When Santevia Water co-founder and CEO Yvonne Anderson discovered a water filter that did what she wanted it to do, it cost thousands of dollars. That wasn’t going to cut it. Yvonne and her husband David Anderson were on a mission to get truly healthy water—and not just for themselves. And before long, the Delta, BC-based couple discovered a solution for creating clean, remineralized water affordably.
It all started—“it” being a 16-employee business that’s now redefining water filtration—with a health problem. Years ago, David was experiencing acid reflux, a condition that can seriously impact quality of life.
“The doctor said, ‘Medication for life.’ I said, ‘No,’” says Yvonne. “I said, ‘You can have him on these pills for 90 days, and during that time, I will find something better.’”
Yvonne, a trained kinesiologist, has a strong scientific bent, and “when [she faces] challenges, [she hits] the research.” In particular, she started investigating how levels of acidity and alkalinity can drive health outcomes. When the pH balance between the two is optimal, the body is homeostatic and can heal itself.
“In the case of David, the levels of acid in his body were way too high. He likes his soda, and he would drink, as he called it, ‘a bucket of coffee’ every morning. Because his diet pulled his pH towards acid, his reflux would make him cough like a pack-a-day smoker.”
David’s diet changed. He started working with a personal trainer to clear lactic acid from his body. And he began to drink more water—the right kind of water.
“Getting the water we need to alkalinize our bodies is a two-step process. First, you take out the ‘bad stuff’, the lead and chlorine and such, and then you put back in the ‘good stuff’, the calcium, magnesium, and other trace minerals that water naturally has before it’s processed.
“In the past, our grandparents drank their water from wells or mountain springs, which had never had these minerals stripped away in the first place. But now, if our only source is the highly processed water we generally drink in the Western world, we have to remineralize.”
But how to create a system to do this affordably? After finding one unacceptably expensive system, David and Yvonne “went to the source.”
“Japan is a country where people live long lives, partly because of their water. In past decades, when people migrated to the cities in large numbers, the big issue was providing water to them. Japan created a simple gravity system that remineralizes water. We based our Santevia system , which we were able to retail for $200, on that model.”
With a system they were excited to share with the world, Santevia needed partners to build the business. One of those partners was Great Little Box Company/ Ideon Packaging (GLBC), which began providing custom corrugated boxes, and supporting Santevia’s desire to do business with local partners. “Discovering that GLBC was right in our backyard was the best. Their team is so good. They always help us find the timeliest and most cost-effective solutions.”
Although they manufacture locally, Santevia has a global focus. A portion of all the company’s sales funds projects that address water poverty across the world.
“David and I were in Thailand for a conference, and we met a twelve-year-old girl. She explained that her English was perfect because someone had taught it to her in her last orphanage. And then she explained that she moves every two years because her orphanages lose funding. David and I decided we need to grow our business so that we could support people like her.”
That’s just what they did. Currently, every Santevia filter sold means 100 days of clean water for people living in water poverty. Truly, creating an affordable system was only the beginning. We couldn’t be prouder to support a company that’s fulfilling a mission this important.