In 1974 Joan & Richard Shakesby moved into a property in North Norfolk, England, knowing that the water supply came from a deep borehole. There was no shortage of water but it was far from the spa like quality they had expected. It had an opaque orange appearance with a definite metallic taste.
Local bore hole drillers were contacted who explained the problem was caused by excessive levels of iron in the water. Not harmful, but an open tank filter could be supplied to possibly cure the problem. This was to be a massive affair requiring a lean-to shed at the side of the house. The price was similarly daunting…
Believing there must be a more elegant and less costly solution, their eldest son, Tim, started a long series of telephone calls to all of the water treatment companies listed in the ‘Yellow Pages’. Most companies stated that the problem was very difficult to cure and they could not help.
Eventually a company was contacted who were fairly confident that they could help. A filter was duly delivered and installed. After a few days it became apparent that there was no improvement in the water. After long discussions with the company, various modifications and additions were made to the system.
Noticeable improvements occurred in the water. However, the need for a more practical filter system was apparent. Recalling his school chemistry lessons Tim remembered some fascinating glassware invented by an 18th Century Swiss mathematician, Bernoulli. This was the Bernoulli pump although more readily known as a venturi. He was able to develop some very simple and reliable components to replicate this device.
Other components were required to work in conjunction with the Bernoulli pump. Research, design and development continued and when a ‘failure mechanism’ became apparent this would be investigated and designed out of the system. The aim was always to keep improving the reliability, performance and the length of the service interval.
A marketable product with fully automatic operation had now evolved after years of research and development and late in 1977 saw the founding of Shakesby & Sons Ltd. and the installation of its first filter. This filter worked to its owners’ complete satisfaction for four years when its first service was undertaken and has continued to work successfully for many years.