Mar 02, 2017

PMI Shares 2017 Advocacy Efforts

Company focuses on educating policymakers

pmi, plumbing manufacturers, advocacy, policy, water, infrastructure

Plumbing Manufacturers Intl. (PMI) decided to focus its 2017 advocacy on a series of efforts intended to educate policymakers about the untapped water-saving potential of water-efficient plumbing products, potential threats to safe drinking water, and the need for a restored national water infrastructure.

While communications between PMI and policymakers about these issues are ongoing, CEOs and other top executives from PMI member companies will meet with legislative leaders during PMI’s Executive Forums and Fly-Ins June 13 to 14 in Sacramento, Calif., and late summer or fall in Washington. PMI CEO and Executive Director Barbara C. Higgens is available for background or comment on the following issues.

PMI and the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) have a study in progress to determine potential water savings that could be achieved by replacing older inefficient toilets with water-efficient models. With results due in spring 2017, the “Saturation Study of Non-Efficient Water Closets in Key States” is focused on Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia and Texas—states that have experienced serious water shortages. This research follows up a 2015 PMI/GMP Research Inc. study of water-efficient toilets, showerheads and faucets installed nationwide.

Another PMI study, in progress under the direction of Dr. Paul Sturman of Montana State University, will test the hypothesis that low flow rates yield a greater proliferation of opportunistic waterborne pathogens, such as legionella, in potable water and create unsafe conditions. The results of this study also are expected this spring.

PMI also is awaiting with interest for the results of a Virginia Tech study under the direction of Drs. Amy Pruden and Marc Edwards that is exploring the relative abundance and diversity of antibiotic-resistant genes and pathogens in reclaimed (recycled) versus potable water distribution systems. With results due in spring 2017, this study is particularly relevant given plans in California to expand the installation of recycled water systems that use non-potable water in toilets and urinals and with personal hygiene devices (bidet seats) installed by consumers after construction. Virginia Tech researchers also recently released the results of a study concluding that interrupted corrosion control caused the Flint, Mich., water crisis.

With an aging underground water infrastructure having been identified as a contributor to lead-in-water crises in Flint and other locations, congressional leaders from both parties have expressed interest in developing job-creating legislation that would restore American infrastructure. PMI will be urging Congress to address water infrastructural concerns through this legislation. Last summer, PMI introduced its water infrastructure advocacy through a position paper and infographic.

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