Water. Everyone needs it every day. Joel Johnson is extremely aware of that as a licensed general contractor. He’s been building luxury homes in Paradise Valley and north Scottsdale for the past 20 years, the last 10 with his own company, J Andrew Development.
“About three years ago, I had the idea to develop self-sustaining communities that took a common sense approach to being prepared for emergencies,” he says. “We wanted to come up with systems that are zero maintenance and zero hassle. Power generators and freeze-dried food were already on the market. The last component needed was the water.”
Though Johnson’s homes have been featured in Luxe Magazine and Phoenix Home and Garden, he wanted to provide something that would work for every size of home and family.
Johnson made use of his extensive knowledge and came up with a design. “Then,” he says, “I took that design to a plumbing engineer who signed and sealed it.” It’s now Johnson’s patented WaterGuardTM system.
He also started an emergency preparedness company, Spero Systems, in 2014. Spero Systems offers power generators, freeze-dried food, and, of course, WaterGuardTM.
The smallest tank model is 120 gallons, big enough for a family of four to live on for 30 days, if necessary. Besides the five standard sizes, custom orders are possible. A tank can be placed in a garage or on a covered patio or porch, and it can move with a family to a new home.
Customers will never again have to rotate water to keep it fresh. WaterGuardTM is a pressurized system, connecting to the city’s water supply. Whenever water is used somewhere in the home, the tank water is automatically rotated. And, the tank can be hooked up to a filtering system to give the water great taste.
Storing water in jugs or barrels is cumbersome and doesn’t maintain one’s standard of living. In June, one of Johnson’s clients happily hauled out 10 50-gallon barrels of water storage. Another texted, “Wife in shower when water turned off by water company for repairs. WaterGuardTM restored it – wife finishes shower – everyone is happy!”
Johnson is currently working with two local tract home builders that will offer WaterGuardTM as a standard upgrade.
“We plan to be a national brand,” he says.
Homes are set up to use water in the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms. Having the water turned off even briefly is inconvenient. It’s easy to imagine if it’s off for much longer. “It could be a natural disaster, pandemic, infrastructure failure or a terrorist attack,” says Johnson, and every day in North America, there are 850 water main breaks. Being prepared helps people stay positive, Johnson says.