Welcome back! It is time for our Spotlight series. This space is reserved for highlighting all the great things our partners and customers are accomplishing worldwide. Today we are going beyond our distributors and focusing on the people that are in the field installing and maintaining our products These individuals are as much a part of Falcon’s journey to conserve water, as our employees. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Green Plumbers is a global brand formed by the Master Plumbers & Mechanical Services Association (MPMSAA) in Australia in 2000. They are an innovative, brand overlay and accreditation program that assists plumbers in understanding their role in the environment and public health. We had the pleasure of interviewing John Smith, the Vice President of Business Development for Green Plumbers USA last week about water conservation and how he, as an expert in green plumbing, sees the industry moving forward.
Tell us about your background and what your current roll in your industry is.
I have been a plumbing contractor for over 17 years. Five of those years, I have been involved in the Green Plumbing industry. My decision to become involved in Green Plumbing hinged on the recognition of the impact that the everyday plumber can make on water conservation. I took Green Plumbing training classes and implemented what I had learned in the day-to-day operations of my company. My efforts provided ways to elevate myself and my profession within the community, including being asked to be a guest on several local television programs, contributing to newspaper and magazine articles, hosting a radio show, and authoring a book on my Green Plumber journey. These efforts earned me the title of Green Plumber of the Year four years in a row. This past year, I accepted the position of Vice President of Business Development for Green Plumbers USA, a job that enables me to reach out to other plumbers and help them make the most of their personal and professional Green Plumber journey.
As a leader in green plumbing, how do you see the industry moving forward? Are there any practices (such as utilizing gray water) and products you foresee becoming more predominant in the market?
For Green Plumbing to move forward with the most success, a working relationship between municipalities and service industries will be essential. Education and programs to facilitate these relationships will play an important role. The everyday service contractor also needs to recognize that he or she has a relationship with water that goes beyond just getting through the day’s workload. Education on water conserving products and practices will make it the norm rather than the exception for plumbers to lead the way in water conservation.
While I certainly see use of gray water systems and other water conserving practices increasing in popularity, correct application of these practices is essential. Often, the interest in the product is there, but a complete understanding of the product by both users and installers may not be complete. Some water-saving methods, such as gray water systems, best rely on foresight in construction and planning of homes and businesses. Retrofitting such systems in existing structures may be cost-prohibitive; however, thoughtful planning prior to construction by municipalities, engineers, contractors, and manufacturers can make moving forward in the industry both effective and practical.
There are a lot of misconception regarding waterless technology. What’s your take on it and do you have any recommendations on how it works the best?
Like any other service contractor, plumbers tend to steer clear from the unknown. This may initially prevent them from utilizing some innovative and effective technology. If product-specific education can be provided to both the installer and consumer, it can open up their eyes to these options and the importance of their place and application. Personally, I have found waterless technology to work best in high traffic areas, such as stadiums, hotels, restaurants, and convention centers. These venues discourage lingering around the product for any length of time, resulting in a reduction in vandalism to the valves- it’s a “use it and leave” application. There is also not much of a concern that there will be continuous flushing, causing overflows.
Waterless urinals have been around in the U.S market for 15 years now. In your opinion how has the industry changed and what improvements have occurred?
The industry is changed by the manufacturer’s willingness to respond to user and installer feedback on their product. Actual use of a product is the best way to determine its weaknesses. Improvements have been continually made in waterless urinal technology to ensure that the products function to their optimal potential.
How has the current drought impacted your business and what recommendations do you have for commercial real estate owners on how to save water?
Concern for and interest in water conservation has driven more plumbing companies to look at ways they can work together with local municipalities to reach water-saving goals. Saving water is both a monetary and a global concern, and providing education is key to helping service professionals and consumers become better stewards of the environment.
I encourage commercial real estate owners to reach out to local Green Plumbers and have them provide a free water saving evaluation on their property. A list of licensed Green Plumbers in their area can be found at www.greenplumbersusa.com.