Water & Wastewater Asia Jul/Aug 2018

By David Stewart Jones, BusinessWrite Inc. A legacy of product innovation With a company history going back to the dawn of the modern water infrastructure industry, Mueller Water Products today is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of water valves, fire hydrants, and water infrastructure products and technologies. However, pioneering company founder Hieronymus Mueller was nearly lured away from the early water products industry after purchasing a new 1892 Benz “horseless carriage” automobile. Smitten with his imported Benz — ancestor of today’s Mercedes- Benz — Mueller refined it into the famous cross-country-race-winning “Mueller-Benz” with innovative and patented features like reverse gearing, a water-cooled radiator, redesigned spark plugs, a more efficient ignition distributor, and more. Fortunately for the future water industry, the bulk of Hieronymus Mueller’s 501 product patents were water product innovations that propelled his company to industry leadership — including the original 1872 Mueller ® Water Tapper, a product updated with only minor modifications that is still a standard for the industry today. That legacy of product innovation has remained unchanged, despite many company changes and business transformations that have occurred over the past century, according toMueller Water Products President & CEO Scott Hall. Significant recent developments include the company’s “water- only” business focus exclusively Scott Hall, President & CEO of Mueller Water Products