Jul 20, 2020 12:00 PM
Doug Weber and Cody Hall - Sonset Solutions
SonSet Solutions - The "Coolest Think Made in Elkhart County"

Water monitor wins 'Coolest Thing' vote By JORDAN FOUTS jfouts@elkharttruth.com, published in the Elkhart Truth June 24, 2020

ELKHART — The product voted “Coolest Thing Made in Elkhart County” is something used by people around the world who need access to clean water.

SonSet Solutions, an Elkhart company started in 2011, makes devices that monitor water pumps in underdeveloped countries to make sure they’re in good working order. The company’s SonSetLink monitor received a quarter of the more than 4,000 votes that were cast in the first contest to highlight unique products made in Elkhart County.

It beat out 29 other products, which ranged from food and instruments to RVs and fur suits, when the winners were announced Wednesday.

SonSet engineers demonstrated their product after receiving the award Wednesday afternoon. It’s a small, battery-operated device that can sit on top of something like a hand pump and send data to a satellite, to be monitored from anywhere in the world.

Their product is used by about 15 ministries that install pumps and wells in places like Kenya. Cody Hall, an engineer with the company, estimated they’ve sent out over 800 units to be used in almost 30 countries.

With wells serving as many as 10,000 people at a time, he said there could be over half a million people who benefit from their technology.

“We want to keep that water flowing, that’s the goal. And that’s what this equipment allows the ministries to do,” he said. “They put the pump in, they install the monitor, and they get a daily report.”

Company President David Russell remarked that they play only a small part in others’ mission to provide clean water, by helping keep an eye on the output and operation of the pumps.

“There’s a major global water crisis. People around the globe do not have dependable access to clean water,” he said. “There are people working diligently to try to solve that crisis. We are playing a small part. We are assisting others who are on the ground, on location, helping people with this need.”

The device can also measure things like water production, chlorine content, the water level in storage tanks or the length of time a hand pump was operated. It can also indicate when preventative maintenance needs to be done, to prevent a breakdown.

Russell said he and the staff were thrilled to learn they won the vote for “coolest thing.”

“I think this is a testimonial to the richness of our culture here in Elkhart County,” he said. “This has proved to be a wonderful home to SonSet Solutions. We live here, we work here, we interact with people, we go to churches here in town, in Elkhart County. We are being encouraged in many ways to continue with this very important work. I think it’s a celebration for our entire county, and not just SonSet Solutions.”

The contest was an initiative of Vibrant Communities and supported by the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County, Community Foundation of Elkhart County, the Elkhart County Board of Commissioners, and the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

About Doug Weber and Cody Hall

Doug Weber joined SonSet Solutions in 2014. Doug is an electrical engineer and served in that role for many years until eventually becoming the Media Director for the Latin American region of Reach Beyond. He also gained experience with using social media tools to enhance the outreach and effectiveness of the radio ministry. Doug is currently the Creative Director for SonSet Solutions’ Nikkel Media Works, leads the PR/Communications team, and participates in Funding Development. He loves to tell inspiring stories of how God is using technology to advance the gospel around the world. The Webers have four adult children, one of whom is married.

Cody Hall became SonSet Solutions’ first missionary appointee. Cody studied mechanical engineering at Cedarville University and uses those skills as part of the Broadcast Services Department, specifically in the Community Development and Clean Water initiatives. Cody works with ministry partners to design, test, and produce technology-based solutions including satellite-based water system monitors, water level sensors, and hand-pump monitors. 

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