Joe Stern Water Conditioning evolved from Joe Stern Building & Plumbing Contractor established in 1982 in Oakhurst, California by Joe R. Stern, resident of Oakhurst since 1972.

Joe Stern moved to Oakhurst in late 1972 from Birmingham, Alabama where he graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree. He majored in Math, minored in Economics with a technically rich curriculum including many course hours in chemistry, physics and engineering.

In Oakhurst he first worked as land surveyor, putting to use his engineering background. He then worked his way into the building construction field, employed as a carpenter, plumber and also as an installer of under-sink drinking water filters. This was Joe’s first look into the world of Water Conditioning and it made a big impression on him.

In 1979 he became employed as head construction estimator for John Reed General Contractor, a large local builder. In 1982 he applied for and was granted a Contractors license by the State of California and Joe Stern Building and Plumbing was formed.

The company specialized in residential and commercial remodels with an emphasis on plumbing related work such as bathroom and kitchen remodels and additions as well as plumbing tear-outs and re-pipes. Joe observed, through his plumbing work, the poor water quality in the area and the damage this water was doing to plumbing pipes and fixtures. He saw a potentially great demand for water treatment products in Eastern Madera County. Through his plumbing business he continued to install drinking water filters and began installing whole house water filters.

In the years from 1982 till 1998 the company grew. Along with this growth came increased demand for Water Treatment products and services. Sales of water products steadily increased, finally comprising most of the companies total sales.

The time required for sales and services of water treatment equipment became so great that the decision was finally made to perform only water treatment related work.

In June of 1998 the State Contractors License Board of California granted the name change application and Joe Stern Water Conditioning was formed. Today the company is a full line independent water treatment dealer with many satisfied customers throughout Madera and Mariposa Counties.

Top Ten Reasons to Choose Joe:

  1. He installed his first water filter in 1982
  2. He is a licensed Plumbing Contractor- California Lic #422539
  3. He is a Permitted Water Treatment Operator #25374
  4. He is a Licensed General Contractor
  5. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama 1971, BS, Major in Math, curriculum rich in chemistry and physics
  6. He is Past President of the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce
  7. He sits on the SB621 Madera County Water Advisory Committee
  8. He is the Oakhurst Area Chamber’s Man of the Year for 2008
  9. He is member of Oakhurst Sierra Rotary
  10. Problem water is his specialty


Joe Stern Water Conditioning is an independent water treatment dealer. This means that the company is not required to buy  all their equipment from one source. Nor do we have to charge high prices to recoup the high prices that these big name franchises charge their dealers. We are free to seek the best possible equipment from anywhere at the best possible price.

In his many years of water treatment experience, Joe has put together a great group of suppliers and manufacturers. We feel that each one of our suppliers is the very best at what they do. Here is a list of our suppliers and manufacturers:

  • Hydrotech / US Filter – One of the world’s largest water conditioning manufacturer.
  • Capitol Pipe and Supply – Oakhurst based plumbing supply.
  • H & L True Value Hardware – Oakhurst based hardware and plumbing supply
  • Grainger – National plumbing and pump supplier.
  • Fleck Controls Inc. – Manufactures the great FLECK control heads.
  • Purolite Ion Exchange Resins – Manufactures softening resin.
  • Structural Fibers – Leading manufacturer water treatment tanks.
  • Performance Water Products, Inc.- Large supplier of Fleck Products
  • Axeon Water Technologies – Large Manufacturer of Commercial Reverse Osmosis

The Correct Solutions

Our goal has always been, simply stated, to “clean up your water” at the lowest possible price, with the least possible maintenance; and most importantly to install the right water treatment equipment for the home owners problem.

As licensed plumbers we fully realize the importance of installing equipment in compliance with State and local plumbing codes. But it should be realized that the most perfect plumbing installation is of little help if it is an installation of the WRONG type of treatment equipment.

The most common error made in water treatment is installing the wrong equipment for a given water quality problem. Most water is different. There is no one “cure-all” for water problems. Errors such as installing water softeners (or the wrong design of water softener) for high levels of iron or undersizing whole house filters causing water flow restrictions are common place in the industry.

To avoid the problem of installing the wrong kind of water treatment equipment, the water treatment professional should first visit the home, talk with the home owner and find out “What about your water would you like to change?” If there are stains, scale buildup or other visible evidence of poor water quality, they should be examined. Then, a water test should be performed. The water should always be tested for hardness, iron, pH, TDS and if indicated, manganese, hydrogen sulfide gas, dissolved oxygen, tannins and copper. The results of the water test, the evidence of the stains, along with the families water use factors should all be considered before prescribing the proper type and size treatment equipment.

Also to be considered is the proper location for the new equipment. It should be located in a position where all the homes water will pass through it for treatment. The lawn or irrigation sprinklers usually are plumbed to take off before the treatment equipment. The new equipment should be located out of the weather and in a location where it can be conveniently serviced. Most water treatment equipment discharge waste water during regeneration. This drainage should also be considered in selecting the proper location for the equipment.