World Plumbing Day: March 11th
Plumbing saves lives, prevents diseases, and builds a greener world. Over one billion people lack access to safe water, and millions die needlessly from treatable waterborne diseases. Better plumbing is a vital part of the solution. World Plumbing Day is intended to remind us that we as professionals in the plumbing industry can improve global health, help conserve the world's water resources, and contribute to a cleaner world. Here's how you can participate in World Plumbing Day:
Dishwashers: Did you know?
One of the topics we discuss in the Green Plumbers class Caring For Our Water is the difference between washing dishes by hand and using an automatic dishwasher. Contrary to what you might think, the machines save energy, water and money. New ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers use less than half as much energy as washing dishes by hand. These dishwashers use less than 6 gallons per complete cycle. Compare that to typical hand washing of dishes--with the water running for 10 minutes. The typical machine will save nearly 5,000 gallons of water per year!
Statistics indicate that over the lifetime of the ENERGY STAR dishwasher, water and energy savings approach $430 compared to hand washing.
But keep in mind that to minimize water usage, the hot water needs to be available for the dishwasher within a few seconds of starting the cycle. A delayed cycle may not get the dishes as clean. Similarly, with hand washing, if the washing begins with cooler water, then the dishes aren't as clean. Also, no matter what claims are made by the dishwasher manufacturer, an air gap is always required (sec 807.4 UPC).
Fix A Leak Week: March 14-20th
The average American household wastes 10,000 gallons of water each year because of leaking appliances. That's enough water to fill a swimming pool! To help spread awareness about the many quick fixes around the home, the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA) is teaming up with WaterSense on March 14-20th, 2011 to promote the third annual Fix A Leak Week.
The week's events will equip the public with the knowledge they need to conserve water by fixing common leaks at home. For example, anyone can test for a leaky toilet by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank before going to bed at night. If the color shows up down in the bowl the next morning, the toilet flapper is broken and there's a leak. A new flapper from a local supply store should remedy the problem.
To learn about events that are being held across the country in celebration of Fix A Leak Week, follow WaterSense on Facebook.
Written exclusively for Green Plumbers by John Smith. He is the 2010 Green Plumber of the Year and owner of the Arizona Green Plumbers with locations in Phoenix and Tucson.
Green Plumbers Spotlight: Syntrol Pushes the Green Plumbing Movement Forward
Syntrol Plumbing, Heating and Air in Sacramento County, California, have been training its plumbers to incorporate environmental and water-saving practices into their work since 2007. Last year, the company replaced over 200 high volume toilets with water-saving high efficiency toilets. Vice President of Syntrol, Todd Fulton, proudly proclaimed, "Working with water as a lifetime profession naturally motivates me to lead others in changing the course of water consumption and habits. We spread the word at every opportunuity!" Fulton was in the first Green Plumbers USA class offered in Sacramento four years ago. Now more than half of Syntrol's employees are Accredited Green Plumbers.
Fulton recently made a presentation to two local sixth grade classes at Travis Air Force Base about the history of plumbing and water conservation. When asked what he thought of the students, Fulton observed, "Today's students are much more in tune with water conservation goals and practices than those of my generation. They understand the reasons why conserving water is so important, and they appear to really enjoy making water-wise changes in their own homes. Whenever I speak to a younger generation about water conservation, I feel that our collective future is in good hands."