When Eric Stechmann, founder of Estech magnetic bracketing systems, looks at water towers, what does he see?
“I see opportunities,” he said. “I see people needing my help. I see cables that create a safety violation that needs a solution.”
For nearly 10 years, Eric Stechmann worked for a water tower maintenance provider as a consultant, assessing the condition of water towers across Missouri.
He repeatedly saw telecommunication cables attached to water tower ladders, which he knew was against state and federal design guidelines. The traditional fix was to weld brackets onto the towers to hold the cables, but that’s expensive and can lead to metal corrosion.
Stechmann came up with a different idea: attaching magnetic brackets to water towers for half the price and with no risk of tower damage.
So he quit his job and in 2012 launched Estech to locally manufacture magnetic brackets that safely hold cables on water towers. The Estech system is currently used on 30 water towers in several states, with plans next year to sell brackets for hundreds of towers.
“Since I started the business, if I’m driving somewhere, I will stare at every water tower,” Stechmann said. “We’ll get to them all as soon as we can.”