IWSH Works With Local High School Students in Effort to Improve Plumbing Systems in Lowndes County, Alabama


LOWNDES COUNTY, ALABAMA, UNITED STATES, May 24, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — The International Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) recently returned to Lowndes County, Alabama, to educate local high school students , how to conduct domestic plumbing surveys that evaluate the quality and functioning of the plumbing systems of homes.

IWSH has been working with LIXIL Americas, FujiClean USA and the Black Belt Unincorporated Wastewater Program (BBUWP) in Lowndes County for a number of years as part of a larger initiative to improve water efficiency and sanitation system functions in homes. The IWSH conducted a training session with 12 seniors from Central High School and Calhoun High School in Lowndes County. Trainees from Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 91 constructed product demonstration boards featuring faucets, pipes and other fittings so students could gain hands-on experience and learn about domestic plumbing systems. The high school students were also taught how to use the IWSH Household Plumbing Survey, a tool used to assess the effectiveness of indoor plumbing systems.

“The IWSH survey provides the information needed to repair home plumbing and help us create a more sustainable sanitation program,” said BBUWP Executive Director Sherry Bradley. “The training IWSH is conducting for local high school students will provide teenagers with the education and tools to complete these surveys and provide a much-needed service in their own community. We see these kids learning the right words about plumbing systems and understanding what doesn’t work in homes and why. The students are now an integral part of improving the quality of life for the people of Lowndes County.”

Based on the IWSH household plumbing surveys, IWSH and LIXIL Americas staff were able to analyze the repairs needed in each home surveyed. The IWSH then created worksheets that provided guidance for volunteer plumbers from the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada Locals 52, 91, 760, and South Central Pipe Trades—which are licensed in Alabama. Upgrading fixtures, fixtures and appliances in select homes with water efficient products donated by LIXIL Americas.

“We know there are many homes that need support. “People deserve access to proper sanitation and functioning sanitation systems with water-efficient technologies,” said Mike Webster, director of project management at LIXIL Americas. “In October 2022, IWSH came to Lowndes County to conduct a pilot home plumbing study with four high school students. The information gathered allowed BBUWP, IWSH and LIXIL to better understand what repairs were required and what materials LIXIL had to provide. During this visit, IWSH trained more students and surveyed more homes, which will ultimately help LIXIL achieve our goal of upgrading the indoor plumbing systems of 100 homes across Lowndes County.”

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Agriculture for Rural Development (USDA-RD) have prioritized this type of work in their community initiative, Closing America’s Wastewater Access Gap. More recently, the Department of Justice has directed the Alabama Department of Health and Human Services to conduct various public health improvement activities in Lowndes County.

“IWSH will continue to work in this area to improve home sanitation systems and address the need for septic tanks,” said Robyn Fischer, senior director of IWSH North America. “Through this program, the IWSH is training young people to use the Household Plumber Survey, which is designed to provide worksheets for licensed plumbers to perform needed repairs in homes across the county. It’s incredible to see the students learn the importance of water efficiency, understand how poor sanitation systems pose a threat to people’s health, and develop an interest in sanitation. By supporting community and local leadership engagement, as well as the important work of BBUWP and other partners, we can help increase access to more sustainable sanitation solutions and address public health issues.”

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The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) is the philanthropic arm of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO®). Visit www.iwsh.org for more information.

Mike Flenniken
The International Foundation for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
+1 909-937-9642

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Mike Flenniken, The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation

24 May 2023 at 18:53 GMT

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