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The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) will be represented during a unique town hall meeting in southeast Texas on April 9, as UA Plumbers Local Union 68 Houston educates residents about the Safer Water for Nome pilot project.
Jeremy Pavlich, director of marketing and recruiting for Plumbers Local 68, will lead a discussion on water quality, infrastructure and programs available for residents, who will have the opportunity to sign up for free water-quality assessments.
“Over the past year we’ve located some plumbing contractors, gotten them ASSE certified in water-quality risk assessment, and prepared a workforce to go into Nome, Texas, to offer free water assessments for anybody in the area who maybe has questions about their water quality,” Pavlich said. “We will take feedback from citizens and information from anybody willing to take part in our free water assessment, and then we will actively get out to them — and come to their homes, their residences, their places of business — and give them a free assessment of their water, how it is, and possibly give them a good corrective measure on how we can fix this situation.”
Nome Mayor Kerry Abney is expected to attend the town hall meeting, along with John Mata, field services manager with the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO); licensed and bonded plumbing contractors; and a mix of citizens concerned about water quality.
The city’s water-quality issues originated with damage to its water treatment plant during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 and were exacerbated by recent winter storm conditions. The pilot project was inspired by a student leadership initiative at nearby Hardin-Jefferson High School that sought to identify local water-quality issues and potential solutions for them.
For Phase One of the pilot project, 25 journeymen plumbers — nine of whom are contractors — gathered at the Plumbers Local 68 Training Center on March 19 to become certified in ASSE 12060/12061: Professional Qualifications Standard for Water Management and Infection Control Risk Assessment for Building Systems.
During Phase Two later this month, the newly certified journeymen plumbers will perform water-quality risk assessments for Nome residents.
“The town hall meeting this week will build on the success of the initial training, completed in March,” said Jed Scheuermann, IWSH North American program director. “Now, eminently qualified individuals will go out into the community to perform water-quality risk assessments, and following this, laboratory testing will confirm which corrective measures are necessary. From there, another Community Action Day will begin the process of installing identified remedies. This ‘Safer Water for Nome’ effort will demonstrate the positive impact that occurs when a broad, skilled and compassionate group galvanizes around a common cause.”
The town hall meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. local time at Nome City Hall, 1586 2nd St. For those attending in person, social distancing guidelines will be in place, and masks will be strongly encouraged. The meeting will also be streamed online, via the following link: https://bit.ly/39QUVVE.