Effluent Management Systems (EMS Ltd) | Walking the environmental talk

When Tania and Steve Crockford started their plumbing and drainage business 28 years ago, they never imagined how diverse it would become.

Together they have taken Crockford Plumbing from those humble beginnings to EMS Ltd, one of New Zealand's most innovative and reliable companies designing, installing and servicing a wide range of effluent management systems.

Clients now include rural homeowners, architects, engineers, housing companies, councils, Department of Conservation, maraes, wineries, outdoor education centres, the education board and several commercial apple growing companies throughout the Hawke’s Bay region.

Steve credits the growth and continued success of EMS to "having a fantastic team of administration people who plan and organise projects and a team who work hard to complete the projects on time, on budget and who are always keen to learn”.

He adds that "my role within EMS these days is pretty much finding work for the team and just keeping ahead of the ever-changing compliance and regulatory landscape”.

Steve’s years of experience in the field, the addition of several environmental qualifications and being a long-standing member of Engineering NZ has led to many requests for his services as a consultant and designer both in NZ and overseas.

In 2005, EMS won the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Environmental Awards for its Flowking™ siphon.  The siphon is an unpowered hydraulic pump that distributes filtered effluent over an area regularly and is far less damaging to the environment than conventional methods.

Steve is proud of the fact that EMS lives and breathes environmental awareness. "In the old days, if you mentioned a septic tank, no one cared or was particularly knowledgeable. It’s fantastic to now have clients requesting the environmental option rather than feeling that they’ve been forced into it.”

Steve travels overseas regularly and says it gives him a vital overview of new developments in the industry.

"Every year we head to Luxembourg to discuss industry issues on an international level with likeminded people.  Every second year we go to the IFAT Trade Fair in Munich to make sure that EMS is up to speed with the latest technologies. This approach gives us the big picture and allows us to establish valuable overseas business connections. 

“As a result, we now collaborate with companies in the UK, Luxembourg, Italy, Bulgaria and South Africa, and we’re about to export specifically designed polyethylene tanks and pump stations to South Africa and Malaysia."

Tania and Steve have enjoyed working with Moore Markhams director, Mark Knofflock for the past four years.

"Mark gives you a real sense of confidence and has at his disposal a range of people to answer whatever questions we have. We contemplated putting our business on the market a while ago, but after discussions with the Moore Markhams team, we thought, 'we have a great business - why would we want to sell it?'  Mark's advice gave us the confidence to know if we ever wanted to sell or expand, we'd sit down with him to make a plan and go forward accordingly.

“Working with Moore Markhams is a great partnership. It’s a prerequisite for all businesses to have the professional support of banks, strong accounting firms and good lawyers because these days, with the bigger projects that EMS is involved in, comes bigger liability and more risk, so we need the best advice available.”

www.emsnz.co.nz