RCAP Secures 40,000 Masks for Essential Utility Workers in Rural Communities

July 23, 2020 | General RCAP News

Sourcing and donating personal protective equipment to protect frontline workers providing drinking water, sanitation services and solid waste services in their communities

July 27, 2020 – Washington, DC – The Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Inc. (RCAP) today announced it is sourcing and donating 40,000 N95 masks to frontline water operators in partnership with Xylem Watermark and 120Water. The program is providing for the safety of essential water, wastewater and solid waste utility workers in small, rural and tribal utilities who have kept operations flowing in their communities amidst the challenges of COVID-19. The first shipments of face masks began in late July.

Most of the equipment will be sent to water utilities in communities with less than 2,500 residents. RCAP and 120Water have partnered with Watermark, the corporate citizenship program of global water technology company Xylem Inc. (NYSE:XYL), to get the equipment directly into the hands of essential frontline workers. Watermark was able to secure the masks through their supply chain and delivered the masks to RCAP and 120Water to distribute. RCAP is a national non-profit network that provides resources and support to rural communities across the United States and has deep knowledge of rural water utilities. RCAP Network Technical Assistance Providers, located in every state and territory, are working with rural and tribal communities to provide access to the PPE. 120Water provides turnkey drinking water program management solutions for municipalities, public water systems and others throughout the country, and is providing direct delivery of the PPE to rural utility operators. With these partnerships, frontline workers can more safely maintain communities’ access to water and sanitation throughout the pandemic.

“Small rural and tribal communities are often left to fend for themselves in emergency situations. RCAP’s technical assistance providers work with thousands of small communities every year, and those relationships provide opportunities to better understand the unique needs of some of the most vulnerable across the country,” said Nathan Ohle, RCAP CEO. “This partnership is what makes the RCAP Network so special. The ability to partner to address PPE supply chain issues for the smallest communities and provide resources to address those issues is imperative to building capacity at the local level, and ensuring the safety and health of our nation’s frontline water, wastewater and solid waste operators.”

“The role of water in community health and resilience has grown during the pandemic,” said Joe Vesey, Xylem’s Chief Marketing Officer, and Chair of Xylem Watermark. “This PPE initiative is one aspect of our efforts to support the health and safety of essential water operators as they serve their communities. A safe working environment is a fundamental part of providing safe water and sanitation to our communities. By combining our efforts with innovative partners like RCAP and 120Water, and with hard-working local utilities, we are one step closer to solving water in those communities.”

“Water utilities provide an essential service, making it critical for these front line workers to have the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need in order to stay safe delivering clean drinking water and uninterrupted waste water services during the pandemic,” said Megan Glover, CEO of 120Water.  “This effort demonstrates what can be accomplished when organizations work together.”

Xylem Watermark’s sourcing and distribution of face masks is part of Xylem’s broader package of COVID-19 assistance. This partnership with 120Water and RCAP is an extension of Xylem Watermark’s work to increase the water resilience of communities around the world.

 

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About RCAP

RCAP is a network of non-profit partners providing opportunity, assistance, and practical guidance to small communities in all fifty states, U.S. territories, and tribal lands to ensure access to safe drinking water, sanitary wastewater disposal, and economic prosperity for all rural America. In fiscal year 2019, the RCAP Network served approximately 2,000 communities, including 3.2 million rural and tribal residents. To learn more about RCAP, visit www.rcap.org.

About Xylem

Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology company committed to solving critical water and infrastructure challenges with technological innovation. Our more than 16,000 diverse employees delivered revenue of $5.25 billion in 2019. We are creating a more sustainable world by enabling our customers to optimize water and resource management, and helping communities in more than 150 countries become water-secure. Join us at www.xylem.com.

 

About 120Water

Water professionals across the country rely on 120Water to streamline and modernize their most complex drinking water initiatives. The 120Water platform consists of sample & filter kits, cloud-based software, and services used to manage and execute water programs at scale while saving operational resources. 120Water solutions are used in 180,000 locations across the United States for clients including the city of Newark (NJ), Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Chicago Public Schools, and Indiana Finance Authority. More information is available at 120Water.com and on Twitter @120_Water.

Media Contact

Kinsey Brown, RCAP Communications Manager

(202) 408-1273

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