Water Buffalo’s Owner Reflects On Nearly Two Decades in Business

Water Buffalo's water trucks on the set of 'Murder in Law.'

Water Buffalo’s water trucks on the set of ‘Murder in Law.’

By Phyllis Bown Guest Columnist

I started Water Buffalo in 1996 with one cute little 1,500-gallon water truck. It was my goal to be the most diverse water truck company in the area and provide our customers with great service with fully equipped trucks.

This year will mark 19 years in business. We have grown to six water trucks and two water trailers. We have been involved with the film industry for over 10 years. We have done many car commercials and still shoots, as the Northwest has so many beautiful locations. We’ve helped make rain and get the wet look on productions like The Road, Battle in Seattle, Waste Management, and most recently a Washington State Lottery commercial and Carhartt’s farm series.

'Murder in Law' filmed several scenes at Water Buffalo's shop in Bonney Lake.

‘Murder in Law’ filmed several scenes at Water Buffalo’s shop in Bonney Lake.

I love working with the film industry, as the work that you do lives on in print. The people that we get to work with are always great and there are so many good memories and good food.

By far my best experience was working with Screaming Flea Productions on their pilot for Murder In Law. They were casing the Bonney Lake plateau area, where we are located, to find a spot to shoot their “desert” scenes. They needed a rocky area without too many trees, as the segment was set in the California desert and about a family that owned a water trucking company.

Bown's 1976 Dodge Dart gets a cameo in the production.

Bown’s 1976 Dodge Dart gets a cameo in the production.

They stopped by my shop to look over the water trucks, which this time were needed not to make rain but to be part of the scenes. I have a large area of gravel parking around the shop and with nothing working out for them at other hopeful shooting locations, they asked if they could film at my place. I couldn’t turn them down; what a unique opportunity. Not only did my truck get a starring role, but my truck driver got in on the action, my kids and I were extras in the jail and party scenes, and my shop, office and living room were also used. My 1976 Dodge Dart also got to be a getaway car for the bad guy. I always joked that I wanted to be “craft services” in a movie and I also got that wish, helping make iced tea and opening up my kitchen and dining area for the cast and crew. It felt like a holiday with lots of people coming in and out and having a great time filming. I’m not sure anything can top that.

Bown and her daughter get in on the action.

Bown and her daughter get in on the action.

Water Buffalo has also helped out on many Mud Obstacle Runs here in the Northwest, such as Dirty Dash, Warrior Dash and Tuff Mudder, and provides potable water service for Hempfest, Festival of The River and many other events. We’ve even sprayed down the hot crowds at a Kenny Chesney Pre-Concert Party.

Whatever you can think of doing with bulk water, we can help.

For more information, visit www.waterbuffaloinc.com.

Leave a Reply