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Louisville Company Helps Bring Clean Water To Puerto Rico


Mark Hogg is the CEO of WaterStep, a Louisville-based maker of water purification systems. Hogg is back in Louisville after a trip to Puerto Rico to help deliver and set up those systems after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. I spoke with him about his trip. You can listen to our conversation in the player above.

Highlights from the interview

On helping in the developed world:

"What we saw were a lot of people that were in situations where waterborne illness is all around them and they've never faced that before. And they couldn't go to the store to get bottled water, they couldn't go to the store to get disinfection, it's still not there.

"And even in this developed country where disaster relief work is all around the perimeter in certain areas in the center of the island, they still have not seen any disaster workers. They still have not seen media to help report accurately on what's going on there and they feel very alone and very afraid."

On why recovery may take longer than the six to eight months originally projected:

"Every day we were there, we were outside San Juan, of course, toward the middle of the island, but the power grid fell in San Juan every day. There were no traffic lights, no traffic signals. Twenty minutes out of San Juan was simply bumper to bumper, an hour out of San Juan was bumper to bumper. So no traffic signals. The only cell signals were in the city. So you can't contact anybody. There's no electricity anywhere and I don't care how many generators you throw around, generators were hard to find."

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for LPM. Email Bill at bburton@lpm.org.