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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hydrating with Saipan Ice & Water

Saipan Ice & Water products come in different convenient sizes. (Contributed Photo) Staying hydrated with clean and pure water is one of the most important things a person can do for their health.

Saipan Ice & Water, established in 1985 as the island’s first water company, has done this for almost three decades now for the people of Saipan. Pioneered by the late Anthony Pellegrino, and now under the management of his grandson Andrew Morishige, the company plays a vital role in keeping Saipan’s families and youth healthy.

Their product undergoes a thorough purification process. The 7,000 cases of water bottles that the company distributes locally on a monthly basis are cleaned and sanitized by a nine-chamber machine. The technology ensures that the bottles are free from outside contaminants and the finished products are tested daily by onsite chemists. The water remains untouched by human hands to make sure that water is at the best standard possible. According to marketing director and treasurer Regina Morishige, the purification process also involves a double disinfection, which includes a pre-treatment of chlorine and UV light.

“This is especially important since we live in a tropical climate,” she said.

All of their products are certified by the military and Food and Drug Administration and the company stands as the sole water company on island that produces water bottles. The bottles are made out of PTA plastic—the internationally preferred form of commercial plastic for food due to the lowest BPA leaching.

Morishige told Saipan Tribune that the company has many plans in store for new products and improvements. The company is expected to receive new small bottling equipment that will increase their production levels and allow them to work more efficiently. The company is also “going green” by venturing into the recycling business by working with local schools and businesses.

“We also will improve our service to our customers and we are constantly improving our facilities and maintaining them to keep the best environment possible for our water,” she said.

More recently, the company formed a partnership with the Northern Marianas Trade Institute. Students from the school will have the opportunity to review projects and learn from the company’s mechanics on the work they are currently doing on the business’ vehicles.

“This will help us to give back to the community and give them a good local education on car mechanics so that the local workforce can grow in this area of expertise,” Morishige noted. “This will also help the trade school with funding and growing their program.”

A sport’s drink is also in the research stage of developing for Saipan Ice & Water. Morishige said the idea is to not only provide a local sports drink, “but to also make it healthy with C and B vitamins.”

The company is also taking the extra mile to work with local sports teams by donating a sum of money to fund their activities and encourage healthy living. New labels featuring local artists are also in the future for the company.

Saipan Ice & Water is also known for being active in the community. Cases of water for non-profit and for-profit organizations at events in the community are donated by the business.

Morishige shared that community members are welcome to tour their facilities by making an appointment.

“We value and appreciate our community. We want to not only serve you the best water possible but provide the community with a valuable resource and support local programs whenever possible.”

The company also produces fluoridated water for customers who want to keep their teeth and gums healthy. According to the American Dental Association, this type of water is the best defense against tooth decay.

Besides being the sole automated bottling company and producing their own water bottles, Saipan Ice & Water goes beyond the monthly Department of Environmental Quality’s monthly standards, “where all the other competitors stop,” according to Morishige.

At the end of the day, Morshige said the ultimate vision for the company is to continue Pellegrino’s dream: “To be number one, not in sales or market share, but in terms of the quality of our products, management and customer service.”

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