Sterling Water Culligan – Proudly Celebrating 65 Years!

Our good friends at Sterling Water in Minnesota and Wisconsin are celebrating 65 years of business this month. That’s more than six decades and three generations of better water — pure, simple and successful!

Take a walk down memory lane with us while we recount the steps from its humble beginnings in 1949. But first, some fun facts. Did you know a gallon of gas cost 26 cents in 1949? You could buy a house for about $14,000. A postage stamp was only 3 cents!


Sterling Tangley in 2001

But also in 1949: Husband and wife duo W. Sterling and Jo Tangley, along with friend Frank Decker, formed a partnership in Wisconsin with the creation of Culligan Soft Water of Pierce County. They established a new Culligan franchise and built a plant in Ellsworth, Wis.

1972: The couple’s son and daughter-in-law, Peter and Karol Tangley, followed suit and started their own Culligan dealership in Wisconsin, serving Eau Claire, Dunn, and Chippewa counties.

1976: The family torch is passed on. Peter and Karol, along with Peter’s sister, Paula, formed a partnership and bought Culligan Soft Water of Pierce County from their parents.

1976: Sterling Water is born! Culligan of Stillwater was added to the mix and the dealerships incorporated into one company, what we now know as Sterling Water, Inc.

1989: Additional Culligan dealerships were purchased in Minnesota and Wisconsin, including Pine City, Marshfield and Wausau.

Competitor acquisitions in central Wisconsin included A-1 Water and Mid-State Ice and Water.

2005: Sterling Water spun-off its partnership with Culligan Soft Water Service, and Sterling Water took sole ownership of the Eau Claire and Wausau dealerships.


Jo Tangley in 2000

After 35 years, Peter and Karol passed ownership to their son, Bret, who actively worked in a variety of roles for the business since 1982. He’s a Certified Water Specialist-VI and Minnesota Licensed Water Conditioning Master, currently serving on a number of industry and community associations.

2009: Culligan of Sauk Centre in Minnesota was added to the company.

2010 and 2011: Acquisitions in Minnesota and Wisconsin included Little Falls Soft Water, Aqua-Quality, Inc., Zastrow’s Natural Water and Gibson’s WaterCare bottled water division.

2012: The Culligan of Willmar dealership was purchased by Sterling Water, and the company acquired its central Wisconsin competitors Rainsoft and Sherfinski & Zahn.

Today the award-winning company employs nearly 50 people and continues to serve the water needs of thousands of area residents and businesses!

Congratulations, Sterling Water team! We’re proud to have you as part of the Culligan family. We’ll leave you with a message from Bret Tangley, himself:

“With a solid foundation in place, we are optimistic that a promising future awaits Sterling Water. We sincerely hope that you enjoy and appreciate our service as much as we appreciate the opportunity to serve you.”

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Hard Water Makes it Harder on Cloth Diapers

It may be a little known fact, but cloth diapers were actually the catalyst to the development of the water softener.


Because hard water makes cloth diaper care — you guessed it – hard. Expectant father Emmett Culligan learned this in the boiler room of a hospital all the way back in 1921 as he awaited the birth of his first daughter.

If you’re a proponent of cloth diapering, it’s important to understand the challenges presented by hard water. It makes for a problematic wash routine, according to, which leaves you with another problem — smell.


Photo courtesy of

According to one knowledgeable mom on the Diaper Shops blog:

“Having hard water can lead to soaps and detergents not working well and leaving mineral buildup on clothing and cloth diapers. Your dishes will look dull from the residue left on them and your laundry will fade much quicker from the buildup.  You may also notice that your shampoo and soaps don’t lather like they should. The minerals from your water may block your detergent or soap from working.”

Installing a Culligan water softener is going to get to the root of your stinky problem, and help make cloth diapering more manageable.


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Culligan Presents the Big Ten Network Football Preview Tour

Football season is just around the corner, which seems unbelievable considering summer started yesterday. (Didn’t it?)

But sure enough, here it is. And once again, Culligan is presenting the Big Ten Network’s summer football tour.

The BTN bus is rolling through Big Ten country, previewing each team’s upcoming season. The Hoosiers and the Buckeyes already had their closeup this week! Our favorite part, of course, is the bus. Have you seen it?

2014 Bus

She’s a beauty.

Who are you rooting for this Big Ten season? Make sure you keep an eye on the tour schedule, and stop by to snap a photo with the bus. Bonus points if you get the Culligan logo in your photo. Once you do, head over to our Facebook page and share! We’d love to see our favorite Big Ten fans showing their team — and Culligan — spirit!

Want to keep an eye on the bus? Below is the remaining training camp tour schedule:

Maryland: Thursday, Aug. 7

Rutgers: Friday, Aug. 8

Penn State: Saturday, Aug. 9

Michigan: Monday, Aug. 11

Michigan State: Tuesday, Aug. 12

Purdue (at St. Joseph’s College): Wednesday, Aug. 13

Northwestern (at Camp Kenosha): Thursday, Aug. 14

Wisconsin: Friday, Aug. 15

Minnesota: Saturday, Aug. 16

Nebraska: Monday, Aug. 18

Iowa: Tuesday, Aug. 19

Illinois: Wednesday, Aug. 20


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Girl Scouts team up with Culligan for car wash

Another week here at Culligan Nation!

We thought we’d start Monday off right with these great photos sent to us from our friends at Culligan of Canal Winchester, Ohio. The girls of Girl Scout Troop #1317 had a great time scrubbing cars and making them shine – including our very own Culligan van!

As always, we love to help out in our local communities when we can, and it’s a bonus when we get some clean delivery vans out of the deal. We wish the girls the very best, and Culligan was so happy to host the car wash!

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10 Things You Never Knew A Water Softener Could Do

1. Water softeners can extend the life of your appliances

water softeners save appliances

2. They can make your towels soft without fabric softener

water softener installation for laundry

3. They can help you reduce the time you spend cleaning

water softener save time on cleaning

4. Your water softener can help you save money on cleaning supplies

shower water softener

5. Water softeners will make your skin feel smoother

dry skin remedies

6. Your hair will feel softer

dry hair remedies

7. Improves water flow and reduces scale deposits in your pipes

water flow

8. If you have a water softener in the house, you can cross off buying salt and filling the tank, thanks to companies like Culligan that will maintain your soft water for you

water softener salt

9. Water softeners can prevent hard water spots on glasses and dishes

dishwasher water softener

10. A High Efficiency Water Softener is up to 46% more efficient than other softeners

high efficiency water softener


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South Bend Culligan Man labeled a hero

Culligan ManAt Culligan, we consider our Culligan men and women heroes every day for bringing clean, quality water to homes and businesses across the nation. But one Culligan Man, in particular, is being celebrated in South Bend, Ind., for heroic measures of a different kind.

Culligan of South Bend received an email last month after their route driver, Randy, made quite an impression:

I’m writing on behalf of my aged mother who lives in South Bend.  She has a Culligan Softener system which requires salt to be delivered and loaded on a timely basis.

I live in the Chicago area and had just arrived for a visit when I noticed a Nipsco truck in front of Mom’s house.  It turns out your alert Culligan Man who delivered her salt earlier noticed bubbles forming in water standing around an unused gas barbecue grill.  He immediately pointed it out to my mother telling her there is a gas leak.  He said she needs to call the gas company post haste as this was a very dangerous situation.  She did just that.

The gas company came out within the hour and shut off all the gas to her house.  She was instructed to call a plumber who needed to replace many old gas lines in and around the house.  This was done the following Monday.  Were it not for your observant driver, this could have become a catastrophic event.  We don’t know how long the gas had been leaking, but those things only become worse with time.

We want you to know that whoever the driver in that area was that morning, possibly saved lives.  Please thank him and let him know how much he’s appreciated!


What a story! We’re so glad Randy was at the right place at the right time, and that the story has a happy ending.

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Quiz: How much do you know about kids and exercising?

drink culligan filtered water

Most kids nowadays are attached to iPads, obsessed with Frozen, and can barely remember what a tire swing looks like.

In order for our children to be as healthy as possible, we need to encourage them to exercise; use their imagination; and drink plenty of clean, Culligan filtered water. Paired with exercise, drinking water helps improve mental concentration, athletic performance, and digestion.

We all want the best for our children. Test your knowledge! Take our quiz to find out if your kids are getting enough exercise and practicing healthy habits.

Culligan filtered water


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Are you drinking enough water?

bottled waterAs the resident water expert, I’d be remiss if I didn’t check in to make sure all of you were keeping hydrated now that summer is in full swing.

Hopefully it hasn’t been too hot where you are, but either way – hot or not – it’s important to keep yourself hydrated.

When you’re dehydrated, you’ll likely notice some fatigue, maybe even a slight headache. That’s because your body isn’t operating at an optimum level, causing the sluggishness. Drink a glass of water! Chances are you’ll start to notice a bit of a pep in your step.

Here’s a tip: To make sure you are drinking enough water, break your day into hydration segments. As soon as you get out of bed, drink a glass of water. Have another glass or two before each meal and with any snacks throughout the day. Remember – eight glasses of water a day is only good if you’re water is, so call your Culligan Man!

How do you keep yourself hydrated?


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Culligan of Tiffin Celebrates Grand Reopening

We’re sending a big congratulations to our Culligan men and women in Tiffin, Ohio. Our friends there are celebrating their grand reopening this weekend. If you’re in the area, you don’t want to miss out!


The store is now under the ownership of Hall’s Culligan Water, a family-owned local business with friendly, small town service in mind. Last night the crew kicked off the celebration with a ribbon cutting ceremony, and festivities are scheduled to continue today and tomorrow with giveaways, discounts, prize drawings, and live entertainment.

Sounds like a blast!

tiffin decor tiffin mayor and lulu

Remember, whether you need soft water, pure drinking water, or the best of both worlds, Culligan of Tiffin has the solution! Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz and I agree!

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Culligan International Sponsors Habitat for Humanity Event

Culligan Habitat for Humanity

Culligan® International, the leader in water treatment services is proud to be the official bottled water sponsor for Habitat for Humanity’s Raise Your Hand Chicagoland event being held May 29 – June 1 in downtown Chicago.

Over the course of four days, Culligan International, a Team Builder sponsor for the event will provide bottled water for hundreds of volunteers constructing a total of 13 homes; the exterior of one home and wall frames for 12 other homes in just four days.

Raise Your Hand Chicagoland invites everyone in Chicagoland to raise their hand and join Habitat for Humanity to transform families and communities in their effort to make housing affordable to hardworking people without access to conventional financing and help build, rehab and repair homes throughout greater Chicagoland.

Culligan International has been an industry-leader in water technology and treatment, including whole-house water filters, drinking water systems, bottle-free coolers, bottled water delivery, and water softeners for homes and businesses for more than 75 years.

For more information regarding Culligan International, please visit or connect with us at For more information regarding Raise Your Hand Chicagoland, visit

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