my initial ‘concept’ tank was a two-gallon pretzel jar and punch ball balloon with hoses. I put it together to simulate holding both water and air.” The end result of this pretzel jar experiment yielded the initial, basic protocol for the tank configuration.
Another important thing to note is the chemical composition of the construction material. People don’t need just any water, they need clean, drinkable water. “I knew we needed to have National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) rating. We knew potable water was critical.”
As a retired Air Force officer, he received extensive electrical training and used his talents to design the electrical components of the system, which runs off a battery. “This part of the concept was easy for me. I knew what components I needed to make the unit do what was necessary,” Judson detailed.
The next phase included finding components to create a simple, reliable, affordable system for homeowners to use. He laughed as he explained, “We burned up components during the design phase. These parts needed to withstand current flows, amongst other things. We worked with a number of companies to develop the prototypes. Judson described the process was like Edison’s. Along the way, he says, “We found hundreds of ways to NOT make this system.”
The key was the development of a “bladder approach” which pressurizes the tank. “We wanted to ensure no external contaminants could enter the water through our system; it had to be a ‘closed’ system,” said Judson. “We had many experiments and I remember one time I went into the yard to pressurize some new material to see how it would work. It wasn’t expanding the way it was supposed to, even after 40 pounds of pressure were added. Then the bladder exploded!” Judson recalled. “We knew this material wasn’t going to work,” he laughed.
Realization of the Dream
In 2014, Constant Water officially opened after years of developing, patenting, and manufacturing a system that allows well users to have fresh water (from 40 to 120 gallons) even during a power outage, without a generator. For those who do have a generator, this system can be used in conjunction with that as well. Their system also makes fresh water available when well pumps fail; something a generator cannot do.
How Does It Work?
The system provides access to fresh water during a well or power outage by using air to pressurize the tanks. When electricity is on, fresh water continuously flows through the tanks. When the power goes out, the system activates and provides pressurized water to every sink, show, tub, and toilet. “It’s not an endless supply,” Judson said. It is, however, a comfort to many homeowners to have an emergency backup water supply. Judson had developed a solution that offers stability and safety in emergency situations.
“My journey–it is the pursuit of the American dream. It is the opportunity everyone has: to identify a problem, develop a solution, and work very, very hard to make a business and a living. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and I was even in combat in the first Iraq war,” he said.
Did Judson ever feel like giving up? “There are many times you wonder if you’re going to make it. You’re confident, then you’re scared. Things never move as quickly nor as smoothly as you planned or hoped. Everything takes time and money. And there is never enough of either,” he stated.
But encouragement from so many people kept Judson going, plumbers and well diggers and drillers especially. Even phone calls from customers and overseas contacts conveyed the value of this solution and have been motivational to him. With this product niche he has developed he just may help individuals all over the world by providing fresh water. “It’s humbling to consider what a wide impact this system can have,” he said. Ultimately, all of his efforts led to the manufacturing of the Constant Water system and it was brought to market in April 2016.
Judson’s vision is to be known for providing a quality product and being an active member of the community. He wants to help the local economy and also have a positive impact throughout the country. “Wouldn’t it be great to have Warrenton and Fauquier County on the map with this system that will help not only locals but also individuals all over the world? In the future, Barb and I want to be in the position to help others get a great idea off the ground, and give back to our community that has been so supportive,” explained Judson.
His drive, convictions, and grit have helped make his dream a reality and demonstrate his dedication to helping others. He said, “My advice to anyone pursuing their passion is if you have something you know is good and important, keep at it as long as you physically and financially can. It’s not a quick race, it’s a marathon. Put one foot in front of the other each and everyday. Do something everyday that’s moving you forward.”
If you are interested about this innovative way of having usable, flowing water in your home or business, you call them at 540-347-3440, visit constantwater.com, or visit their offices located at 6649 Garland Dr. #10, Warrenton, VA 20187.