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Vista Company Helps Homeowners Recycle Swimming Pool Water

California's drought has increased business for some "drought entrepreneurs," companies that are finding ways to make money by helping people save water. Pool Services Technologies is one of them.

Most swimming pools hold 20,000 gallons of water, about as much water as an average San Diegan uses in a year.

Bruce Wettstein’s company Pool Services Technologies has seen big business by helping homeowners avoid draining and refilling all of that pool water.

"We actually take the water that’s in an existing swimming pool, and as opposed to doing a complete drain and refill, where the pool owner would dump this 20,000 gallons down the drain and purchase another 20,000 gallons, we can clarify this to a better quality than what comes out of the tap and save 85 percent of this pool water," Wettstein said.

Pool owners are supposed to empty and refill their pools every five to seven years to prevent mineral buildup. Instead, Pool Services Technologies pumps water into a rig, cleans it and puts it back into the pool.

The Vista-based company started six years ago, but in the past year has become an example of a "drought entrepreneur" — a company that is finding ways to make money by helping people save water. Other examples are companies that install gray water systems and landscapers who focus on water-wise plants.

Oceanside homeowner Douglas Card paid Wettstein $550 to recycle his pool water.

"The drought was my biggest concern," he said. "With the water prices going up continually and the water levels going down, I thought, well, I know it’s not much, but in the long run if more people do it we’ll save the Earth."

Since the drought began, Wettstein said his business has taken off. Right now, he's completely booked through October.

"Initially we didn’t think this drought was a factor and we just didn’t think it was prudent to be dumping so much water, even before the awareness was increased," he said. "We’re thankful people have chosen us as an option."

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