Volunteer plumbers help homeowners save water, money

Volunteer plumbers fanned out across the Twin Cities, Mankato and Rochester Saturday for the annual “Water’s Off” program sponsored by trade unions and union contractor associations. They provided repairs to the homes of more than 100 low-income seniors and homeowners with disabilities.

“Since 1994, volunteers have given thousands of hours of time and donated over $500,000 of service work,” said Steve Pettersen, executive vice president of the Minnesota Mechanical Contractors Association. “Most important you have helped thousands of homeowners and connected with members of your community,” he told the volunteers.

Members of Rochester Plumbers Local 6(link is external), Minneapolis Plumbers Local 15(link is external) and St. Paul and Mankato Plumbers Local 34(link is external) gathered early Saturday at sites in Mankato, Rochester and the Twin Cities for breakfast and to get their assignments. They also were greeted by local elected officials.

The unions partner with community agencies to identify homeowners in need of plumbing services. Union contractors from the Minnesota Mechanical Contractors Association(link is external) and the Metro Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Associations provide the use of their vehicles, gas, tools and parts. There is no cost to the homeowners.

The program was developed to repair minor plumbing problems by replacing or fixing fixtures, reducing water usage and lowering costs for these families.

"This is our chance to give back to families who need our assistance," Tom McCarthy, business manager for Local 34, said in an interview with KSTP-TV. "There is also an opportunity to teach the homeowner the importance of conserving water."

Photo of Water's Off crew

Article reprinted from WorkdayMinnesota.org.