Susan O’Grady is the director of marketing at Xylem Inc., and has more than 20 years of experience in the residential and agriculture pump market. She consistently works to make a positive impact on the water quality industry through Watermark, Xylem’s corporate citizen program, and as an active member of the Water Systems Council. O’Grady holds degrees from Pepperdine University and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
For David and Beverly Daily, their 83-acre property in Jacksonville, Texas, had everything they and their extended family could want. Everything but access to clean running water.
The rural property where the Dailys live, along with their three children and their families, has never had a water connection due to its distance from city utilities. Other homes in the area use water wells, but installing one was cost-prohibitive for the family, according to Beverly Daily. Instead, they relied on bottled water for drinking and collected water from rain barrels for everyday use like washing dishes, clothes and bathing.
Internet Search Yields Aid
While researching various options online, the Dailys’ daughter, Kimberly Holt, found the Water Well Trust, a nonprofit partner of Xylem, and Hometown H2O, a program expansion of Waterboys’ existing efforts from its initial focus in East Africa to bring clean, sustainable water to communities in need across the United States.
“They were only doing it in other parts of the country but I thought you know I am just gonna ask and the worst thing they can do is say no, right?” Holt said. About a week after submitting the application, the Water Well Trust reached out to the family to provide assistance.
Hometown H2O was launched in late 2019 as a result of a partnership between The Chris Long Foundation’s Waterboys initiative and Xylem Inc., a global water technology company dedicated to solving the world’s most critical water challenges, along with nonprofit partner Water Well Trust. The new multi-family well, which provides potable water directly to the Dailys and their extended family compromised of 11 people ranging in age from seven to 70, is one of several Hometown H2O well donation projects the partnership has completed together. Other well donation projects have occurred in Virginia, Oregon and Missouri.
“The reality is that many American families – especially in rural areas – are forced to source their water from rain barrels or other unsanitary means for everyday use, and that should not be happening,” said Chris Long, two-time Super Bowl champion and founder and trustee of the Chris Long Foundation. “Water access for many Americans is a growing issue. Through Hometown H2O, we are working to ensure everyone has access to safe, clean water at home.
A key part of that is working with one of the world’s leading water tech companies so that we can deliver sustainable projects and impact everyday quality of life for families as quickly as possible.”
Fulfilling a Promise for a Better Life
Donations and price reductions from local businesses also make the projects possible. For the Daily project, Xylem donated Goulds Water Technology brand equipment while local distributor partner Wholesale Pump & Supply of Tyler donated casing, sand and concrete. Well installation services by Jackson Distributors of Cushing were provided at a discount.
“It’s an honor to be able to help fulfill the promise for a better life for these families,” said Rick Laborde, president, Wholesale Pump & Supply. “We could not be more thrilled to support the Water Well Trust, Xylem Watermark and Hometown H2O missions in order to provide the Dailys access to water.”
Following prep work at the site for well installation, the new 720-foot well was outfitted with a Goulds Water Technology 35 GPM, 7.5 HP submersible pump and motor. Additionally, the volunteer team installed a 116-gallon HydroPro Tank, 10 HP variable frequency drive (VFD) and an output filter for VFD. Wholesale Pump & Supply assisted with the electrical installation of the pump house and pump equipment.
The family is grateful for the convenience and capabilities the new water well provides. The family had donkeys, goats and a cow when they first moved to the property, but could not sustain them.
“Now we’ll be able to have our animals back out here. We’ll be able to be able to put in a nice big garden without having to worry about it drying up and blowing away,” Daily said. “Most people are used to having that convenience and that’s something we had to be concerned about, so now we can get on with life.”
Virus Magnifies Water Disparity Issues
Not having access to running water and/or potable water is an unimaginable reality for families like the Dailys and COVID-19 has only exacerbated these already challenging circumstances. Recognizing how imperative their resources are to helping those in need during this unprecedented time, Xylem and its partners are committed to pooling their collective expertise, solutions, services and donations to bring a potentially life-saving resource to people in need.
Beyond the well donation, Xylem’s corporate social responsibility program Watermark provided volunteers who conduct additional improvement projects on the property. Taking social distancing precautions amid coronavirus concerns, local Xylem employees joined forces with Wholesale Pump & Supply and Jackson Distributors employees to help build the pump house for the new water well, ensuring its longevity for the family’s access to water.
Following the installation of the water well and other improvements to the property, Beverly Daily expressed the family’s appreciation.
“If you’ve ever done without water for even a few hours, it’s inconvenient, but if you do without it on a regular basis for a period of months or even years, it’s a whole new aspect,” she said. “We’re very thankful for it.”
The Dailys and their extended family now have running water in their homes, which means a healthier existence and knowing their day-to-day lives will no longer be dependent on rainfall.