Cholera Outbreak in Kenya

Last month, a man named James sent us an email. It was unlike any email we’d ever received. It was honest. It was informative. It was a cry for help.

James lives in Homa Bay County, Kenya. Kenya clearly isn’t known for its clean water. In fact, their practices are extremely unhygienic and dangerous. Look at these photos he sent to illustrate: 

The right photo shows an Open Water Pan. This water, used for domestic purposes, is also open to animals. And humans sometimes sneak in for a bath during the night. However, it is sometimes still the safest water. But right now, there’s a draught and the pan has completely dried up. So even this slightly better alternative isn’t an option.

The left photo is of women sourcing water from running drains. Diarrhea, Malaria, Typhoid Fever, Skin Diseases and urinary tract infections are very common ailments due to poor quality water like this. Some families will boil the water before use, while others won’t be able to.

To make matters worse, there was a cholera outbreak last month. By mid February, it had sickened over 80 individuals and killed 6 others. Cholera is a water born disease that has the power to easily wipe out a population. We knew we needed to get James a water purification system – and fast.

The only thing that stood in the way was the funds. How would we get him the system? It costs $365 for each unit. We began to ask around. Soon enough, our prayers were answered. A Girl Scouts troop, who had already adopted Hays Pure Water as their charity and “Give Back Badge,” raised the funds necessary to get one of our units to Kenya as fast as possible.

Because of an email from a man speaking out on behalf of nearly 2,000 people, and a group of generous and motivated young ladies, lives are being saved. We cannot thank everyone enough for the part they played in this chain of events.

It’s stories like this that make us continue to work hard to bring clean water to those in need. It isn’t just something to drink or wash your clothes with. Clean water is a necessity that can change a life. 

Year in Review and What's Ahead...

As the calendar has turned, and a new year has started, it is time for us to take a look back at what 2014 held, and what we are looking forward to in 2015.

Before we crunch some numbers, we just want to say a huge thanks to all of you. It gets said a lot, but it is true. None of this would be possible without grassroots support from you, our partners in this quest for clean water world wide. Whether you bought a bottle of our water, educated friends on the need for clean water, or took a unit to somewhere and gave the gift of clean water, we thank you!

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So now the good stuff. In 2014 we took water units to Peru, Haiti, South Sudan, Cuba, The Phillippines, and India. Over 1 million people have been provided clean water in 2014 alone. We will be posting updates as we get them from our field partners.

We also launched our bottled water line this last Spring. In 9 months we have sold over 25,000 bottles of water and are now carried in over 40 vendor locations. With the money raised from each bottle sold, we intend to help provide clean water for 1.5 people in need. That is a lot of clean water.

As we start to plan out our 2015, it is looking like our biggest year yet. Just a hint at some things ahead for the new year:

  • Field partnerships. We are working on partnerships with several organizations that will better help us reach those in need. These partnerships will give us a greater network of communities, as well as a more open line of communication for updates and make you more involved in the full circle process of providing clean water. 
  • Ambassador program. We have had many of you ask for ways to get more involved, and we think this is a great fit. You will be able to pick a region and need and then begin spreading the word of their needs. Through our field partners, we will work together to meet the needs of a specific community. 
  • New bottle design. We are going to give our bottled water a bit of a face lift this spring! The new design will help us better tell our story to potential customers, as well set us apart from competitors. We hope this new design will help get the attention of our first major chain and help expand the mission of Hays.

We’re excited to start 2015, and can’t wait to see where this journey takes us this year!

Hays PureWater with Shape International

We love getting updates from around the globe on how people are using Hays PureWater and how lives are being changed. We recently got this awesome update from Shape International out of Wake Forest, NC:

SHAPE International has been using your water purification systems in Burundi, Africa for many years! We train the women to clean the water for their family and they also sell the water as a business.
We are working with an organization from Denmark that is building water tanks in the poorest areas of Burundi. They are using the water units to disinfect water from the tanks. There are also many villages in the area where they collect water from lakes and streams that are contaminated by bacteria and parasites.
We train women to use the puride as a disinfectant for the water collected from these sources. Cholera and intestinal parasites are common among the population. Part of our training program includes training in basic hygiene. Our partner is distributing soap to local schools as well and they are building a soap factory where woman can make soap and sell in the local market. There is still a large percentage of the rural population that we need to train and equip, but the successes of the areas where we have been working helps spread the word.
 
 

We are proud to be a part of Shape and what they are doing. You can find out more about Shape International on their official website.


Time to Run for Clean Water

and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us
— Hebrews 12:1

Free food, live music, great cause, sharing Jesus. Do we have your attention? With fall upon us, it is time for the annual 12:1 run on October 4th. Started in 2008, the 12:1 is a 5k race with all proceeds going towards sending our Khlor Gen units around the world. The ultimate goal being to share the name of Jesus through word and deed. 

Hosted by Harmony Bible Church, 12:1 run is a very fun time consisting of a 5k, 10k, 15k, and half marathon throughout Geode State Park in Danville. There are also kids races on Friday the 3rd, as well as a expo of all things fitness and health for the entire weekend.

This is a great opportunity to enjoy one of the last days of fall and support a great cause. The free food is provided all weekend whether you are running or not, just come out and be a part the day!

Today is the last day to register online and receive a discounted rate.

REGISTER HERE

Can't wait to see you all on October 4th! And pray for warm weather!

Hope for Eburu: The Story Behind this Iconic Image

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This image has graced Hays Pure Water’s marketing from the very beginning and has brought with it a great number of questions.  To the many who ask, it seems counterintuitive for a foundation which provides clean water for people in need to showcase two children drinking from a pool of dirty water.  We have thousands of images from trips we’ve taken showing our Khlor Gen systems in action, the smiles of thousands more individuals drinking purified water captured on film, but we’ve chosen this one image to show to the world more than any other.  This is the story behind that powerful image.

In May of 2013, I touched down in Nairobi, Kenya with Niall Williams and six Khlor Gen Units in tow. Kenya, like much of Africa, is still developing as a country.  The City of Nairobi is a perfect visual metaphor for the toll that development takes on a country.  There was an enormous and very noticeable gap between the rich and the poor.  Shiny black Mercedes-Benz cars rolled over the well maintained roads, while beggars in tattered clothing slept on benches and pleaded with passersby for money.  5-Star hotels were located just two blocks away from slums, where people live without electricity, running water, and sanitation.

While the situation was bad in Nairobi, it got much worse as we headed out towards the village of Eburu, where we were set to bring a water unit out into the field.  We hopped on a bus and embarked on a 4-hour journey into the countryside.  We then had to take off road vehicles an additional two hours over very rough terrain to reach Eburu.

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Eburu is a small community of about 750 people, with an additional 1,000 people living within a 1 kilometer radius.  The village had no running water. The population’s only source of water was a pond about 300 yards outside the village.  As you can see in the photo, the water was absolutely filthy.  This filthy, stagnant pond not only acted as a source for drinking water, but a watering hole for local wildlife, bathing, and washing source as well. Looking at the water, it’s no surprise that waterborne illness was rampant in this community.  The video below depicts one of the local leaders discussing just how bad the local water issues were.

While we were at the lake, I saw these two boys running and playing together.  After they finished, they bent down, and took a drink.  I reached for my camera snapped this picture of them nonchalantly drinking from what many Westerners wouldn’t dream of even touching.

The stark contrast displayed by this photo is an incredible and powerful statement about the resilience of human beings and the unforgiving environment in which humanity is placed.  Those two boys need water to survive, even if the only source for it is a disease- ridden pool of murky filth.  They drink from it every single day without batting an eye, because it is just part of their daily life.

Now, with Hays Pure Water’s Khlor Gen System in place, those children can drink water without fear of waterborne diseases.  The single solar powered unit in the village of Eburu is continually providing sterilized water for the 1,750 people in the immediate area.  Waterborne illness infection rates have dropped drastically and the community is growing stronger and healthier.

Here in America, we are fortunate to not have to worry about waterborne illness.  Because we are lucky enough to have a seemingly endless supply of clean water at our disposal with the turn of a tap, it is easy to forget that somewhere in the world, a child is drinking from a pond just like this one.  We use this image as a reminder for both ourselves and the world about why we do what we do.  Next time you take a drink of clean water, I hope you stop to reflect on just how lucky you are to have it. 

We believe that everyone should be able to take clean water for granted.  You can help us make that a reality by simply choosing Hays.

Celebrating the First Month of Hays Pure Water: Milestones, Updates, and Looking Towards the Future

Hays Pure Water is proud to announce we’ve officially made it through our first month selling bottled water, and we couldn’t be happier with how far we’ve come.  This month has been a whirlwind of milestones, delivery runs, phone calls, planning and executing, and the progress we have made has made every minute of it 100% worth it. 

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Here’s a quick breakdown of Hays Pure Water’s first month by the numbers since we launched May 5, 2014:

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  • 7,500: The number of people who will no longer have to fear waterborne diseases directly due to Mays sales of Hays Pure Water.
  • 3000: The number of bottles purchased by The Maple Leaf Center for their grand opening on June 7 (We know its not May, but were too excited not to share!)
  • 603: The number of likes on our Facebook page. If you havent yet, stop by and give us a like to keep up with our future endeavors!
  • 398: The number of dollars weve raised to put towards our Khlor Gen Water units to help bring clean water to the world.
  • 300: The number of vending machines owned by Boss Vending which are now chock-full of ice cold, delicious Hays.
  • 7: The number of locations that deserve an enormous "thank you" for currently selling Hays Pure Water. Thank you everyone for your help in giving water to the world!
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  1.  Digger's Rest Coffeehouse and Roaster- Burlington, IA
  2. Ivy Bake Shoppe and Cafe- Burlington, IA
  3. Fareway- Burlington, IA
  4. Hy-Vee- South Burlington, IA
  5. Fastbreak- West Burlington, IA
  6. Fastbreak- Fort Madison, IA
  7. Tazza Bella Coffee Lounge and Café- Mount Pleasant, IA
  •  2: The number of water units that went out into the field this month.  Both went to villages in need in the South American country of Peru.

And for the numbers we’re most proud of

1 and 5

1 is the number of dollars it costs to give clean water to 1.5 people somewhere in the world for 5 years.

Thank you everyone who has supported Hays Pure Water in any way, big or small this past month.  Were very excited to keep moving towards the future and continue to bring clean water to those in need.

Fareway in Burlington just went Pure

As of today, you can buy Hays Pure Water at Fareway in Burlington, Iowa. The bottles can be found right by the registers and for only $1 each! Every bottle you purchase means 1.5 people get clean water. Just go ahead and buy two bottles so you don't leave the other half of the person hanging!

Our water won't save your life, but it will save someone else's.

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If you want to become a vendor, use the contact us page and send us a message!

Mission group gives Pure Water in Haiti

We got an email the other day with these great pics of our Khlor Gen Unit being used in Haiti. This is from a missions team from Harmony Bible Church. Thanks for the pictures!

Have you or someone you know taken a Hays water unit abroad? Send us pics and we would love to post some updates!

A Special Mother's Day

We at Hays Pure Water would like to say a huge Happy Mothers Day to all you wonderful mothers out there.

Today carries some added significance for us this year. Our founder's mother, Margaret Hays, passed away this year at the age of 83. Margaret enjoyed bowling and clowning for friends and family. She worked for 25 years as an R.N., usually in locked psych facilities. She had a heart for others and serving her heavenly father, Jesus Christ.

Margaret Hays | 1930 - 2014

Margaret Hays | 1930 - 2014

Two Rivers, Two Worlds

It always amazes and humbles me after a trip, to realize how much I take clean water for granted. Living on a huge body of water such as the Mississippi River, I can appreciate its beauty and necessity to our way of life. However I do not bathe in it, nor drink the water that has given it such a wonderful nickname, "The Muddy Mississippi".

In Peru, they have the Amazon. A vast river and tributaries with it's web spread all throughout the world's largest rainforest. Unlike the river that we are all so familiar with however, the Amazon is also the local watering hole, bathtub, laundry mat, and bathroom. Disease runs rampant through these parts due to having little to no type of sanitation, or even options for it. A huge supply of water with none of it safe to drink.

Through some contacts that we had with a group called YWAM (Youth With A Mission) I found out the vast need for clean water and medical care. From there, I knew that we needed to go. By we, I mean my mom (who is a registered nurse) and myself. On April 25, with a bag of medical supplies and two Khlor Gen Units packed, we headed to Iquitos, Peru with no real idea what we were getting ourselves into.

In emails, I tried my best to explain what the Khlor Gen Unit did. Tried to explain that it does not purify the water itself, but simply creates the chlorine needed to purify the water. Apparently I did not do a good job, because I spent an afternoon explaining the process through a translator to Julio. Julio was our local contact who works with the villages along the river. He was to be our guide and connection to the locals. He also ended up being the local comedian but that is another story by itself. He needed to understand it first and make sure it worked before we brought it to others.

Throughout our hour long demonstration + Q&A, Julio kept using the word curious. He loved what it could do, but wanted to see it in action. He was curious about if this small machine could really change people's lives. We must have gotten him just curious enough, because we planned out to leave a couple days later to head deep into the jungle and bring these units to the village people. 

Once we got into the jungle, and into the villages, mom began meeting with people and one thing became very clear. 90% of all complaints were directly related to dehydration. You see we went in the cool season. 90 degrees with 90% humidity. Cool right? In the warm season it gets up to 110. They all said they had headaches, had no energy. They would talk about how they only have 1 cup of water a day. If they drank more, they became more sick. A never ending circle. I am not good at math, but one cup of water a day in the heat is not enough. They needed a solution to the problem that lead to so many more problems.

We went to two villages in our time there. One of around 500 people, one with around 700 people. They were amazed with the Khlor Gen. Making chlorine to purify the water was such a foreign concept. It took a bit to grow on them. Julio began answering any questions they had because he was so confident in its use and effectiveness. As time passed, the local leaders began to take ownership and pride in these new machines. Instructing people on them that were not in attendance during the presentations. They were taking care of them, excited at the opportunity to change the way of life for an entire community.

At the end of the presentation, we had dozens of people bringing us their bottles to be made into chlorine. It really sank in the potential benefits if they take advantage of the system.

We left one water unit in the smaller community. The other unit, YWAM is keeping at a base they have centrally located on the river. They are going to take it out and instruct more villages on the benefits of using the chlorine produced, as well as provide a central location by which they can come and make chlorine for themselves.

The need is great along the Amazon. We could have taken a hundred units and it would not have been enough. This is such an extremely small sample size of the world. There are 783 million people without drinking water, and this is the story of just a few of them. We are just praying that God will use what we did take with us, and multiply and help many.

A huge thanks to everyone for their support thus far, without you, we would not be able to do what we do.

Great Water, Great Cause

Most new companies hang their first dollar ever made on the wall. Well we are just going to post a picture instead. Blake Scott of Burlington, Iowa was the first customer to buy a case of Hays Pure Water. Because of his purchase, $3 went towards sending Khlor Gen Systems to South Sudan and providing clean water to a few of the 783 million currently without it.

Thanks Blake for doing your part to make a difference. If anyone else wants some great water and to help a great cause, shoot us an email.

Now give some high fives, you earned it! 

Welcome to the new website!

First off, thanks for checking us out, and for being a part of what we do in whatever roll that may be. Today is a big day for us as we launch bottled Hays Pure Water, and this new site to go with it.

Ever since John created Hays Pure Water, his mission has remained the same. Save lives by providing safe drinking water in an easy to use and affordable way. We are excited to continue and expand this mission through our bottled water.

Please dig around the site to find out more about what we do, how we do it, and where we do it. You can also find more ways to get involved.

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