WASHINGTON, D.C. — The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) has announced it will partner with UA Plumbers Local Union 68 in Houston in March to highlight water-quality issues in the city of Nome, Texas.
The issues, which were aggravated by recent winter storm conditions, originated with damage to the city’s water treatment plant during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. The pilot awareness project was inspired by a recent student leadership initiative at nearby Hardin-Jefferson High School, stated a recent release.
Safer Water for Nome will be a two-phase project. In phase one, 25 journeymen plumbers, nine of whom are contractors, will take training classes with the goal of becoming certified in ASSE 12060/12061: Professional Qualifications Standard for Water Management and Infection Control Risk Assessment for Building Systems.
The Houston Area Plumbing Joint Apprenticeship Committee will host the training classes with a qualified instructor. Each participant will then take an ASSE International third party-administered certification examination.
In phase two, slated to begin next month, the newly certified participants will perform water-quality risk assessment for residents across Nome. Following the risk assessment results, IWSH and UA Local 68 will plan corrective measures for homes and local public amenities.
“By educating and certifying our contractors and plumbers in water-quality risk-assessment programs, our contractors will lead the way in the southern industry,” said Jeremy Pavlich, director of marketing and recruiting at Plumbers Local 68. “We can be the go-to option, and help lead the way, so that public, industrial and residential communities have good water-quality programs in place. This will give our area confidence that the plumbing industry is taking proactive measures to better their quality of life.”
Training specialist Rich Benkowski and national recruitment and outreach co-ordinator Laura Ceja, both with the UA Department of Education and Training, have also contributed to the project planning.
“Behaviours and techniques learned through the ASSE 12000 certification process deliver a repeatable and reliable method of risk assessment of all piped systems,” Ceja said. “This project illustrates a labour/management commitment of time and treasure to defend a community from unwelcome waterborne pathogens.”