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Xylem wins award for employee engagement program

April 17th, 2014

RYE BROOK, N.Y. – Xylem Inc. has been chosen to receive the 2014 Corporate Excellence Award from Charities@Work, an alliance of four nonprofit federations that serves as the cooperative voice for more than 2,000 international, national, and local charities. The award was presented at the Charities@Work 13th Annual Best Practices Summit on Employee Engagement in Corporate Citizenship in New York on April 4.

Xylem received the Corporate Excellence Award in recognition of its employee engagement activities, including a matching gifts program, volunteer opportunities, and senior leadership and executive participation. Director of Corporate Citizenship and Social Investment Michael Fields accepted the award on behalf of Xylem.

“I am proud of the achievements Xylem Watermark has been able to make with our employee engagement program,” Fields said. “Xylem has always taken pride in devoting our technology, time, and talent to advance the smarter use of water. We applaud our employees for their consistent dedication in helping us find solutions to water issues around the world, and we are pleased to be recognized for our strong engagement program and commitment to making it a success.”

Each year, Xylem Watermark offers employees a variety of ways to make their mark on the global water crisis. Through the Employee Matching Gifts Program, Xylem matches each employee’s contributions up to $5000 per year, and in some water-related emergencies, double matches contributions to Xylem Watermark’s nonprofit partners. Employees can also serve as Watermark Champions, leading their offices in programs and fundraisers to help solve water challenges. In addition, an average of 50 employees each year travel to the field with Xylem Watermark’s nonprofit partners to take an active role in addressing critical water needs for communities.

Xylem Watermark’s mission is to provide and protect safe water resources for communities around the world, and does so through a holistic strategy including nonprofit partnerships, corporate citizenship, thought leadership – and employee engagement.

Xylem Watermark is the global corporate citizenship and social investment program of Xylem Inc., a leading global water technology provider. The program seeks to provide and protect safe water resources for vulnerable communities around the world. Xylem Watermark partners with leading international humanitarian organizations – Water For People, Mercy Corps, China Women’s Development Foundation, Planet Water Foundation and Fundación Avina – to support communities in more than 20 countries around the world. Through these partnerships, and by engaging Xylem’s employees around the world, the program has reached more than 2.3 million people with clean water and sanitation solutions since 2008. Learn more at

Charities@Work is an alliance of four nonprofit federations (America’s Charities, Community Health Charities, EartheShare and Global Impact) that serves as the cooperative voice for more than 2000 international, national, and local charities. Its purpose is to provide employers with an efficient way to enhance their employee engagement programs and initiatives and to respond to growing employee interest in a wider range of giving options. The Charities@Work 13th Annual Best Practices Summit on Employee Engagement in Corporate Citizenship brings together new speakers and valuable content through interactive plenary sessions, workshops and peer-to-peer breakout sessions. The Corporate Excellence Award is the top award, given annually to one corporation for overall excellence in employee engagement or Corporate Social Responsibility.

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Mr. Rooter Plumbing creatively celebrates World Health Day

April 16th, 2014

WACO, Texas — April 7 is not only the founding date of the World Health Organization (WHO), it has also become a day to raise awareness of ongoing health concerns “World Health Day.” Each year, a new awareness theme is created to focus attention on public health concerns and encourage families to take action to protect themselves. This year, the WHO focused on bringing to light the threats vector-borne illnesses pose to people around the world.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing traveled abroad in 2009, working with Haitian communities to teach locals simple water purification approaches, making clean water a possibility for the villages. After seeing the contamination they endured, Mr. Rooter Plumbing wanted to continue that outreach.

This year, Mr. Rooter Plumbing decided to utilize a zombie/apocalypse theme in its outreach about clean water and high standards for sanitation. Mr. Rooter Plumbing celebrated World Health Day, and keeping zombies at bay, by following these steps to better protect against water-borne illnesses:
1. Pick up a water filter for home faucets to guarantee contamination-free water.
2. Don’t let loved ones swallow water in swimming pools, hot tubs, rivers, fountains, or oceans.
3. Avoid flushing non-degradable products; this damages sewage treatment processes and causes water pollution.
4. When traveling, bring bottled waters along. But, don’t forget to recycle them!
5. Turn off running tap water to prevent water shortages and reduce the amount of contaminated water needing treatment.
6. Keep an eye on what goes down the drain. Don’t let paints or oils run down them; they’ll contribute to contamination!
7. Try to use environmentally friendly household cleaning products and toiletries.
8. Allow a plumbing professional to clean up any waste or sewage leaks in or around the home. Vector-borne illnesses often camp out in these messy conditions.
9. Clean up litter in your community, and throw it away. If left alone, it’ll contribute to water contamination.
10. Learn common symptoms for water-borne illnesses; education is the best form of protection. Share the wealth of knowledge with family and friends to help them protect themselves as well.

Check out the zombie/apocalypse video that Mr. Rooter Plumbing created in its outreach efforts at: 

LIXIL donates to UNICEF Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan

April 15th, 2014

PISCATAWAY, N.J. ―LIXIL Corporation, a global leader in the housing products and building materials industry, announced that in collaboration with American Standard Brands, its wholly owned subsidiary in the U.S., it supplied UNICEF Philippines with 10,000 SaTo hygienic toilet pans to support reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.

SaTo – pronounced SAH-toh, derived from “Safe Toilet” – is a sanitary toilet pan designed by American Standard Brands for use in Bangladesh. It works without sewer infrastructure and uses ingeniously simple mechanical and water seals to close off pit latrines from the open air, reducing the transmission of disease. LIXIL and American Standard collaborated to donate these pans to the Philippines, where UNICEF estimates that as many as 4 million children may be affected by the disaster. UNICEF intends to employ the toilet pans as an interim solution until the sewage system in the area can be rebuilt.

“We are delighted UNICEF will be using the toilet pans to effectively improve sanitation in the disaster-stricken area. Improving world sanitation is a key corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative for LIXIL,” said Harumi Matsumura, executive officer and senior managing director, public relations, CSR and environmental for Lixil.

This commitment to supporting the area is in addition to the 10 million JPY ― nearly $100,000 in U.S. dollars ― and 10,000 plates, bowls and spoons donated immediately after the typhoon struck in November 2013.

In addition to emergency responses such as these, LIXIL is implementing the “ISIS 2018” Project, as part of a wider program focused on improved sanitation with UNICEF. This initiative was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations in November 2013.

Victoria Bolam, global brand and CSR director for Lixil, explained that the Improved Sanitation In Schools 2018 (ISIS 2018) program will provide improved sanitation facilities and education to 2,018,000 school children worldwide by the end of 2018. A minimum of 44,000 children will benefit from sanitation education and basic sanitation kits in the Philippines in 2014, and 16,000 school children in rural schools in China will receive new toilet facilities in July.

“LIXIL’s most challenging ISIS project is the installation of eco-sanitation toilet systems in schools located in the poorest and most marginalized communities in Mukuru, Nairobi. These involve design, construction, education, maintenance, compost manufacture and compost sales. The first system will be installed at the beginning of April this year, and will benefit up to 400 children,” Bolam said. “Improved sanitation is not just about toilets. It is about improved health, education, safety, and, most importantly, dignity. We are committed to finding workable, scalable solutions which provide an impactful solution to this global issue.”


U.S. DOE to present webinar on compliance, enforcement for plumbing products

April 14th, 2014

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), on April 17, from 2-3:30pm (EST), will host an online webinar titled “DOE Certification, Compliance, and Enforcement Overview for Plumbing Products.”

Last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection finalized regulations that allow officials to refuse admission of consumer products and industrial equipment that are found to be noncompliant with energy conservation and labeling standards, including plumbing products.

“This is the second time in the last couple of years that the plumbing industry has partnered with DOE to provide industry specific guidance,” said Dain Hansen, vice president of Government Relations for IAPMO.
“With U.S. Customs and Border Protection now increasing its ability to enforce and refuse entry to noncompliant products, this training is coming at an opportune time.”

The webinar will explain the obligations that manufacturers, private labelers and importers must meet to ensure their plumbing products comply with the federal water consumption regulations. These obligations include testing in accordance with the appropriate test procedures to ensure compliance with the applicable standard and annually certifying to DOE the compliance of these products.

DOE will explain how to certify compliance as well as the steps DOE takes to ensure products are indeed compliant with their applicable standards. A recently implemented customs rule regarding importation of
products regulated by DOE and the steps importers must take to ensure their products are properly imported prior to sale in the U.S. will also be discussed.

Under authority from the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (as amended), DOE regulates the water consumption of specific plumbing products. These products include faucets, showerheads, water closets,
urinals, and commercial pre-rinse spray valves.

IAPMO R&T Lab and IAPMO R&T have partnered with DOE for nearly 10 years as a provider of third-party testing and certification services to such DOE consumer product labeling programs as ENERGY STAR and U.S.
EPA’s WaterSense.

Participants may register at

Veteran appreciates new home from Homes for Our Troops

April 11th, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Marine Sergeant Jordan Maynard described his new home in Cottonwood, Ariz., with both disbelief and gratitude in his voice. Injured after stepping on an IED while doing foot patrol during his second deployment in Afghanistan in 2011, Maynard was forced to amputate both of his legs above the knee after the blast. He soon found that the residence he was once living in was no longer a good fit, as it could not accommodate his injuries and new lifestyle.

Homes for Our Troops (HfOT), an organization that builds new homes for injured war veterans using donations of money, labor, and materials for construction, chose Maynard to be the recipient for a new home that would be custom designed to fit his unique physical needs and allow him to feel liberated and independent. Since 2011, HARDI has collaborated with the organization by donating funds and equipment through the silent auction and HALO walk held in conjunction with HARDI’s annual conference. This year, HARDI was able to donate over $16,000 in money and donations of material and equipment to Homes for Our Troops.

On February 1, the town of Cottonwood held a special ceremony for Sergeant Maynard, attended by US Armed Forces veterans and Marine Corps soldiers, where he was officially handed the keys to his new home. Before that, the community held a spaghetti supper where $6,106 was contributed to Homes for Our Troops in honor of Sergeant Maynard. To date, Cottonwood has raised more money for Homes for Our Troops than any other city. No small feat for a town with a population of just over 11,000 people.


PMI Supports Senate Legislation Authorizing WaterSense Program

April 10th, 2014

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — On April 9, 2014, Senator Tom Udall (D) of New Mexico introduced legislation, The WaterSense Efficiency, Conservation, and Adaptation Act, that would authorize and enhance the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program, providing a dedicated source of funding for the water equivalent of Energy Star.

“We applaud Senator Udall for introducing this legislation which recognizes the importance of the WaterSense program, a public-private partnership, that encourages consumers to decrease indoor water use through more efficient plumbing products, services, and practices which will save water, as well as money and energy,” said Barbara C. Higgens, Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) CEO/Executive Director. Visit

IAPMO prepares for 4th International Emerging Technology Symposium

April 10th, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va. — On  April 23 – 24, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va., well-known experts in the fields of water and energy efficiency will gather for the fourth International Emerging Technology Symposium (IETS).

The experts will discuss emerging products and practices and exchange views on new trends in the industry. Ideas and approaches about emerging technologies coming to market will be shared so that attendees can learn about innovative green plumbing and mechanical concepts, view presentations, and engage in timely discussions on how the water utility, manufacturing, engineering and trade industries have found solutions through emerging technologies in the water efficiency, plumbing and mechanical industries.

Sponsors, presenters, and panelists participating in this symposium represent a diverse body of knowledge in the fields of:
• Water, Sanitation and Health
• Water and Energy Efficiency
• Water Reuse
• Solar and Other Renewable Energies
• Water Quality
• Fat, Oil and Grease Discharges
• Advancements in Mechanical Systems
• Plumbing Research Initiatives
• Laws, Regulations and Policy Development
• New Efficiencies in HVAC
• Topics raised by audience participants during the symposium

The following are a few of the planned Emerging Technology Symposium Presentations to discuss emerging trends, practices and products:

“Comparing the Energy Requirements of Hot Water Circulation System Control Strategies” by Gary Klein, Affiliated International Management, LLC

“Emerging Opportunities for Heat Metering” by James Critchfield, Director, Clean Energy Initiatives, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

“Emerging Residential Scale Prevention Technologies” by Pauli Undesser, WQA Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs

“Potable Water Hygiene System – A Novel Approach for Drinking Water Installations” by Dr. Roland Blumenthal, Kemper Building Technology

“WaterSense Flushes Out Concerns With High‐Efficiency Commercial Plumbing” Stephanie Tanner, Lead Engineer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense and Robert Pickering, Environmental Engineer, Eastern Research Group Inc.

“Moving to continuous water supply in urban India: Implications for Last Mile infrastructure” by Kyle Konda – UNC Water Institute

“Bio-aerosols in Building Drainage and Plumbing Systems: Cross Contamination, Monitoring and Prevention” by Dr. Michael Gormley, Institute for Building and Urban Design, The School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland

“Solid Transport in Near Horizontal Drain Lines: Mechanisms and Modeling Under Low Water Usage Criteria” byDr. Michael Gormley, Institute for Building and Urban Design, The School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt

“Innovative Technologies in Commercial Foodservice” by Don Fisher, President/CEO of Fisher-Nickel, Inc.

This 2014 symposium is a highly anticipated reprise of the 2008, 2010 and 2012 symposiums.

“This symposium represents an exciting opportunity to highlight how our industry creates and adapts to emerging technologies through the use of a vital emerging technology,” said IAPMO Executive Director GP Russ Chaney. “The event promises to be tremendously informative, as we trust a great many unique organizations will seize the opportunity by providing their most highly-qualified experts as presenters and panelists.”

Goals of the Emerging Technology Symposium
• Provide outstanding networking opportunities to meet experts in the fields of water and energy efficiency.
• Expose participants to emerging products and practices.
• Exchange views on new trends in the industry.
• Share ideas and approaches on bringing emerging technologies to market.
• Discuss innovative green plumbing and mechanical concepts.
• Provide vision for a more efficient future for plumbing and mechanical systems

Full Registration includes IAPMO Members – $495, Non-members – $595. And, One-Day Only Registration includes IAPMO Members – $300, Non-members – $360.


PMI welcomes new technical director

April 9th, 2014

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. — Barbara C. Higgens, CEO/Executive Director of Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) has named Matt Sigler as PMI’s technical director, effective immediately.

As technical director, Sigler is in charge of analyzing and reporting proposed code and standard changes, maintaining and managing effective relationships with PMI members, certification agencies and industry peers. Sigler will also represent PMI at various industry meetings and code hearings.

Most recently, Sigler was a plumbing code development administrator with the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) in Ontario, California. During his tenure with IAPMO, Sigler managed the development of several Uniform Plumbing Codes and provided technical assistance to IAPMO’s membership. Sigler comes to PMI with the full support and blessing of IAPMO which is an Allied Member of the organization.

“We are delighted to welcome Matt to the PMI team. He comes to PMI highly recommended by his peers and with the blessing of IAPMO. We look forward to working with him. He is a great addition to our talented staff,” noted Higgens.

Previously, Sigler worked as a consultant for CodeSmart, LLC of Indiana and a corporate manager of code administration for C.P. Morgan Communities in Indianapolis, IN. He has a Bachelor of Science in Construction Technology/Management from Indiana State University as well as a number of industry certifications. He is a member of the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) and has served on several of their technical committees. Additionally, he served on technical committees for the International Code Council (ICC), and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) where he served on the Board of Directors from 2005-2009—during that same time frame, Sigler was also the national director of the Indiana Builders Association.

CSA Group joins ASPE’s Affiliate Sponsorship program

April 8th, 2014

CHICAGO, Ill. — The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) is pleased to announce that CSA Group, a global testing and certification organization and standards development organization (SDO), has joined ASPE’s Affiliate Sponsorship program. As an ASPE Affiliate Sponsor, CSA Group will benefit from numerous opportunities to build name recognition within the North American plumbing engineering community.

“We are very excited to become an ASPE Affiliate Sponsor,” says Glenn Tubrett, Global Business Leader of Plumbing for CSA Group. “CSA Group has a long history developing standards and encouraging best practices within the plumbing industry. Working with the other ASPE sponsors, we will be able to reach more industry groups and continue to help make plumbing products and services safer for everyone.”

As Canada’s largest SDO, CSA Group has developed more than 3,000 standards, codes, and related products in a wide range of subject areas affecting product safety and performance, process improvement, best practices, and safer work environments. In addition, CSA Group provides consumer product testing and certification services for a broad range of industries including industrial equipment, plumbing and construction, electro-medical and healthcare, appliances and gas, alternative energy, lighting, and sustainability.

“By becoming an ASPE Affiliate Sponsor, CSA Group joins an impressive list of prestigious plumbing industry manufacturers and service organizations,” says David Jern, ASPE’s Director of Affiliate Relations. “We look forward to working with CSA Group to increase awareness of the importance of plumbing system standards and product certification.”

ASPE Affiliate Sponsors gain a direct connection with ASPE’s 6,000 members via exposure in ASPE’s official publication, Plumbing Engineer, and its e-newsletter, ASPE Pipeline.


Tyco names new Sales Director, Water Products

April 7th, 2014

LANSDALE, Pa. — Tyco Fire Protection Products named Don Russell as the Sales Director, Water Products for the Americas region. In this role, Russell has responsibility for the sales leadership of the company’s fire sprinklers, resale items, and valves and devices that use water to suppress or extinguish fires.

Russell joined Tyco in 2004 as a regional manager for the GRINNELL Mechanical product segment, after spending five years with Victaulic, a mechanical pipe joining manufacturer. As regional manager, Russell supported Tyco’s re-launch of the GRINNELL brand into the U.S., developing a go-to-market strategy, building a sales team and developing the market channel. As the mechanical business grew, Don was then promoted to eastern divisional manager, and then again to director of sales for the company’s North American mechanical offering.

When Tyco wanted to further develop national accounts that required solutions across its numerous fire and mechanical products, Russell took on the role of director, national accounts. In this role, he focused on building out relationships with the company’s U.S. restaurant, government, distribution and reseller customers who used Tyco special hazards fire suppression, fire sprinkler systems, and mechanical products.

In 2011, Russell next accepted the position of director of sales, Eastern U.S., responsible for representing the company’s industry leading brands in addition to supporting national accounts. When Tyco acquired the mechanical piping company SHURJOINT in 2012, Russell was a leading member of the team who integrated the SHURJOINT business into the overall Tyco mechanical sales offering.



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