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Former St. Louis Rams star Chris Long and partners Xylem Inc. and Water Well Trust provided a local family of four in Eureka, Missouri, access to clean water with a donated water well system, equipment, well drilling and pump installation. The Illert family — Justin Illert, veteran, age 30, Sarah age 27, Lilah, age 5, and Austin, age 1 — were previously living without clean, running water in their home and relied on bottled water and rainwater for cooking and cleaning. The family now has reliable access to clean, potable water for the first time.
"It feels like we won the lottery," said Sarah Illert, Water Well Trust beneficiary. "It means the world. It really is life changing for us. We are so grateful to have clean water to cook with, do our laundry, clean the dishes, and take clean showers and baths."
The donation marked the fourth project between Xylem, Water Well Trust and Hometown H2O, which is a domestic water program dedicated to bringing clean, sustainable water to people and communities in need across the United States. Hometown H2O — a program launched in early 2020 — is a united effort between retired NFL player Chris Long and his foundation's Waterboys initiative and water technology company Xylem to address domestic water scarcity issues, which currently leave more than 2 million Americans without access to clean water. Hometown H2O and Xylem work alongside the Water Well Trust, a national nonprofit that helps qualify low-income families. This project was also supported by beverage company Talking Rain, who donated water to project staff and made a financial contribution to the family.
"Nobody should have to live without access to clean water — especially the brave and honorable men and women that have served our nation," said Chris Long, two-time Super Bowl champion and founder of the Chris Long Foundation. "Clean water access for many Americans is an increasingly serious problem. Since Hometown H2O launched in 2020, we have raised awareness for water equality that affects policy at the state and federal levels. We will continue to prioritize this mission in our future projects. The organizations we work with, including Xylem and Water Well Trust, bring industry expertise to the table, and passionately do what it takes to make these projects successful. Thank you to our supporting partners for helping us to change lives and ensure that clean, running water is a basic human need that no American lacks."
Xylem donated Goulds Water Technology brand equipment while local distributor partner Water Works of Springfield, Missouri, coordinated the discounted installation through pump installer Schroepfer Well Drilling Inc. of Franklin County, Missouri. A team of volunteers — from Water Works and Xylem employees — also donated time to clean up the property's yard.
"The unacceptable reality is that many Americans do not have access to potable, running water," said Susan O'Grady, director of marketing, Building Services and Agriculture, Xylem. "For Xylem and its partners, we are honored to be able to use our expertise and passion for the cause to bring this vital service to people who deserve to have clean water."
Xylem and Waterboys, along with nonprofit partner Water Well Trust, seek to raise awareness about domestic water issues, including that more 2 million people in the U.S. lack access to clean, safe drinking water at home. Working in coordination with Watermark and the company's Goulds Water Technology brand, this partnership delivers ongoing water well projects to provide rural communities with reliable, safe water access, which can lead to better overall health and improved quality of life.
For more information about the Hometown H2O project, visit waterboys.org/hometown or contact Megan McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-493-0532. B-roll video footage for the Eureka project is available for download here.