VoyageATL features Jim Lewis of Complete Water Services
Meet Jim Lewis of Complete Water Services in Marietta
Today we’d like to introduce you to Jim Lewis.
Jim, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started out as a water system operator working at night while I went to college during the day. I worked my way up to supervisor with the City of Atlanta water system. I switched to industrial water treatment, co-founded a water treatment company in Atlanta.
I joined CWS in 2000 as President, We have been involved in providing treatment systems for North and South America and I have had the opportunity to travel the world for my work. I have been fortunate to begin working in water treatment when the Clean Water Act and EPA were initially founded and to observe the improvement in water quality in the US and Atlanta through the years.
We in the US take for granted how safe our water is (we still have problems and work to d0) but the US is far ahead of most countries. It has also been fascinating to see how water is used in processing food, cars and many things we use every day. I have been lucky to have knowledgeable, kind mentors, collaborative partners and smart, capable teammates. I am still passionate about water as much as when I started.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not always, It can sometimes be difficult working in foreign countries. Also, we are considered a small company but we often compete against the largest water treatment companies in the world (we win a significant number of these projects even competing against the big guys).
In addition, we are sometimes asked to help clients clean up water that is loaded with hard to treat contaminants to levels that are barely detectable with testing. Travel can be tiring as well.
Complete Water Services – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our company offers design/build treatment systems primarily for industrial factories that use water for processing their products. This includes food, beverage, automotive, chemical and metal finishing, we also provide water treatment for oilfield systems. This means we design the treatment process, construct it and frequently provide operations staff for our clients.
CWS has been involved in almost every facet of water use-water supply (we developed an abandoned rock quarry as an emergency water supply for a GA county), bottled water production in Hawaii, water supply and wastewater treatment for a youth camp in N GA, oil field treatment in Northern Canada, aluminum production treatment in Patagonia region of Argentina and the water fountains in Centennial Park for the Olympics in Atlanta.
We provided a system to recycle seawater for Mote Marine in Sarasota, FL for a study they were doing on crude oil spill effects on fish life cycles in the Gulf. These are just a few examples of the projects we have been involved in. I believe we offer an amazing level of expertise for a small company and we are devoted to helping our clients stay in compliance with environmental regulations and providing a safe water supply.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
When a system our company designed and built won the state of GA water professionals award for treatment plant of the year.