Volunteers working on the new system.

Local Marine Veteran Receives New Well Pump, Septic System Courtesy of Xylem and Waterboys

Oct. 19, 2023
Fifteenth HometownH2O project furthers awareness of rural water access challenges.

EITZEN, MN – Joe Baxter and Shirley Compton of received a new well pump and septic system that will provide dependable water access on their five-acre property perched on the border of Minnesota and Iowa.

This installation was made possible through a collaborative effort between Xylem Inc., Water Well Trust (WWT) and Waterboys, a charity founded by former NFL player Chris Long. The donation covered all aspects of the project, including necessary equipment, drilling and installation, as well as completion of a home improvement project. Local partners, including Gary’s Pump and Well Service, Septic Pro, Ness Pumping Service, and Ron Weymiller Construction, along with distributor partner, Dakota Supply Group, played crucial roles in completing the project. Piping material from The Vinyl Institute and bottles of water from Talking Rain Beverage Company were also included in the donation.

Limited Water Supply

Baxter, a 61-year-old Marine veteran, has owned the former family farm for nearly 20 years. He and Compton moved to a trailer located on the property during the pandemic 2.5 years ago. Although there was an existing well, a well pump and proper septic system had never been installed. Without running water on site, Baxter and Compton have relied on water they collect during the winter months from an artesian well near the Black Hawk River—a 7-mile trek from their property. In the summer, they drive 3.5 miles to New Albin, Iowa, where there is a public tap for refilling RV freshwater tanks. In lieu of a septic system, Baxter and Compton use five- gallon buckets with seats to collect waste and regularly shower at friends’ homes.

Despite the challenges encountered because of their limited water supply, Baxter and Compton said they have never considered moving.

“This is heaven. It’s five acres in the middle of nowhere,” said Baxter. “I’m happy here. It’s so beautiful and peaceful.”


This marks Xylem’s first project supporting a septic system installation, and it is the 15th HometownH2O project. As an extension of its domestic water initiative, HometownH2O works alongside WWT—a national nonprofit that helps fund and supply water to low-income families—and Xylem, to bring clean, sustainable water to communities in need. Water scarcity issues currently leave more than 2 million Americans without access to clean water, making this joint effort between Long, his Foundation’s Waterboys initiative and Xylem a vital resource for families across the country.

"Water is the essence of life, and every individual deserves consistent and reliable access to it," said two-time Super Bowl Champion, Chris Long. Our HometownH2O program is more than just a mission; it's a promise to uplift communities, one household at a time. Joe and Shirley's story reminds us why we do what we do—ensuring no one faces the challenges of water scarcity. We're thankful for the unity, commitment, and shared vision with Xylem and Water Well Trust that has made our 15th domestic well project a success."

“This HometownH2O collaboration allows us to continue to be part of the solution to domestic water scarcity that affects countless families across the United States,” said Susan O’Grady, senior director of marketing, building services and agriculture, Xylem. “We couldn’t have made it to 15 projects without the partnership of the Chris Long Foundation and the Water Well Trust. Everyone deserves to have access to clean water and that is exactly what we have been able to accomplish for Joe and Shirley today.”

To Learn More

Xylem, in conjunction with its Goulds Water Technology brand, is engaged in regular water well initiatives to provide secure water access to rural areas, striving to increase public awareness of the challenges surrounding lack of water access. For more information about the HometownH2O project, visit waterboys.org/hometown.

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