A. O. Smith Corp. and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County are partnering with the city of Milwaukee to provide water filtration products to city residents living in homes with lead service lines.
Products from Aquasana, a company recently acquired by A. O. Smith, will be offered through the program. Aquasana handled a similar water purification product program in Flint, Mich., earlier this year.
These products — a countertop unit (which attaches to a faucet) and powered water filtration pitcher — are National Science Foundation-certified to remove more than 99 percent of lead from drinking water.
The program involves Mayor Tom Barrett and the city of Milwaukee Health Department, which will coordinate the distribution of the filtration products and replacement filters as well as who qualifies for them in partnership with Social Development Commission (SDC) and Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers. The program will focus on households with pregnant women and/or children under the age of six.
Donations to the United Way led to the purchase of $90,000 worth of filter systems and replacement filters, said Nicole Angresano, vice president of community impact for United Way.
Milwaukee-based A. O. Smith (NYSE: AOS) and Aquasana also announced a discount program for Milwaukee-area residents who do not qualify for the program. A discount will be available through the end of 2016 to residents who purchase Aquasana water filters online at www.aquasana.com using the password “Milwaukee.” Aquasana also is offering replacement filters at a discounted price, which includes extended warranties and free shipping through its “water for life” program.
Ajita Rajendra, chairman and CEO of A. O. Smith, applauded Barrett for “his proactive stance” on the matter and said he was pleased to be able to work with several area partners to respond to this “critical health issue.”
After a Sept. 7 Marquette University forum where Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards, who famously uncovered the Flint, Mich., lead water crisis, spoke about the effectiveness of filtration systems, Mayor Barrett suggested that homeowners living in homes built before 1951 buy water filters. Milwaukee Business Journal media partners at WITI-TV (Channel 6) shared the mayor’s full statement.