Leadership

Crowdsource: Plumbers For Flint

By / Jun 1, 2016 (Handout photo)

The plumbing industry tackles the Flint water crisis.

In the midst of the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan, a group of plumbing organizations stepped in to help ensure that residents had access to safe drinking water.

Members of Plumbing Manufacturers International donated faucets, water filters, and other plumbing supplies and installed them in local homes with help from the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry.

“The breach in Flint really demonstrates exactly how important plumbing is and how much people take the safety of plumbing for granted,” says Barbara Higgens, CEO and executive director of PMI, which represents the manufacturers of plumbing products. The crisis in Flint was also an opportunity for PMI to live out its vision that plumbing should always be safe and responsible.

“Flint gave us an opportunity to practice what we preach,” Higgens says.

The water crisis, which began in 2014 after the city switched its water supply from Detroit to the Flint River, came to a head last fall when it was confirmed that the city’s water tested for high levels of lead, and a state of emergency was declared.

For PMI and its members, the crisis provided an opportunity to give back, live out its vision, and stay relevant—something Higgens advises other associations to consider when looking at causes where they may be able to lend a hand.

“Just stay tuned to current events, and where there’s an opportunity to engage in current events, I think it’s a win-win,” she says.

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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