Restoring Our National Water Infrastructure

Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) advocates for the restoration of America’s aging underground water infrastructure to save water and improve water and sanitation safety. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) gave the U.S. drinking water and wastewater systems D grades on its most recent Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. Among the nation’s most significant challenges are 850 water main breaks a day, according to the Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that more than 1.7 trillion gallons of treated water are lost to leaks annually, with 16 percent of the treated water never reaching the tap.

Water supplies in America are becoming strained due to drought and regional population growth, as well, making a strong and efficient water infrastructure all the more important. Less precipitation in California and other states has dramatically reduced mountain snowpack and the amount of water stored in reservoirs. See the U.S. Drought Monitor, which shows parts of the country currently being affected by drought. In addition, there is greater demand for water in arid regions where population is growing, such as southern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) advocates the restoration of the United States’ underground water infrastructure to reduce risks to safe, sustainable drinking water and promote the efficient use of water. This solution will end catastrophic leakage and public safety hazards resulting from the current, aging infrastructure. The deterioration of the nation’s aging underground water infrastructure also has an adverse effect on public health and safety, as seen most dramatically in Flint, Mich., as well as in other cities and town across the nation.

PMI and its members are doing their part

PMI is committed to its vision of “Safe, responsible plumbing. Always.” As a key component in the overall water system, PMI members’ products maximize the efficient use of water. The next step to realizing PMI’s vision is to contribute our members’ expertise and thought leadership toward creating a safe, efficient and expanded underground water infrastructure that will meet the needs of all Americans, even those living in regions affected by water shortages.

PMI member products are highly regulated under federal law and product performance codes. These products are end-point devices such as toilets, showerheads and faucets that convey water within homes and commercial properties. These products comprise only a small part of the water delivery system, are separate from the underlying infrastructure, and rely on a sustainable supply of clean water to meet consumers’ needs. PMI advocates for regulations that will help to ensure safe water supplies and has close working relationships with water districts and associations dedicated to water safety. PMI was a leader in the development and passage of the bipartisan Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act, which took effect in 2014 and made lead reduction requirements uniform nationwide.