Dear brothers and sisters of the plumbing industry,
Another World Plumbing Day has been celebrated across the globe and this year, I believe, we have been recognized more than ever, because of the importance of hygiene practices like washing your hands with clean, safe water as a means of fighting the spread of the virus. Thanks to all WPC members who work on World Plumbing Day activities. It is because of your hard work that we get recognition from the public on this special day.
Here in the United States, we are experiencing some hope of normalcy. Vaccines are becoming available to everyone in certain states. I have received one shot and waiting optimistically for my second in one week. Unfortunately, there have been setbacks with outbreaks in certain states and 14 million doses had to be destroyed because they were defective. I am hoping that people in all countries can get vaccinated as soon as possible so that we can all resume our normal lives and begin to travel and see each other soon.
During the pandemic, one of the biggest obstacles that many of our training institutions across the world had to deal with was being forced to shut down in-person training. Anyone who has worked with the tools during his or her apprenticeship knows how important hands-on-training is to studying the trade. Fortunately, the computer world has provided many platforms for virtual training. Making the move to virtual apprenticeship classes was not an easy task for instructors. Our instructors were determined to keep the next generation of plumbers engaged in their training. They worked tirelessly developing curriculum that could be formatted for online training. Some instructors plan to keep some of the online training even after we return to normalcy. Hats off to all the plumbing instructors around the world for providing not only online classes, but safety guidelines for all the plumbers who had to work in some very dangerous places.
With the aging population retiring at alarming rates, we will need to maintain consistent teaching methods like virtual training so that we can assure there will be a next generation of essential plumbing professionals to protect the health of the world.
Until the next newsletter, stay safe.
Tom Bigley WPC Chairman
WORLD PLUMBING DAY REPORTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Here are some reports that WPC members from around the world shared showing how they celebrated World Plumbing Day. They may be viewed on the World Plumbing Council website, along with the accompanying photos and videos.
IOPSA Southern Cape – Adopting the Real Spirit of World Plumbing Day
Article and photos by Marius van Wyk, Chairman | This article first appeared on plumbingafrica.co.za
On World Plumbing Day — March 11 — IOPSA Southern Cape identified Herbertsdale Primary School in the Southern Cape for some care and maintenance. The town has boreholes that have run dry, so water is trucked in daily to this town.
We looked at conserving water for the hostel — which uses the most water on the property — as well as its energy conservation, so by replacing 14 old showerheads, we estimated to have saved at least 300ℓ per day just in showers.
With regard to energy, we consolidated geysers that are only used in the day with geysers that are used at night, and which were coupled to heat pumps. The hostel has 60 lights, and we received donations to replace all 60 with LED lights to cut the consumption of energy, as it is a direct expense to the school hostel and would allow them to redirect the monthly savings to add to the food bill, which has been elevated due to a lack of water.(The hostel has its own vegetable gardens, but due to no water, it has had to purchase vegetables, which was an added expense.)
We also cleaned out the stormwater system, which is a well-designed system – with a hidden underground reservoir that was unbeknown to the school! We could only get one extra water tank to assist with rainwater harvesting, and with the stormwater catchment, now cleaned and working, the new gutter system can carry water. We measured and estimated that the underground facility can hold 42,000ℓ of water. With this system working, they would be able to water the gardens again. As it was, we had just had 80mm of rain the day before, which would most probably start filling that facility very quickly.
Acting Mayor of Mossel Bay Dirk Kotze personally attended the day’s activities and spoke to the plumbers about their worthy cause. He even lent a hand by assisting in installing a geyser (you can’t miss him – he’s the well-dressed one, not looking like a plumber at all).
I presented him with a Plumbing Africa magazine to read, and he was pleasantly surprised with it.
Black Hammer Industries — Max Griffiths
Charlson Pipes & Fittings — Charles Pretorius PIGS Plumbing
Denis Plumbers — Dennis en Dean Von Waltsleben
Du Toit Plumbing — Dawie du Toit
The Plumber — Gerhard Heckroodt
Geyser Guy Plumbers — Chantelle
Ocean Select Plumbers — Johan Stadler
Parsons Plumbing — Clive Parsons
Plumbrite — Danie Botha
Potties Plumbing — Frikkie Potgieter
Power Plumbing — Hanno Pretorius
SJ Ackerman Loodgieters — Johan Ackerman
Southern Cape Solar — Glen Boschcom
Stefmat Loodgieters — Marius van Wyk
B&Q Electrical and Plumbing — Quentin Briedenhann
Austria Plumbing — Rudy Glock
On Tap Mosselbaai — Rennie van Wyk and Nico Marais
Plumblink George, Mosselbaai, Knysna en Plettenbergbaai — Jacques Bruwer
Stiles George — Lili Grobler
Light City Mosselbaai — Erna
Collectively, plumbing companies contributed R130 000 worth of man hours on the day.
Borge supplied R35 000 worth of products, and Light City 60 provided new LED lights, which they donated to the hostel.
Helping a School in Need
Plumber Aron Jili offered his free services to help the iKhethelo Children’s Village in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.
Below is the letter he received in thanks, a good expression of the difference we can all make as individuals when we use our profession to helps others.
When you volunteer, you are making a commitment to share that most precious of resources – your time – to make life better for those who are in need. The fruits of your labours make a tangible impact, of course, but perhaps it is the fact that you are willing to share your time and talent to lend a helping hand and to show kindness and caring that makes the greatest difference in the lives of the individuals who are touched by your generosity.
THIS LETTER SHOWS APPRECIATION OF NHLONIPHENI ARON JILI FOR HIS VOLUNTEERING HIS TIME AT IKHETHELO CHILDREN’S VILLAGE TO FIX OUR PLUMBING ISSUES THAT THE VILLAGE HAD. WE APPRECIATE HIS TIME AND HIS HARD WORK.
IWSH, RPO to Collaborate for Enhanced WASH Services in Rwanda
Submitted by Jean Claude Twagirimana
The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) and the Rwanda Plumbers Organization (RPO) on March 11 announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will provide a framework for collaboration between the two parties. The signing of the two-year MOU is timed to coincide with World Plumbing Day 2021, an occasion that recognizes the vital impact the plumbing industry has on public health, environmental sustainability and economic prosperity across the globe.
Under the new MOU, IWSH and the RPO intend to cooperate on providing water, sanitation and hygiene services to underserved populations and communities in Rwanda. The organizations will also work together on the development of codes and standards, professional licensing programs, and vocational education and training programs, as well as regional public health awareness activities.
“This memorandum of understanding between the RPO and IWSH means a lot to the plumbing industry here, and the RPO in general, in terms of national and international awareness,” RPO Coordinator Jean Claude Twagirimana said. “It is a wonderful opportunity for the RPO to accomplish its mission, for Rwandan plumbers to develop their skills and the Rwandan community to get improved WASH services. Its implementation will improve plumbing workmanship, bring mutual understanding about plumbing projects to all Rwandan plumbers, and raise international awareness of RPO members.”
Over the past 12 months, the RPO has expanded its community awareness and collaborative development in public institutions such as the Ministry of Education, Rwanda Standards Board (RSB), Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (RURA) and Rwanda Polytechnique (RP). Membership requests have increased from 32 to 95 members, and Twagirimana said they are exploring ways to bring more women into the organization.
“We hope to continue developing our industry across the country and Africa as a whole,” he continued. “Rwanda promotes vocational and educational training, including plumbing, so by developing codes and standards, as well as a thorough curriculum and new partnerships for different programs that will be developed, we expect to have 5,000 certified, licensed plumbers within the next five years. We expect to have a well-equipped plumbing innovation and training laboratory for all categories of plumbers within 10 years.”
Last year, the World Plumbing Council (WPC) facilitated a pilot partnership between IWSH and the RPO to support community hand-washing and public health awareness activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. An RPO team designed and donated a mobile hand-washing station via a plumbing workshop hosted at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional College in Huye district, in Rwanda’s Southern Province, approximately 80 miles from the nation’s capital, Kigali. With IWSH support, the RPO provided additional mobile hand-washing stations to three primary schools, two high schools and five vulnerable households in the Musanze district sectors of Muhoza, Muko and Cyuve.
“Our fellow World Plumbing Council partners at RPO have shared ambitious plans for plumbing industry development in Rwanda in the years ahead,” said IWSH Managing Director Seán Kearney. “From the IWSH side, we are keen to support, learn and work together with RPO toward greater capacity building in the region. We look forward to collaborating further with RPO and its members under this new MOU agreement.”
Plumbers Association of Zambia (PAZA) Celebrates 2021 World Plumbing Day — March 11
Submitted by Moses Chongo, CEO/President, PAZA
This year the Plumbers Association of Zambia celebrated World Plumbing Day in a special way. In Livingstone City, the tourist capital of Zambia in Southern Province, the PAZA team joined the plumbing family globally in observing World Plumbing Day for the first time in the organization’s history.
PAZA District Chairperson Mr. Mukonka Mwambwa thanked the organization for allowing members to organize some activities that took place in the district on March 11. On March 11, plumbers organized themselves and met at Livingstone Prisons for a brief on updates and other activities for the special day; 21 members attended and participated in all planned programs.
Mukonka further reported that the work was done at four sites, and members divided themselves into four groups. The teams managed achieved the following:
Replaced 17 flushing cisterns and replaced flexible pipes at Linda Secondary School.
Cleaned the surrounding area of the ablution blocks at Linda Secondary School.
Rebuilt the collapsed wall fence.
Replaced one water closet pan and serviced seven cisterns at Livingstone Main Post Office.
Built traditional hand wash basin stands for COVID 19 awareness and also replaced the broken sewer pipe and repaired the inspection chamber.
Mr. Mukonka said the teams managed to do all the work through support from the Plumbers Association of Zambia at the national level, the local community and the government.
The PAZA president and the CEO, Mr. Moses Chongo, thanked the Livingstone team for the job well done and encouraged all the plumbers to continue working as a team so that “together we can achieve our goal.” He said every member should take a keen interest in supporting the organization and participating in various projects. Chongo said COVID-19 is still with us and it’s a big challenge because some planned activities are going down and resulting in a bad global economy, but COVID or no COVID, we shall continue to work hard. Plumbers should come together and assess challenges facing the local community, especially in water sanitation and hygiene.
World Plumbing Day and IPA Founders’ Day Celebrations
Submitted by the Indian Plumbing Association
This year along with World Plumbing Day, IPA also celebrated its first Founders’ Day on March 11, as it was on this day that Indian plumbing industry stalwarts came together in 1993 to form this premier and exclusive plumbing industry members association.
The celebration started Feb. 26 with regional webinars and a social media contest, and culminated March 11 with a national webinar, which luminaries from the plumbing profession and policy makers from across the globe attended.
IPA registered a whooping attendance of more than 510, both on Zoom and Facebook Live.
Commendable deliberations where held on Safe and Hygiene Plumbing and Water Saving.
Guest of Honour Kevin Wellman, a WPC director and CEO of The Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering (CIPHE), said, “In the current context with the pandemic, water safety is as important as water efficiency, and here the global plumbing industry has a crucial role to play to safeguard the health of the nations.”
Chief Guest Avinash Mishra, an adviser for NITI Aayog (GOI), said, “We must revamp our water conservation measures with water conservation at source, augmenting water supply and integrating technological advancements.”
SG Deolalikar, IPA chairman emeritus and IPA founder, shared three points of wisdom with plumbing industry stakeholders: the need for plumbing, the danger of contamination and the urgent need for skilling in plumbing profession.
Crucial topics including water conservation, river rejuvenation and hydro informatics were discussed and deliberated by learned experts in the field. This brought out takeaways on how we can contribute to the cause of water saving at the individual and community level.
Dr. Rajendra Singh, known as the “waterman of India,” was the expert speaker in the Gujarati webinar, and he shed light on the work done by Tarun Bharat Sangh to bring life to water bodies in India across the country.
As a gesture to support this initiative, IPA contributed a sum of Rs 51,000 to Tarun Bharat Sangh.
Regional languages brought out a different flavor to WPD celebrations. Watch this video on the various regional webinars: https://youtu.be/8OZfWdCcOuM.
After a successful run in 2020, the IPA launched #BeAWaterCrusader2021 social media contest on IPA social pages: Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn.
The nine-day contest had more than 105 entries.
Netizens shared content in the forms of videos, pictures and text on how they contribute to water saving in their unique way.
All posts carried hashtags: #BeAWaterCrusader2021 and #WorldPlumbingDay2021.
IPA contest posts were liked and retweeted by World Plumbing Council Twitter handle and World Plumbing Day Twitter handle.
Participants from across the country participated.
Three cash prizes of Rs 5000, 3000 and 2000 were given to the winner, first and second runners-up, respectively.
Report of WPD Gujarati Webinar Ahmedabad /Surat/ Vadodara Chapter
On the occasion of World Plumbing Day 2021 and the Indian Plumbing Association’s Founders Day, a Gujarati webinar was organized jointly by the Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara chapters with the theme of water conservation.
It was organized in a virtual format on Zoom on March 4, by inviting “Jal Purush, Waterman of India” Dr. Rajendra Singh.
Program outline was as below:
* The webinar started at 18:00 hours by MOC Mr. Apurva Shah, NEC member from IPAAC, with the national anthem and a welcome note.
* Mr. Minesh Shah, chairman of the Ahmedabad Chapter, gave a welcome address and described a number of IPA activities like World Plumbing Day, Founders Day, the upcoming Indian Plumbing Professionals League and ISW Mission with this year’s target.
* Mr. Rajesh Dhabuwala, chairman of the Surat Chapter, gave a small presentation on the importance of saving water by adopting good plumbing techniques and rainwater harvesting
* Mr. Jayesh Shah, chairman of the Vadodara Chapter, gave his address on water conservation and adopting good practices in the designing of drainage facilities.
ASTRAL Pipes sponsored the webinar, and Mr. Ritesh Patel from Astral delivered an informative product presentation.
The expert speaker of the day, Dr. Rajendra Singh, took the topic of water conservation through his untiring works done in river rejuvenation by his Tarun Bharat Sangh across many parts of the country. He gave an inspiring presentation on water conservation and saving water, creating awareness toward IPA’s mission of I SAVE WATER.
IPA National President Mr Gurmit Singh felicitated Dr. Rajendra Singh with an honorary IPA life membership. He announced a donation of Rs 51,000 to Tarun Bharat Sangh as a small token from the IPA for the water conservation activities carried out by TBS in a huge way. He also asked Dr. Singh to explore possibilities so that IPA and Tarun Bharat Sangh can join hands and work toward the broad goal of water conservation.
During the program an interesting quiz contest was held on two subjects — the IPA and plumbing — was conducted by Mr. Dipen Mehta and Mr. Harshal Parikh. Ten winners received cash vouchers of Rs 500 each, as well as the book “A Guide to Good Plumbing Practices in Gujarati.”
A vote of thanks was given by IPAAC Hon. Secretary Mr. Ketan Parikh.
Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre World Plumbing Day Celebrations
Submitted by The Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC)
On World Plumbing Day, the annual Apprentice Skills Contest took center stage at PICAC Brunswick. Five plumbing and four sprinkler fitting apprentices competed in a challenge that put their skills and knowledge to the test. Due to COVID-19 requirements, contestant numbers for this year’s event were limited. The competition was fierce as always, and all the contestants did extremely well. Nathan Tabb from National Plumbing and Contracting was announced the winner of the plumbing competition. Tom Duncan from Fireline took out the top spot in the sprinkler-fitting competition. Congratulations to the winners and the finalists!
To celebrate World Plumbing Day and reflect on the future direction of the plumbing industry, The Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre presents The Australian Plumbing Industry Forecast. The COVID-19 pandemic has had unexpected and wide-ranging consequences for the plumbing industry. Bringing together key industry stakeholders from the Australian plumbing and fire protection sectors, PICAC’s video discussion examines how industry responded to this unique moment in history and explores the lessons that can be taken from this period of uncertainty and disruption.
Plumbing Ambassadors Appointed on World Plumbing Day to Inspire Future Trades
Submitted by: Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ)
On March 11, Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ) revealed the 2021 Queensland Plumbing Ambassadors: Sam Raper – Paul Gray Plumbing Services, Toni Hillman – New Build Plumbing, Simon Townson – Tri Plumbing Services, and Sonya Hughes – Hughes Plumbing Contractors. The announcement was made in front of more than 300 attendees at the World Plumbing Day Industry Breakfast, which was held at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Pictured (left to right): The Hon. Michael de Brenni MP – Minister for Public Works and Procurement, Sam Raper – Paul Gray Plumbing Services, Toni Hillman – New Build Plumbing, Simon Townson – Tri Plumbing Services, Sonya Hughes – Hughes Plumbing Contractors, Kent Vickers – MPAQ President, and Penny Cornah – MPAQ Executive Director.
World Plumbing Day is celebrated March 11 every year, everywhere, and is now a fixture on the calendars of political and social institutions around the globe. World Plumbing Day aims to spread awareness of the importance of plumbing and plumbers in protecting public health as well as celebrating all the important work plumbers have done to improve the world.
The plumbing community has a vital role in promoting the link between good quality plumbing, health, environmental sustainability, and economic prosperity.
MPAQ Executive Director Penny Cornah said, “This is an important opportunity for the whole community to appreciate the hard work performed by members of our industry.”
“Queensland plumbers are experts in their field, who deliver the highest standards in health and safety throughout the world”, Cornah said. “While we should celebrate the industry and those who play an important part in it, World Plumbing Day also allows us to reflect on the future of our industry, and ensuring that we see a diverse, engaged and skilled future workforce is essential to that.”
The ambassadors were chosen to represent MPAQ and promote this important trade to school students and career-seekers across the state, focusing on raising awareness to students about studying an apprenticeship and explaining where a trade can take them both professionally and personally. This year, there will also be a focus on engaging with business owners to grow the number of opportunities available to those seeking a plumbing apprenticeship.
“I would like to congratulate this year’s ambassadors and thank them for giving up their time to help us develop the future of our industry. I look forward to working with them,” Cornah said.
About the Ambassadors
Toni Hillman, a licensed plumber and drainer of New Build Plumbing based in Morningside, has been a part of the plumbing and gas industry for more than 13 years.
Hillman said, “I need to show my face more and feel confident enough to step up to promote the industry and encourage others to follow in my footsteps.”
Hillman started out as a school-based apprentice and continued to complete her apprenticeship mainly in the domestic area. She has attended a few different events where she has been a guest speaker and has been an advocate for the industry — for not only women, but men as well.
“I want to participate more in events to promote the industry that I love,” she said.
Sonya Hughes is the office manager for Hughes Plumbing Contractors and has been involved in the plumbing industry for about 10 years.
Hughes said, “I am passionate about our industry and how important it is to promote this highly skilled trade as a career for future generations.”
Prior to her appointment as a plumbing ambassador, Hughes held meetings with local schools to promote the trade, with a focus on promoting increasing diversity in the industry.
“I think that plumbing has a stigma among young people as a dirty job that is suitable only for males; however, I would like to share the variety of plumbing career opportunities available,” she said.
“Regardless of gender or physical strength, plumbing can be a very successful career choice for all.”
Sam Raper is a fourth-year apprentice in his third year with Paul Gray Plumbing Services.
He said, “Even though I have only been in the industry for a short period of time, it has given me so much, and I am hoping I can return this back to others who wish to pursue a career in this industry.”
Finding his passion after 33 years, having gone through two companies to find an employer who is supportive, Raper is undergoing night school to complete his Cert 4 and has been awarded the 2020 TAFE Plumbing Apprentice of the Year and 2020 TAFE Outstanding Apprentice of the Year.
“Being an ambassador will help grow my knowledge of the industry and could also open up some doors for me in the future.”
Simon Townson is a licensed plumber, drainer, and gasfitter and the managing director at Tri Plumbing Services. He has been in the industry for 18 years and is a big advocate for apprentices and reskilling. He also believes that there is a struggle for education around employers taking on apprentices.
Townson’s ambassadorship role will be slightly different to that of Hillman, Hughes and Raper, with an employer focus where he will be able to connect with businesses and promote the importance of taking on apprentices and all the advantages this can bring to a company.
Celebrating World Plumbing Day March 11, Every Year, Everywhere
Submitted by: Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ)
As we all know, 2020 was an interesting year for events, with COVID-19 causing a large number of postponements and cancellations for event calendars worldwide. For this reason, MPAQ was especially excited to once again be able to celebrate World Plumbing Day by hosting more than 300 attendees for the plumbing and gas industry’s biggest breakfast.
Special guests included the Honourable Michael de Brenni MP, minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and minister for Public Works and Procurement, and Gary O’Halloran, state secretary of the Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union Queensland.
Cancer Council Queensland (CCQ)
Each year, MPAQ members choose a charity they would like to support and for which they would like to raise funds. With more than 30 events in this calendar year, attendees across the state have the opportunity to participate and make donations toward the chosen charity.
MPAQ is proud to officially announce Cancer Council Queensland (CCQ) as the charity for 2021 and was lucky to have Public Relations Manager Rhys Reynolds present at the event. Rhys discussed a real-life case about baby Imogen and some of the major research projects on which the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry has been working.
The MPAQ team sold raffle tickets throughout the breakfast for CCQ and with more than A$4,000 raised, we thank everyone for their contributions! A special thank-you to Justin Cain and Rhys Reynolds, who attended the event.
Visit the events page on the MPAQ website (www.mpaq.com.au) for more information about CCQ or how to donate.
6PR Radio Station Recognizes Important Work of Plumbers
Submitted by: The Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association of Western Australia
Gareth Parker of 6PR882 News Talk radio had a segment on World Plumbing Day and the importance of plumbing. Murray Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of The Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association of Western Australia, was also a guest caller during the segment. Listen to the audio on the WPD Recap Page.
Sadly, due to the ongoing lockdown the UK was not able to hold competitions or have the annual gathering at the Plumber’s Statue in London, reports WPC Member Kevin Wellman. The support of social media, however, made up for the lack of direct contact.
Below are a number of links accumulated by Wellman which reflect the widespread coverage for WPD from industry organizations, the media and plumbing businesses.
“I have undoubtedly missed some of the coverage, which I apologize in advance for, but at least the above should serve as a reflection of the UK’s ongoing support for WPD and our overall endeavors to make the plumbing world a safer place,” said Wellman.
U.S. President Biden Recognizes World Plumbing Day
United States President Joe Biden, in a letter to Tom Bigley, chairman of the World Plumbing Council and former IAPMO Board of Directors member, recognized World Plumbing Day, acknowledging the essential service plumbers and those in our industry provide to people worldwide to ensure their access to clean, healthy water and safe sanitation.
In the letter extending greetings to all observing World Plumbing Day — March 11, Every Year, Everywhere — the president wrote:
Today, we honor the hardworking plumbers and other trained professionals who work tirelessly to bring water — trickling down from our highest mountains and up from our deepest aquifers — into our homes and offices. These workers stitch communities together and help connect all people to this precious natural resource.
Access to clean water and effective wastewater treatment systems is the right of every community, and my Administration looks forward to being a partner to ensure that right is recognized in our country and across the globe. We are committed to investing in the workers and industries that are building a world in which all people, regardless of who they are or where they live, can survive and thrive because of reliable access to clean, safe water.
“We are thrilled to have President Biden recognize World Plumbing Day,” Bigley said. “We have long known the vital, life-saving role our industry plays in the world and are delighted to have our president also recognize this issue so widely. Working to ensure everyone has access to safe, reliable water and skilled professionals has always been and will continue to be our number one priority.”
The World Plumbing Council (WPC) in 2010 established March 11 as World Plumbing Day, an annual celebration to promote appreciation of the plumbing industry’s vital work on behalf of the planet and its people. The event aims to help the general public better understand how the plumbing industry protects the public’s health and safety, demonstrate the extent to which it works to limit mankind’s environmental footprint and to illuminate other important and often unsung work performed by contractors, inspectors, installers, engineers, manufacturers and academicians.
IAPMO has been an enthusiastic supporter of World Plumbing Day from its inception, developing educational materials and administering student contests to promote the event and facilitating its recognition among the highest levels of U.S. government. For several years the U.S. Senate and/or House of Representatives have passed a bipartisan resolution formally designating March 11 as World Plumbing Day.
“On behalf of IAPMO and all our brothers and sisters in the plumbing industry I want to thank President Biden for his administration’s acknowledgment and appreciation for our work,” said IAPMO CEO Dave Viola. “We understand that having the health and safety of American plumbing systems taken for granted means we are doing things really well, but it’s still nice to know people understand the expertise required to make it so.”
2021 VIRTUAL EMERGING WATER TECHNOLOGY SYMPOSIUM ANNOUNCES PROGRAM, OPENS REGISTRATION
Registration is now open for the seventh biennial Emerging Water Technology Symposium, co-convened by the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE), the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), and Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI), in cooperation with the World Plumbing Council (WPC). The May 11-12 event will consist of a three-hour program beginning each day at 10 a.m. (Eastern USA).
The EWTS continues to provide critical insight into the future of water-related industries. Nowhere else is such focused attention provided for professionals on all facets of optimizing the safe and efficient use of water. To view the full program for this year’s virtual event, please visit www.ewts.org.
Because the EWTS is being produced in the virtual environment this year, the co-conveners are offering the event at the much-reduced rate of $69 in order to make it available to a wider audience.
“On behalf of the other co-conveners, we are very much looking forward to this event being able to reach professionals who have never had the opportunity to attend this event in the past,” said Tony Marcello, senior vice president of Training and Credential Services at IAPMO.
The co-conveners look forward to welcoming everyone in person at the next EWTS, scheduled for May 2022 in San Antonio, Texas, USA.
“Despite much of the world having to shut down as a result of the pandemic, the issues that impact clean and safe water, sanitation, water scarcity, and other water-related challenges don’t rest,” said IAPMO CEO and Deputy Chair of the WPC Dave Viola. “IAPMO is proud to see this event move forward virtually in an effort to keep the industry informed and energized to confront these issues.”
285 PLUMBERS TRAINED BY THE PLUMBERS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA AND WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION ASSESSMENT PROJECT KICKOFF
The Plumbers Association of Zambia has empowered vulnerable male and female youths through its Mobile Field Skills Training (MFST) program. In a period of three months, the organization has managed to train 285 plumbers in the country. Seventy percent are school dropouts and grade 12 who are unemployed and/or have plumbing knowledge but are not qualified.
In the southern province of Zambia, specifically Mazabuka and Monze, 89 plumbers were trained; there were 145 in Luapula province’s Cheinge district, and in the Lusaka province’s Chongwe district, there were 51 plumbers trained. The association is achieving the planned goals in its strategic plan for 2021-2022.
This skills training project is a way of protecting young girls from early marriage and pregnancy, which are very common in Zambia.
During the training process, the traditional leaders Senior Chief Puta and his sub-chief of the Bwile Land in Chienge district express their happiness to see the development in their chiefdom and offer the land where the skills training center may be built. This is one of PAZA’s achievements in Zambia. The training center will be constructed as a satellite of Lusaka Wash Academy College.
The organization has further managed to assess the water challenges in the Chipungu and Lunchinda areas after receiving the request from the Village Water Sanitation and Hygiene Education committees (V.WASHE) from the three villages. The community asked PAZA to help them with quality water supply in the community.
After assessments, it was discovered that more than 1,200 households are accessing water from the three drilled boreholes and some are accessing water from the lake, which is not safe for human consumption. It is a very big task and challenge for PAZA to find a way of implementing these projects in these areas. It is the mandate of the organization to implement the goals of supplying quality water in the community.
LEADERS IN CONSTRUCTION
From left to right: Marnie Williams, Kimberley Smyth, Renee Shankar, Sue Eddy
Submitted by Master Plumbers (plumber.com.au)
March is the month that marks International Women’s Day. To mark the occasion, Kathryn Kernohan spoke to four leaders in the construction industry.
The construction industry — inclusive of the plumbing industry — is one of Australia’s largest in terms of employment and its significant contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (about 9%).
Like many industries, the construction industry remains male dominated. According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics’ most recent Gender Indicators report, just 12.7% of employees in the industry are women. Various reports show the percentage of women who work as tradespeople at 1 or 2%.
Additionally, in 2019-20 the construction industry had a higher proportion of male workers ages 20 to 74 than any other industry.
There is reason to hope the gender imbalance will shift. And governments are investing to support it. In Victoria, the Building Gender Equality: Victoria’s Women in Construction Strategy 2019-2022 aims to increase female participation in trades.
Master Plumbers provided a submission to the strategy, as a member of the Building Industry Consultative Council (BICC). CEO Peter Daly says: “the only way to achieve a real step change towards better gender-equality outcomes in construction is for us to take an industry-wide approach between employer associations, unions, employers and employees.”
Research by Charles Sturt University found that in regional NSW, there was success in programs, including mentoring, networking and all-female teams.
To celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8), Australian Plumbing Magazine spoke to four women involved in Australia’s construction and plumbing industry — from those in leadership positions to those on the tools — about their journeys in the industry and why they encourage other women to follow their leads.
The resilience of the plumbing industry shone through in 2020 and it will rebound to become even stronger. Kathryn Kernohan reports.
All corners of the world have shared the significant challenges and interruptions brought about by last year’s catastrophic COVID pandemic and the ongoing climate change crisis. These issues are having an unprecedented impact on both the plumbing and broader construction industries.
A recent report by global consultancy management firm McKinsey and Company explores an expected radical shift in the construction industry, comprising real estate, infrastructure and industrial structures.
As the report outlines, the global construction industry had already been undergoing transformation, but that industry leaders broadly agree that these changes will be accelerated due to the impact of COVID-19.
In the past couple of decades, the construction industry has been “plagued by dismal performance” and profitability is low, according to the report.
“As challenging as 2020 has been for plumbing and broader construction industry, the silver lining of this crisis is that we now have an opportunity to reshape to ensure we are more agile, effective and resilient moving forward,” says Master Plumbers CEO Peter Daly.
“We know that here in Australia, there has been subdued revenue growth in plumbing for the five years following the GFC. COVID-19 has clearly had, and will continue to have, a detrimental impact on the productivity and profitability of many businesses, but it has also led to government investments into a range of infrastructure projects as well as incentives for people building and renovating homes. This increases the pipeline of opportunities for our sector and will hopefully provide the confidence for businesses to invest in a skilled, more stable workforce and better preparedness for digital innovations in the sector.”
McKinsey and Company’s report forecasts direct responses to the pandemic such as an increase of remote working practices.
It identifies a range of market characteristics as the catalyst for change, including a scarcity of skilled labour, cost pressures from infrastructure and affordable housing and stricter regulations around work-site sustainability and safety, all of which are issues applicable to Australia as well as other countries.
The issue of affordable housing is one that has direct correlations to COVID-19, with the McKinsey and Company analysis finding that every third global urban household cannot afford a decent place to live at market rates and that these challenges have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
The report also finds that skilled labor shortages have become a major issue in several markets, and that close to half (41 percent) of the current construction workforce in the U.S. is expected to retire by 2031.
This is reflected closer to home, where a significant skills shortage in the plumbing industry has been identified by the federal government’s Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
A recent snapshot by the Australian Bureau of Statistics covering the period of March to July 2020, spanning the first round of COVID-19 restrictions, found that approximately 81,700 workers had been lost to the building and construction industries during that time. More than 50,000 of these were in Victoria and New South Wales.
McKinsey and Company outline nine shifts that will fundamentally change the construction industry.
This includes greater specialization within the industry, with the prediction that companies will refine their services to focus on areas such as luxury housing, multistory residential buildings or hospitals.
Another expected shift is an additional focus on branding, allowing smaller businesses to attract and retain customers and showcase their value, service quality and reliability. Increased investment in technology and human resources are among the other areas highlighted.
The report predicts that globally, construction activity could be back to pre-pandemic levels by the first half of 2021, but that it may not occur until 2024 or even later.
IBISWorld’s recent Plumbing Services in Australia report predicted that there will be reduced demand for plumbing services throughout 2021 but an expected increased demand in the non-residential construction sector moving forward.
McKinsey and Company’s fundamental observation that the current crisis will lead to new opportunities moving forward resonates with Peter Daly.
“We know that the plumbing industry will not only survive this crisis but also rebound strongly,” he said. “Research and analysis, like this report, shows us that businesses and traders which adapt to the changing nature of the industry have every opportunity to thrive as we navigate the ‘new normal’.”
Plumbing – by the numbers 27,300 The number of plumbing businesses in Australia* 65,300 The number of people employed in the plumbing industry 18,185 The number of apprentices employed in the construction trade, including plumbers* $17.5bn Current revenue generated by the plumbing industry* $86.2bn The estimated total cost of current and proposed infrastructure projects across Australia**
*IBIS **Infrastructure Australia
PLUMB SKILLS EXPO 2021
Submitted by the Indian Plumbing Skills Council (IPSC)
In a quest to celebrate and create awareness for the trade that has a direct connection with public health, the Indian Plumbing Skills Council, along with India's renowned body for industry and commerce — the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) — organized India's premier Phygital (Virtual + Physical) event of the plumbing sector, Plumb Skills Expo 2021. The theme of the expo was Atmanirbhar Bharat: Transforming India into a Global Plumbing Hub through Skilling and Employment Aligned with Jal Jeevan Mission. The expo highlighted the government initiatives in consonance with the clarion call of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India such as Make in India, Vocal for Local, Har Ghar Nal Se Jal, Local to Global and Digital India. Plumb Skills Expo, the first and only such hybrid event for the plumbing sector, was initially planned to be held for four days, Feb. 24-27. However, with the amount of interest from the stakeholders and, most importantly, plumbing technicians across the country, the organizers decided to extend the event's duration for an entire month. The Phygital event not only saw visitors connecting virtually form across the globe, but also physically through the large network of training centres established by IPSC across the country. Plumbing technicians joined physically and were engaged in various live activities such as lucky draw, demo sessions, tour of the expo, live sessions, training programmes, kit distribution, etc.
Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship
The Inauguration of the event was graced by Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon'ble Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Govt. of India. This event not only helped qualified and skilled workforce in the Indian plumbing industry gain exposure to international products and technologies but also aided global manufacturers to get an opportunity inside one of the biggest marketplaces. “The skills expo aims to promote the Local to Global Mission and provide a better skillset to the plumbers and technicians of the nation. The expo will play an important role in shaping the future of this sector. India aims to be a global plumbing hub”, he said.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, was pleased to learn that a virtual event of this stature, particularly for the plumbing domain, was being organized by IPSC and FICCI and also sent his best wishes for the event. “I am sure that the expo will provide an ideal platform for technical experts to share their expertise and experience with the participants and also help organizations to showcase the latest technology and products to the global congregation of buyers and manufacturers,” the prime minister said.
Dr. RK Somany, chairman of the Indian Plumbing Skills Council, said the event will create endless opportunities for professionals engaged in the plumbing sector. “The expo will act as a catalyst increasing the global presence of Indian manufacturers and increasing the employability prospects of our workforce, not only in India but in other nations as well. This event is a steppingstone for the international plumbing industry to witness India as an excellent market and understand India’s strengths for it to become the largest destination source of plumbing products and skilled workforce,” Somany said.
FICCI President Mr. Uday Shankar, who was also present for the inauguration ceremony of the Plumb Skills Expo, said, “Plumbing is a vibrant and growing sector worldwide. This sector is expected to grow globally by $112 billion by 2023 with a CAGR of 6 percent. High investment in infrastructure facilities, rising disposable income, and growing investment in smart cities are fueling this growth."
The inauguration ceremony was followed by a Global CEOs Roundtable where CEOs of some top companies engaged in the plumbing, water, construction, and real estate sector gathered under one platform to discuss all the major aspects of the sector, including ideas and recommendations on growth of the sector and making it a mainstay in India’s growth.
The event also included a unique and live India-UAE Roundtable in which CEOs from India and the UAE indulged in dialogues over various topics focused toward highlighting the opportunities related to the plumbing and real-estate sector in the regions. The roundtable had excellent discussions around manufacturing in the plumbing sector, technology and building services, skilling and upskilling, and capitalizing strengths in the context of India and UAE.
More than 100 organizations from the manufacturing and service sector exhibited through virtual pavillions, premium stalls and booths in the Plumb Skills Expo, through which they could showcase their products, services and upcoming projects to the participants/visitors. There were special industry sessions arranged in the expo with an intent to act as a bridge between the industry and the professionals working in the field. More than 90,000 plumbing technicians attended the month-long event. Buyers and sellers from more than 100 countries participated in the expo. Premium facilities like prefixed and on-the-spot B2B meetings, a networking lounge, and contact sharing were given in the virtual exhibition, which provided a real-time exhibition experience to the visitors.
Digital PlumberM meets were also a major highlight of Plumb Skills Expo. Thousands of plumbers were mobilized by the IPSC Secretariat through the network of training partners, and industry partners were invited to give presentations about their products, technologies and brand to the plumbing technicians from across the country.
A series of webinars ranging from water conservation to MEP, spirituality to social media, and much more was held throughout the expo active participation from industry experts from across varied fields. Some of the sessions held in the Plumb Skills Expo include Architectural Expectations Vs MEP Realities, Innovation and Sustainability in Ecosystem Vocational Training, Role of States in Skill India Mission, Government Initiatives to Bridging Supply & Demand, Challenges in Design for Plumbing Systems, Spiritual Discourse by Bhikku Sanghasena, and many more.
All of the sessions were telecast live on the Indian Plumbing Skills Council’s official YouTube channel. Here is a list of all the session with the viewing links:
The Phygital Plumbs Skills Expo has come to be considered as one of the top plumbing events in the country. Plumb Skills Expo is the only event that has acted as a connecting bond between the skilled workforce, industry, and government authorities. The next season of the Plumb Skills Expo is scheduled for February 2022.
THE IPG — TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER...
The past few months have been difficult for us all, but we have so many reasons to be optimistic. At The IPG, we have witnessed firsthand the resilience of our members — many have gone above and beyond to keep serving their customers, implementing new safety measures in store and fulfilling home delivery and click-and-collect orders.
The IPG team has embraced new ways of working and we have discovered new things about ourselves, our members, and suppliers. Most importantly, we’ve learned that whatever life throws at us, there is always light at the end of the tunnel, especially when you all work together.
Working together to grow and expand.
The IPG levels the playing field by offering five key benefits to its members: increased buying power, business tools and resources, marketing support, IT services including digital screens and websites and exclusive rebates.
When a business becomes part of the group and joins forces with other like-minded independents in the plumbing, heating, and bathroom sector, it can achieve economies of scale and have a voice that can compete with larger companies. Members benefit from each other’s success; by working together we succeed together.
In line with its stated vision of “supporting independents,” the group strives to make life for its members as easy and as successful as possible, while enabling its customers to buy the best brands locally at great prices.
Some of the IPG’s members share their experiences:
Dorchester Plumbing Supplies joined in October 2014, as it liked the idea of being part of a group that was specifically set up for the smaller independent business and liked the “stronger together” ethos. Director Steve Rolph said, “Working with The IPG gives us a voice that is heard a lot more clearly by our customers and a presence that is noticed. Being part of the group has given us the opportunity to work with suppliers and manufacturers that perhaps would not have opened their doors to us otherwise.”
WMI Simpsons, a family-run supplier of heating and bathroom products situated in Finchley, London, joined in 2015. Sales Director Justin Protheroe was impressed with the passion the group demonstrated toward the independents. Recently, one of his customers commented on a favourable price that Justin was able to offer him, saying, “It’s a better price than I can buy it elsewhere.” Justin responded that it was because he was part of The IPG, which negotiates with suppliers on behalf of all of its members to get favourable prices that he can pass on to customers.
ASE Plumbing & Heating Supplies, based in Ludlow, is a well-established family-run and owned business that first opened its doors in 1988. Director Adam Pearce explained how the group has played a major part in its success story. “Over the past seven years, we have benefited from several group strategies and initiatives, such as networking opportunities, marketing ideas and joint campaigns. The financial and business support provided has been second to none. The group has also helped improve our online presence by providing us with a website that is easy to update from the IPG portal and is well supported by suppliers with offers and banners. The profile of the independent merchant has been raised massively thanks to the group. The scale and strength that can be achieved together has only been highlighted through being a member.”
A new member in 2020, Howard Slowley from JCA Plumbing and Heating Merchants, based in Southend on Sea, was attracted by the support the membership group could offer his business. Howard wanted to be “all in” on the marketing initiatives available from the start. He believes that this will benefit his business and his competitive offering to his customers, saying, “I am positive about the future now I am a member of The IPG. The group has already supported my business in creating a new brand identity, new store signage and we are working together on a dual branded website; as our relationship develops, the only way is up.”
The IPG members have unique advantages that cannot be found in larger operations. They have exceptional product knowledge, are willing to go that extra mile to support their customers, can offer the best brands at great prices, and most importantly, they understand that together we are stronger!
PMI COURSE UPDATE INCLUDES 2021 CODES, LATEST STANDARDS
Perfect for new learners and for those needing a refresher, the updated, two-part Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) Codes and Standards Course includes changes to the 2021 International Plumbing Code (IPC) and Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), as well as new information about various timelines, requirements, standards and more.
Individuals or teams wishing to take the on-demand course at their convenience can register for either part or both parts now. PMI members and non-members are welcome to take the course, with PMI members receiving discounted rates.
PMI Technical Director Matt Sigler updated the course content to meet the needs of today’s plumbing manufacturing professional, with PMI Education Coordinator Stephanie Lass working with PMI’s learning management system vendor to develop the course’s presentation. “The presentation has a fresh look, as well as new ‘knowledge checks’ throughout each module to help participants retain what they’ve learned,” Lass said. Those completing each part with a final exam grade of 80% or higher will receive a certificate of completion.
In addition to including changes to the 2021 IPC and UPC, the course brings participants up to speed on updates to timelines for the UPC Code Cycle, National Standard Plumbing Code Cycle, and International Code Council Code Development Cycle. Course takers learn about the state of conformity assessment requirements in North America.
Recent revisions to the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, the Lead and Copper Rule, and NSF 61 are also covered.