Pristine Water Systems: 20 more franchisees in three years

By Sarah Stowe | 13 Feb 2020 View comments

Pristine Water Systems is about to celebrate the launch of its 20th franchisee into the network, with plans for another 20 territories to be signed over the next two to three years.

This 17-year-old mobile business delivers water tank cleaning and filtration services. It has 64 designated regions around Australia, each territory based on the number of properties with rainwater tanks.

Matthew Brown, who leads franchise development at Pristine Water Systems, tells Inside Franchise Business “We’ve seen an increase in the amount of interest in the business. We added five franchisees last year and we expect the momentum to continue.”

Now with east coast to west coast representation, Pristine Water Systems has a franchisee footprint in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and its home base of Queensland.

The second franchisee in Victoria will become the 20th in the network when the business launches in March in Shepparton.

What’s the business?

Pristine Water’s core business is rainwater tank cleaning, which it conducts using its trademarked QuadClean process. Tanks need sanitising every two to three years, depending on the environment – a rainforest location is likely to require an annual clean. Birds, animals, mixed water and ash are just some of the elements that can dirty the contents of a rainwater tank.

Brown admits the bushfire scenario has added to the demand for tank cleaning, particularly fire-retardant, and while picking up extra business, the firm has also helped spread the message about self-help in fire-affected regions.

With a long time between repeat visits, it’s been important for Pristine Water Systems to adopt a secondary offer. Water filtration allows franchisees to upsell to existing clients and provide a more frequent service.

Franchise benefits

Last year the franchise was able to secure better prices from suppliers because of the volume of business. And with bulk ordering freight costs have been reduced too.

The water cleaning operation is labour intensive but only has a 5 per cent cost. The filtration has higher operating costs but more frequent servicing opportunities.

Business is growing: there was some transition in 2019 as a few operators began employing staff and operating secondary vehicles. One high achiever uses a small van to do quotes and sends staff out with a truck to complete the work.

While sanitising a rainwater tank is like cleaning a pool, filtration does require some gear. Franchisees need to be able to turn a spanner and a screwdriver, says Brown.

“Our goal is for franchisees to be successful. We provide all technical support. We train franchisees, we don’t expect them to be expert in water technology,” he says.