Mid-Year Report 2017
California's Recycled Water Requirements Will Not Apply Indoors for Use in Toilets and Urinals
PMI successfully advocated that California recycled water quality infrastructure requirements for new commercial and residential construction will not apply indoors for use in toilets and urinals. PMI successfully persuaded the California Building Standards Commission, California Department of Housing and Community Development, and California Department of Water Resources to not adopt these requirements.
Working to Preserve and Maintain the WaterSense Program
PMI sent a letter in April to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, urging the agency to maintain funding and support for the WaterSense program, which was one of 50 programs slated for elimination in President Trump's FY18 budget request.
In May, PMI members met with a key EPA political staffer to discuss the importance of preserving and maintaining the WaterSense program, as well as the agency's proposed rule for the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act issued in Jan. 2017.
PMI and D.C.-based member lobbyists coordinated their legislative strategies to meet with more than 100 congressional offices about WaterSense. As a result, a House Appropriations FY18 Interior/EPA Budget Subcommittee report rejected the elimination of the EPA WaterSense program.
PMI continues to work with key House and Senate lawmakers to include language calling for the EPA to preserve and maintain the WaterSense program in the FY18 EPA budget bill and Senate Appropriations Committee report. Appropriations measures for all the agencies are likely to be wrapped up in one omnibus bill that can be voted on as early as September.
Kerry Stackpole Hired As New CEO/Executive Director
New PMI CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole began on June 12, 2017, by attending PMI's Sacramento Fly-In, where he participated in meetings with the California Energy Commission, California Building Standards Commission and various legislators on issues including recycled water, tub spout diverters and water efficiency and safety. During June, he also attended the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) meeting in Ottawa, Ontario, and was interviewed by Water Quality Association Radio, an industry podcast.
The news release announcing his appointment achieved nearly 10,000 views on Business Wire, as well as 527 social media mentions reaching an audience of about 61,000 people. The release had about 280 online postings. Trade media picking up the story included American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) Pipeline, Contractor, Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, Morningstar, Plumber, Plumbing and Mechanical, Plumbing Engineer, Reeves Journal, Supply House Times, Water Quality Products, and Yahoo.
KEROX and Haws Corporation Join As PMI Members
KEROX joined as an allied member, and Haws Corporation as a manufacturing member.
2017 Conference Keynote Speakers and Agenda Set
Three interesting and insightful keynote speakers - Doc Hendley, Bruce Vincentand Andrew McAllister - have been booked for "The Spirit of Collaboration," the 2017 PMI Conference, to be held Nov. 13-16 in Sonoma Wine Country, Calif. With one of these speakers kicking off each day's program, attendees will benefit from inspiring messages relating to safe water and plumbing, environmental and economic sustainability, and water and energy policy.
Huffington Post Names PMI Flint Relief Effort One of Top "Good News" Stories of 2016
This recognition by the Huffington Post caused PMI to receive many thanks and well wishes via email, social media and the PMI website from individuals across the nation. Other major PMI news during the first six months included the release of the PMI/Alliance for Water Efficiency saturation study on high-efficiency toilets in five key states, PMI's call for the preservation and maintenance of the EPA's WaterSense program, PMI Technical Director Matt Sigler being named to two industry committees, and more.
Read Huffington Post article.
Value of PMI Communications Up to Nearly $300,000 So Far This Year
PMI outreach to traditional media, as well as its activity on social media, raised the total estimated value of PMI media communications to $298,337 for the first six months of the year, against a cost of $46,000, for a 6.5 to 1 return. The Linked In and Twitter social platforms continue to show strong engagement from key audiences. In 2016, the total estimated value of PMI outreach to traditional media for the entire year was $277,000 against a cost of $52,000, for a 5.3 to 1 return. Last year, the value and cost of social media were not estimated.
Study Estimates Up To 170-Billion-Gallon Water Savings Per Year Through Water-Efficient Toilets
Water-efficient toilets could potentially save up to 170 billion potable gallons of water per year across five states facing water scarcity, according to research released by the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) and Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI). The "Saturation Study of Non-Efficient Water Closets in Key States" focused on Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia and Texas - all states that have experienced serious water shortages. The savings projected by the study (170 billion gallons of potable water yearly or 465 million gallons saved per day) could be achieved if non-efficient toilets in residential properties are replaced with water-efficient ones. This five-state savings can be extrapolated to an estimate of up to 360 billion potable gallons of water per year saved nationally.
FTC Eliminates Requirement for Standardized Markings
Based on PMI input, the Federal Trade Commission revised its labeling and marking requirements for plumbing products (16 CFR Part 305), eliminating the requirement for standardized markings on faucets, showerheads, water closets and urinals.
Standard Harmonization Successes Achieved
Along with member companies, PMI persuaded the National Water Commission of Mexico (CONAGUA) to revise its plumbing faucet, fitting and valve standard (PROY-NOM-012-CONAGUA-2015) to more closely match the requirements found in the U.S. and Canadian standard (ASME A112.18.1/CSA B125.1).
PMI and the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) obtained an agreement from UL and CSA to begin the harmonization process for standards UL 1795 and CSA C22.2 No. 218.2 (Hydromassage Bathtubs) and UL 1951 and CSA C22.2 No. 287 (Electric Plumbing Accessories).
PMI Technical Recommendations Take Hold
At the Uniform Plumbing Code Hearings in Anaheim, and confirmed later through the letter ballot process, 22 of 26 public comments (85% success rate) voted on by the technical committee were in favor of PMI's positions. At the National Standard Plumbing Code Hearings in Atlantic City, 23 of 26 code proposals (88% success rate) voted on by the technical committee were in favor of PMI's positions.
The City of Vancouver, British Columbia, included within its by-law amendments several recommendations from PMI in regard to water consumption requirements for lavatory faucets, kitchen faucets, showerheads, water closets and urinals.
PMI convinced the Illinois AWWA Backflow Committee to revise its backflow guidance bulletins, which are used by plumbing inspectors in Illinois, to recognize dual check or double check valves in accordance with ASSE 1014 for handheld showers.
PMI persuaded the ASME A112 Standards Committees to not open a project (as requested by the Natural Resources Defense Council and United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada) to change the maximum flow rate and flush volume requirements in the ASME/CSA plumbing fixture and fixture fitting standards.
Letters to 115th Congress and President Trump Delivered
PMI congratulated members of the new 115th Congress and outlined the industry's priorities in a letter, including underscoring the association's strong support of the EPA's WaterSense program. In addition, PMI also sent a letter to President Donald Trump providing an overview of PMI and highlighting the importance of WaterSense and water infrastructure programs.
Comments on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act
PMI submitted comments in May to the EPA in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking. PMI opposed the agency's new dual labeling requirement, but strongly supported its proposal to require American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited third-party certification of products to the EPA lead-free requirements.
#PMIValue Videos Created
The PMI communications team created 13 videos with PMI members attesting to the value of PMI membership. These videos were posted on the Safe Plumbing YouTube page, the safeplumbing.org website, and on PMI and Safe Plumbing social media platforms. The team plans to shoot more of these videos at the November PMI Conference.
View all of the videos.
Safe Plumbing Website Achieves Excellent Search Engine Optimization
SafePlumbing.org continues to perform well in positioning PMI as an authoritative resource, with the website appearing in the top 10 in Google search on 50 of our targeted key words and phrases, such as "safe plumbing," "plumbing manufacturing," "plumbing public health and safety," "water efficient plumbing," and "lead in plumbing." Early this year, the PMI communications team updated the website's lead-in-plumbing page to assure that it continued to be up-to-date and accurate. This page received 76,497 views from Jan, 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 - the most of any page on the website - with the Flint water crisis serving as the catalyst for this increased visibility. This page ranks first in Google search for the phrase "lead in plumbing," thereby making accurate and up-to-date information available to those interested in this topic rather than misleading information coming from other sources.
PMI Participates in PILC Meeting
A record 20 associations represented by the chief executives and their volunteer leadership attended the 6th annual meeting of the Plumbing Industry Leadership Coalition (PILC), on May 24, 2017, at the headquarters of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) in Washington, D.C.
Federal Updates Provided to PMI Board and SAC at KBIS and PILC Meeting
In-depth federal legislative/regulatory updates were provided to the PMI's Board of Directors and Strategic Advisory Council at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS - Orlando, FL - Jan 2017) and during the Plumbing Leadership Industry Coalition (PILC) meeting in Washington, D.C. - May 2017.
PMI Hosts Trade Policy Developments Under Trump Administration Webinar
D.C.-based trade lawyers provided a webinar in March concerning "Trade Policy Developments under the Trump Administration," including updates on renegotiating NAFTA, buying America, and the potential for tariffs on Chinese products.
ICC and PMI Sign MoU
The International Code Council (ICC) and PMI entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) specifically detailing ways in which the two organizations will work together to explore the promotion of mutual interests within the industry as related to education, training, advocacy and harmonization of North American product standards.
2016 Year In Review Produced
As a summary of the 2016 quarterly reports, this review covers the value provided to PMI members by PMI's technical, advocacy and outreach initiatives - as well as other highlights of 2016.
Sixth Biennial EWTS Scheduled
Against the backdrop of a new U.S. federal government that will no doubt impact the future of the plumbing and water efficiency industries, PMI, the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE), and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), in cooperation with the World Plumbing Council (WPC), announced that the sixth biennial Emerging Water Technology Symposium (EWTS) will take place May 15-16, 2018, in Ontario, Calif. A Call for Abstracts for this highly respected event also was issued.
Urgent Response Process Developed
Based on ideas and input from PMI members, the Board of Directors has developed and approved an Urgent Response Process (URP). The protocol provides clear guidance for managing issues and streamlines the decision-making process for new and existing policy issues. The new URP has been used to support prompt action with the United State Congress and requests from allied associations for PMI support.
Written Comments on Technical Issues
The PMI Technical Committee submitted written comments to:
- California GREEN & PEME Code Action Committees, in regard to CA AB 2282 (recycled water).
- EPA WaterSense, in regard to its notice of intent to develop a draft specification for bath and shower diverters.
- EPA, in regard to its notice of proposed rulemaking for the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0680).
- New York Assembly Member Pamela J. Hunter (D) and Senator David J. Valesky (D), in regard to their proposed bills (NY AB 5699 & SB 4591) that impacted water consumption requirements for plumbing fixtures and fittings.
- Massachusetts Representative Frank Smizik (D), in regard to his proposed bill (MA H.3404) that impacted water consumption requirements for plumbing fixtures and fittings.
- California Energy Commission (CEC), in regard to its proposed rulemaking (Docket #17-AAER-09) that would lower the leakage requirements for tub spout diverters sold in California.
PMI Works For You By Attending These Events & Meetings
- Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) (Orlando, FL)
- ASME A112/CSA Meetings (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
- ASHRAE Winter Conference (Las Vegas, NV)
- Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
- Council of Manufacturing Associations' 2017 Winter Leadership Conference
- CONAGUA Meeting (Mexico City, Mexico)
- CDA's Cross-Contamination of Copper and Brass Scrap Summit (Chicago, IL)
- Flint Water Infrastructure Summit (Flint, Michigan)
- National Standard Plumbing Code Meetings (Atlantic City, NJ)
- 2017 ISH Conference and World Plumbing Council Meeting (Frankfurt, Germany). PMI staff visited with all members at the conference, met with potential new members, and identified industry trends.
- IAPMO WE-Stand Committee Meetings (Ontario, CA)
- Uniform Plumbing Code Hearings (Anaheim, CA)
- ICC PMG Code Action Committee Meetings (Chicago, IL)
- Sacramento Fly-In (Sacramento, CA). Visited with the California Building Standards Commission, California Energy Commission and various state legislators.
- ASME A112/CSA Meetings (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
- ASHRAE Summer Meetings (Long Beach, CA)
- Matt Sigler visited Jing Mei Industrial (USA), Inc.; NSF International; Reliance Worldwide Corporation; Similor AG; Toto Europe; and Viega LLC (Germany).
- Kerry Stackpole visited Sloan Valve Company.
- Barbara C. Higgens visited Speakman Company and Jing Mei Industrial (USA), Inc.
Tub Spout Diverter Leakage Rate
PMI is advocating against California reducing the leakage rate for tub spout diverters below the current requirements of 0.01 gpm when new (pre-life cycle) and 0.05 gpm after 15,000 cycles (post-life cycle). If pursued in formal regulations, the lower rates could apply in two years to new products offered for sale in the state.
Institutional Showerhead Exemptions
PMI is proposing that California revise its appliance efficiency regulations to exempt institutional showerheads from the 1.8 gpm maximum.
California Prop 65 Warning Requirements
PMI is informing members of changes they should consider making to the content of their Prop 65 warnings in advance of a 2018 effective date. Several revisions have been accomplished prior to adoption.
California Legislation Moving Forward
At this point in the legislative session, most legislation must have passed the house of origin, as well as the first committee in the second house. Measures moving forward include:
- Direct Potable Reuse - AB 574 [Quirk] would require the state to adopt uniform water recycling criteria for direct potable reuse through raw water augmentation once an expert review panel finds that the proposed criteria would adequately protect public health.
- School Water Conservation - AB 1343 [Chen] would authorize a public water system to offer, as part of a partnership, a rebate for a school that implements water-saving measures.
- Grants - SB 5 [De León] proposes a $3.5 billion bond that would include a grant program for recycled water and efficient use and conservation of water supplies.
- Grants - SB 210 [Leyva] would provide grant priority to schools that have tested their drinking water fixtures, and the results show that the drinking water either does not meet EPA drinking water standards for lead or is above the California maximum contaminant level for any other contaminant.
- Lead Service Lines - SB 427 [Leyva] would require community water systems that have identified known lead user service lines in use in their distribution systems to provide a timeline for replacement of those service lines.
- Conservation Financing- SB 564 [McGuire] would allow joint powers authorities to finance water conservation improvements and charge through water bills
Low Flow and Opportunistic Pathogen Growth Study Underway
The results from a new PMI funded study focused on managing the potential threats from low flow and opportunistic pathogens in the water supply will be presented at the 2017 PMI Annual Conference. The study is being conducted under the direction of Dr. Paul Sturman, research professor and industrial coordinator at Montana State University. Dr. Sturman holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering with a specialty in biofilms in waste remediation and industrial systems.
WaterSense Authorization Bills in Development
Clean Safe Reliable Water Infrastructure Act [Boozman (R-Ark.)/Cardin (D-Md.)] - S. 1137 - PMI is currently working with the co-sponsors to modify and strengthen WaterSense sections of the legislation. S. 1137 could be included in a comprehensive Senate infrastructure package.
Water Advanced Technologies for Efficient Resources Use Act of 2017 [Cartwright-Pa.] - H.R. 3248 - PMI worked with congressional staff in June to modify the WaterSense authorization section of this bill, which also directs federal agencies to give purchase preference to WaterSense-certified products and services. It also incentivizes consumers to purchase and install residential water-efficient products or services.
Water Efficiency Improvement Act of 2017 [Udall (D-N.M.)] - PMI and D.C.-based member lobbyists worked closely with staff to successfully draft bill text to be introduced as a stand-alone measure and as an amendment to the Senate energy bill. PMI worked to secure bipartisan support.
Water Infrastructure Bill Update
Drinking Water System Improvement Act of 2017 - The House Energy & Commerce Committee is moving a bipartisan bill to authorize $8 billion over 5 years to boost funding for EPA's drinking water infrastructure loan program. The bill also authorizes $25 million over five years for grants to help schools replace drinking water fountains tainted with lead that were manufactured prior to 1988. In addition, the bill requires the EPA national needs survey to include the costs of lead service line replacements. The measure directs EPA to study and report on existing and potential technologies for the treatment and distribution of drinking water. This bill could be included in a comprehensive infrastructure bill that Congress may attempt to assemble later this year.
Content about Legionella in Development
PMI is developing a new publication titled "Just The Facts: Legionella and Water Supply Systems" for use by PMI members to better understand the nature and cause of legionella bacteria and its impact on the water supply systems. The content includes a comprehensive overview of the issues and detailed reference footnotes. The material was reviewed by a legionella expert and PMI's legal counsel to assure the integrity and accuracy of the material at for its publication. The booklet will be available on the PMI website and in booklet form from PMI.