Our History

Our beginnings

Aged 16, Morris Somerville began his apprenticeship as a draughtsman at Reyrolle & Co in Hebburn, Tyne and Wear, later attending night school to attain Chartered Engineer status. A business meeting in Glasgow led to an introduction to Marie (who would later become his wife) and a decision to move to Glasgow permanently.

In 1966, Morris spotted a gap in the Scottish manufacturing market. His primary interests were ventilation, dust control and air conditioning – hence the name Dustacco (Dust/Air Conditioning Company). He set up a small design office in his Glasgow flat and subcontracted the manufacture and installation of his ventilation designs, often supervising the site installations himself.

Our growth

Through Dustacco Engineering, Morris designed and subcontracted the fabrication of extraction and ventilation equipment for clients such as Brown & Polson, Singer, Coats Vyella and British Steel.

In the early 1970’s, Morris identified a need within the existing client base for process cooling. Seeing this as an opportunity for diversification into new fabrications, he went on to design a water cooling tower, which was branded ‘Watermiser’ and manufactured in-house by Dustacco. In 1971, Watermiser was incorporated as a separate company and Morris took pleasure, together with Vincent Flynn, friend, brother-in-law and salesman extraordinaire, in designing what he lovingly termed ‘the best cooling tower in the world’.


In 1972 Morris purchased just an acre or so of land in Newmilns, East Ayrshire. The Burgh of Newmilns assisted with a loan of £10,000 which was used to build a small workshop and to purchase tools and machinery, mainly second hand. Both companies continue to operate from the original Newmilns site with additional ground being purchased to accommodate increased workshop and office space in line with growth. It’s very different now, with three separate workshops (GRP, stainless and mild steel) each comprehensively equipped to tackle a wide range of fabrication needs.

Through the years

Watermiser Ltd remains the only water cooling tower manufacturer in Scotland.

Over the years, we have worked for a diverse range of clients including many large businesses in the food and drink industry such as Heinz, Nestle, Diageo and Coca Cola. We continue to work with distilleries across the UK from William Grant & Son in Ayrshire to Highland Park in Orkney. Notable projects in other sectors include the supply of water cooling towers at the Dahran Airport, Saudi Arabia (1970s), and a sizeable design to install project at the Palace of Westminster London (1981). More recent high-profile jobs have included BNFL’s Sellafield over the 90s to world-renowned drinks brands such as Glenfiddich, Bowmore and Bushmills in the last year or two.

Despite the images shown, we can assure you that just as the facilities and service offering has evolved over time, so too has our health and safety culture. This was commonplace in the 1970s, but not any more!


“Let’s see what we can do to improve things”

Our founder Morris had a practical ‘hands-on’ approach, tending to build good relationships due to his honest, straight forward and gentlemanly approach. He was proud of Dustacco and the Watermiser cooling tower which he himself designed. Indeed, though ongoing product development, coupled with bespoke designs for specific applications over many years, the improvement Morris strove for is naturally in our blood.

Morris remained with the company, albeit in a less time-demanding role, for as long as his health allowed. He sadly died in 2015, but both businesses remains fully family owned by his wife Marie along with daughters Alison and Laura.

‘Let’s see what we can do to improve things’ was his motto in life, be it on design, efficiency or even a game of golf.

It is this legacy upon which the culture and core values of both businesses is built. Daughter and Managing Director Alison is committed to keeping that legacy alive.

Our today

Guided by her father’s legacy and with the ongoing commitment of our dedicated personnel, Alison is proud to be at the helm of the businesses which have grown in size, strength and capacity, particularly over the last 15 years.

From the growing client base and project complexity to the people development and project management skills, there are simply too many great aspects to detail here. Suffice to say, the team means everything, and without it, the businesses wouldn’t be what they are today. Our people are at the heart of all we do.

“Looking back, I’ve many fond memories of dad ‘talking shop’ – there was always a new job or big project in the offing.

Like many others, I realise what a privilege it was to work with such an inspired man, and I continue to be honoured by the loyalty of those individuals and indeed, generations of families that continue to show unwavering commitment to Dustacco and Watermiser today. Without their efforts and the inclusive culture that they have created and continue to foster, we would not be where we are today.”

Find out more about Alison