SILOAM SPRINGS, Ariz. — Jet Stream, a PVC pipes division of General Shale, was joined by Senator John Boozman (AR) to announce its donation of PVC pipe to help the Water Well Trust and H2 Alabama bring access to clean, running water to rural Alabama residents.
The PVC pipe will be used in 50 new water wells across a five-county area in Alabama including Dallas, Perry, Wilcox, Marengo, and Sumter counties. With more than 30% of Alabama Black Belt residents not having access to a public water system, these families instead rely on private wells to draw water. Many of these old shallow wells are failing, and residents can’t afford to build new ones. As a result, these families must rely on bottled water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing since they have no source of safe drinking water or adequate water pressure in their homes. PVC pipe is used in the water well casing due to its resistance to corrosion and its cost-effectiveness.
“As North America’s leading manufacturer in sustainable building materials, General Shale’s Jet Stream Pipes division is honored to have contributed PVC solutions to bring clean drinking water to Alabama residents,” said Andy Hall, Chief Operating Officer of General Shale. “Supporting Water Well Trust and H2 Alabama’s efforts through highly sustainable, nature-positive building solutions is in direct alignment with our organization’s core values and corporate initiatives.”
“We all deserve safe, affordable, and reliable drinking water. Water wells are a cost-effective solution to delivering this resource to homes in small, rural communities,” said Senator John Boozman. “I’m pleased to see how Arkansans are stepping up to help neighbors in need and will continue to support policies that expand access to water infrastructure and investments.”
The Water Well Trust (WWT), a national nonprofit helping rural Americans get access to a clean, safe water supply, is working with H2 Alabama to help fund the construction of the wells. WWT is using its USDA grant and matching funds from the Water Systems Council to provide long-term, low-interest loans to applicants seeking new or improved water wells and septic systems. Loans have an interest rate of 1% with terms of up to 20 years. To date, the Water Well Trust has been involved in drilling or rehabilitating over 416 water wells serving 468 households across the country, many of which were USDA projects.
“The Water Well Trust is thrilled to announce our partnership with Jet Stream to bring safe, affordable drinking water to rural America. Specifically, we are grateful for the very generous donation of 15,000 feet of PVC pipe for a community water project in Alabama,” said Margaret Martens, executive director of the Water Systems Council. “This pipe donation will significantly reduce the cost of the new wells for the low-income homeowners we will be serving and will free up more funds to assist others. We are equally thrilled to be here with Sen. Boozman. Sen. Boozman has been a tireless champion for bringing safe, affordable drinking water to rural Americans. Since our first project in 2012, the WWT has drilled 75 of wells to provide water to families in Arkansas. We look forward to working with Sen. Boozman on the 2023 Farm Bill to bring energy-efficient pumping systems to household well systems and farms across rural America.”
H2 Alabama, in partnership with USDA and WWT, is working with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) Sanitation Health Program to identify eligible residents in the 5-county area located in Alabama’s Black Belt Region, where 30% of the population are living below the poverty level. The name “Black Belt” comes from the dense dark, clay soil conditions, ideal for growing cotton, but difficult for well drilling, thus increasing the cost. The donation of well casing pipe will significantly lower the cost of household water wells, making the dream of safe drinking water and adequate water pressure a reality for many families.
“This extraordinary contribution of raw materials needed to build water wells will enable H2 Alabama, in partnership with the Water Well Trust, to provide safe drinking water for the first time to low-income, rural and minority communities in Alabama,” said Stacy McKean, H2 Alabama Executive Director
“Thanks to Jet Stream for its donation of PVC pipe and for helping families in need,” said Ned Monroe, president and CEO of the Vinyl Institute. “PVC continues to be the material of choice for clean drinking water infrastructure. These wells will be working for years helping families because of PVC’s durability, versatility, and non-corrosive properties. We look forward to working with Senator Boozman on more projects like this. He’s a real champion for bringing clean water to families in need across the state.”
Jet Stream is the PVC pipes division of General Shale. Headquartered in Siloam Springs, AR, Jet Stream manufactures PVC pipes for municipal water and sewer, well casing, plumbing, and irrigation.
ABOUT GENERAL SHALE
Founded in 1928, General Shale is the North American subsidiary of Wienerberger AG of Vienna, Austria, an international provider of building material and infrastructure solutions. General Shale is North America’s largest brick, stone and concrete block manufacturer, featuring 28 production facilities in 17 states and provinces, including a PVC pipe manufacturing operation in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. General Shale also has a network of 40 sales locations and more than 200 affiliated distributors across North America. For more information about General Shale and its family of products, visit www.generalshale.com
ABOUT H2 ALABAMA
H2Alabama is a nonprofit organization that provides clean water to families in rural Alabama who have no other way of gaining access to this basic need. Through grants and donations, we hope to solve the impending water crisis in rural Alabama.
ABOUT WATER WELL TRUST
The Water Systems Council established the Water Well Trust in 2010 to provide clean, sanitary drinking water to Americans who lack access to a reliable water supply and to construct and document small community water systems using water wells to demonstrate that these systems are more sustainable and economical. Recent studies show that there are 2 million Americans living without access to access to clean, safe, affordable drinking water. This number does not include tribal communities, where an estimated one in 10 Indigenous Americans lack access to safe water or basic sanitation.
ABOUT VINYL INSTITUTE
The Vinyl Institute (VI), founded in 1982, is a U.S. trade association representing the leading manufacturers of vinyl, vinyl chloride monomer, vinyl additives, and modifiers. The VI works on behalf of its members to promote the benefits of the world’s most versatile plastic, used to make everything from PVC piping to flooring, roofing and vinyl siding. The vinyl industry in the United States employs over 350,000 highly skilled employees at nearly 3,000 facilities and generates an economic value of $54 billion. For more information, visit vinylinfo.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Margaret Martens, Executive Director
Water Systems Council
Susan Wade, Vinyl Institute