Volunteer Dr. Joe Jacobi has been an integral part of WaterStep’s mission for years, leading the development and manufacturing of the M-100 Chlorine Generator. Below, he shares how he got involved with WaterStep and how volunteering has been important to him. Learn how you can get involved and save lives with safe water.
A few years ago after selling my dental practice of 36 years, I did some investigating into local nonprofits trying to find one where I might contribute something of substance to them and I would find fulfilling for my needs as well. My dear wife, Kathy, suggested I talk to Mark Hogg of WaterStep. I had heard Mark speak and demonstrate the water purifier they use at the Festival of Faiths in Louisville a few years earlier and the purpose of the organization intrigued me. Mark and I arranged to meet for coffee and after drinking countless cupstogether, he invited me to come down and meet some of the people who worked there.
The more I understood their purpose and mission, the more I began to realize that they were not in the water business but the health care business: Saving lives through safe water. I found myself back in health care again but in a most basic way.
I was volunteering at WaterStep when Mark told me WaterStep was planning to develop their own chlorine generating device which is the heart of the water purification system. This would give them control of costs and availability of the equipment, and thereby increase the number of lives improved through safe water. He asked me to join the group of volunteer engineers who were developing this vital piece of equipment.
I enjoyed working with the engineers to develop and test the new design. While the process was not smooth or easy, we eventually developed working prototypes. We tested them in the lab and out of the country to finalize the best design. Mark asked me if I wanted to supervise the manufacture of the new M-100 Chlorine Generator. With the help of the WaterStep staff, volunteer engineers and workers, we developed the organization and tools needed to produce the M-100 Chlorine Generator.
We have attracted an amazing group of people who volunteer on a regular basis to devote their time, talents and energy. The men and women volunteer to carefully construct a simple-to-use device that can improve the quality of life of many people and save many lives through safe water on an easily sustainable basis. Their suggestions for constant improvement have improved the reliability and durability of the M-100, and they proudly send a little of themselves around the world in each and every unit. Around our work tables, we like to say that we are following an old Kentucky tradition of building our machines handmade, high quality, in small batches, and enjoyed around the world!
It has been a real blessing for me personally to be involved at WaterStep on several levels. On one level, building the M-100 gives satisfaction to my need to create and build something that will positively affect the lives of thousands worldwide. But more importantly it has given me the opportunity to work with a fine group of dedicated people who have somehow found their way to come together and work collectively for the good of others. In these troubled times they restore faith in humanity.
Learn more about the M-100 in this assembly video:
How to Install a Water Purifier (M-100) from WaterStep on Vimeo.