World Plumbing Day 2016: PMI CEO Barbara Higgens says industry’s role as safety sentinels more important than ever
For World Plumbing Day 2016, March 11, Barbara C. Higgens, CEO/executive director of Plumbing Manufacturers International, published her views about why plumbing matters and what must be done to safeguard plumbing and water systems. Her article is titled, “On World Plumbing Day 2016, Our Responsibility to Assure Safe Water is More Important Than Ever.”
Written for the U.S. Water Alliance’s blog, Higgens’ article describes how Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards spoke at last fall’s PMI conference about his team’s efforts to call attention to the brewing crisis in Flint, Mich. In addition to raising concerns about lead in water, Edwards and his colleagues have published research about the potential dangers of opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens (OPPPs) that can develop in water systems and cause disease. The best known OPPP is legionella pneumophila, the cause of Legionnaires’ disease.
Higgens writes: “In remarks about OPPPs and Flint at our conference, (Edwards’) overall message was clear: We can’t take the safety of our water systems for granted, particularly as changes are made to current systems and newer kinds of water systems are introduced. Building more sustainable water systems with the best intentions can still result in unintended consequences if proper precautions are not taken. It’s the duty of those of us in the plumbing and water industries to make sure the potential consequences of change are thoroughly explored before going down the path unknown.”
PMI and its members have joined with other concerned groups and individuals to help mitigate the effects of the Flint crisis. PMI also advocates for the higher utilization of Water Sense plumbing products to save water.