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image Innovative Water Solutions crew.

AUSTIN - Knowing that you can conserve rainwater should put a commercial owner’s mind at ease. Especially when Austin is in support of the effort for water conservation.






    When Chris Maxwell-Gaines, owner of Innovative Water Solutions LLC and business partner Blake West were serving in the Peace Corps with their wives, a bond was formed. They met in Suriname located in South America and spent two years serving and living on rainwater. “Out of this group of 28 Americans there were four Aggies, so of course we bonded immediately,” says Chris. “We would collect rainwater and that’s what we used for cooking and drinking purposes,” he adds.
    Chris says they moved back to Austin and the business partners started small. They started with a booth at the home and garden show in March 2004. As time would tell the company and the education on rainwater systems grew. Today, IWS is a tank half full of rainwater, not half empty. “Over all from 2004 to now, we’ve installed a little over 500 rainwater systems which is nearly seven million gallons of rain water storage.” While IWS’s big focus is on rainwater, the company also focuses on drainage and storm water management.
    IWS has somewhere between 20 to 25 employees. All of which are proud to help keep Austin beautiful. Chris says IWS has signed with “Keep Austin Beautiful” and recently picked the segment of Waller Creek for clean up. “We had a good turnout, probably about half of our guys showed up and we had a great time.” In terms of company culture he says it can be difficult when creating a company culture and if you don’t nurture it, well it can get out of hand. “We want to have a family atmosphere. IWS is an open environment where everyone knows that their voice can be heard and they are not just a little clog in the system.”
    Water conservation and commercial projects are on the horizon. IWS has plenty to tank for.
    Innovative Water Solutions LLC is an engineering design/build firm in Austin. -lv

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Lexie Velasquez lexie@constructionnews.net