A family owned and operated business serving Cape Coral and Lee County residents is now getting ready to celebrate 40 years in business, and the owners have an invention being carried nationally.
Bergau Plumbing was started in the 1970s by two brothers, William and George Bergau. William Bergau is a patriarch with five boys, who are now all involved in the business in some way.
"We grew up with it, it's in our blood," said son Michael Bergau.
Michael Bergau of Bergau Plumbing holds “his baby,” a water heater element quick change device he invented and patented. The product is sold nationally by Camco in many major retail outlets, Including Walmart.
He's a "middle brother," with Charles, Billy, Mark and Joey. "We are all involved in some way, some more involved than others, and it is still my father's business per se, he's the majority stockholder."
Michael remembers moving to Cape Coral at a very young age.
"I was 3 years old when we moved here from Connecticut in 1971. I remember my four brothers and I riding our 10-speeds on Del Prado, with no lights, no traffic. And growing up, you knew everyone and we still try to get to know people."
His uncle had moved here about a few years earlier.
"My uncle came down to buy a house in the late 1960s and bought a house through the Rosen Brothers, one of the first developers of Cape Coral. Then my parents came down to visit, and we then moved here."
His father was a plumber in Connecticut, and helped start the business here.
Today the family has the patent for a plumbing-specific invention that is carried by several large distributors, including WalMart and on Amazon.com.
It's called Camco's Water Heater Element Quick Change and advertised as the devise where "you don't need to drain your tank."
It's a product that gives plumbers and do-it-yourselfers the ability to not have to drain a hot water tank to fix it, saving time and water.
"We have an exclusive licensing agreement with Camco Manufacturing," he said. You can view more about the product at camco.net after clicking on hardware.
"We came up with it in 2008, and it helps plumbers do jobs on what we call "on the fly" by creating a vacuum in the tank. It saves water and time and cleaning the mess up."
Prices vary from stores to online sales. At WalMart it retails for $10.87.
"Sales have been good," he said.
Of the 40th anniversary, he said, "We're trying to enjoy another 40 years and pass it on to the next generation."