San Benito’s Water Connection


San Benito’s Water Connection

One of the most treasured commodities in the Rio Grande Valley is water, especially good-tasting, clean water. Much of the water in the Valley comes from the Rio Grande and is full of minerals and pollutants and often has an unpleasant taste. Municipalities around the Valley do a good job of cleaning up their water supplies, but the water is nevertheless mineralized – hard water.

Tyler, Susan and Win Stenseng (Courtesy)

Restaurants, hospitals and families can mitigate hard water and off-flavor water problems. Since the mid1940s, the “Hey Culligan Man!” ad has promoted a full-service water solution for the Valley. The Winslow Stenseng family currently owns and operates Culligan of San Benito.  Colonel B.E. Hanson, Win Stenseng’s uncle, came to Harlingen Air Force Base as Base Commander in the 1960s. He decided that he had found a home in the Valley, eventually settling with his wife in Harlingen. Hanson bought two other Valley Culligan franchises and consolidated them into the San Benito operation in the late 1960s.

Stenseng, a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, was looking for business opportunities when his uncle invited him to the Valley to work with him in the water business. Anticipating retirement, Hanson transferred the business to his nephew and his wife, Susan, in 1975. This family-owned and operated business has thrived and prospered as the need for purified water grew.

According to Stenseng, “2011 was a banner year for Culligan with the greatest growth in my history with the business.”  While purchases of residential water systems have decreased, the interest in rented commercial and residential water systems has surged significantly, according to Stenseng. Culligan of San Benito has also grown by stepping in as small water system suppliers, hard hit during the recent economic decline, closed.  Stenseng made arrangements for Culligan to acquire customers from the failing businesses, enabling the customers to continue service for their individual water needs.

Founded in 1936, The Culligan Company has been a recognized leader in water treatment for over 75 years. Culligan is proud of its satisfaction policy: “if the customer is not fully satisfied with a Culligan product, the customer will receive a full refund – no questions asked – within the first 30 days after the sale.” Culligan has the widest range of water solutions available, with a solution to suit every business, every home and every budget. Customers and prospective customers can call the Culligan toll-free number seven days a week to schedule appointments or report problems.

For more of this story by Chuck Swanberg, pick up a copy of the March edition of Valley Business Report, on news stands now, or visit the “Current & Past Issues” tab on this Web site.