EUREKA, Mo. – A family of four now has access to reliable, clean water thanks to a former St. Louis Rams player and partnering companies. A water well system and equipment were recently donated to the Illert family in Eureka on behalf of former St. Louis Rams player Chris Long, Xylem Inc. and Water Well Trust.
“It feels like we won the lottery,” Sarah Illert said in a statement.
“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.”
She along with her husband Justin, who is a Navy veteran, and their two children, Lilah, 5, and Austin, 1, were previously living without clean, running water in their home. The family relied on bottled water and rainwater for cooking and cleaning.
“Nobody should have to live without access to clean water – especially the brave and honorable men and women that have served our nation,” Chris Long said in a statement. He is a two-time Super Bowl champion and founder of the Chris Long Foundation.
“Clean water access for many Americans is an increasingly serious problem.”
Launched in 2020, this was the fourth donation made by Hometown H2O. The program addresses domestic water scarcity issues and is dedicated to bringing clean, sustainable water to those in need across the country.
Hometown H2O is a collaborative effort between Long and his Foundation’s Waterboys initiative, and water technology company Xylem Inc.
“We will continue to prioritize this mission in our future projects,” Long said. “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.”
Susan O’Grady, director of marketing, building services and agriculture for Xylem, said, “The unacceptable reality is that many Americans do not have access to potable, running water,” said
“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.”
Beverage company, Talking Rain, made a financial contribution to the Illert family and donated water to project staff.