The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO®) Green Plumbers Training program and Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) in Fairfield, Maine, are teaming up to fix water leaks and recommend efficiency measures during the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/WaterSense Fix a Leak Week March 18-24.
Fix a Leak Week encourages Americans to help put a stop to the more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted from household leaks each year. According to the EPA’s WaterSense program, “Approximately 6 percent of total water use in commercial and institutional facilities in the U.S. takes place in educational facilities such as schools, universities, museums and libraries. The largest uses of water in educational facilities are restrooms, landscaping, heating and cooling, and cafeteria kitchens.”
KVCC’s innovative Energy Services and Technology Center began offering a new program in August 2012 that offers a dynamic and multi-faceted approach to trades-based education. The Energy Services and Technology Associate in Applied Science degree is a first-of-its-kind program in Maine, offering training in plumbing, HVAC, refrigeration, solid fuel, solar heating and cooling, geothermal and the Green Plumbers family of courses in one two-year program. Upon completion of the EST program, students will be eligible to pursue four state of Maine licensure opportunities in plumbing, oil burner, solid fuel, propane and natural gas, as well as the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency Refrigeration Certification. Students are also trained on conservation methods and are eligible to pursue the IAPMO Green Plumbers certification.
Prior to Fix a Leak Week, participating students in the EST program will have completed the Green Plumbers Caring for our Water and Inspection Report Service courses and will plan the data collection and audit portions of the project, working in conjunction with KVCC’s facilities maintenance department. Doug Kirk, director of curriculum for Green Plumbers Training (which is part of The IAPMO Group) will participate with KVCC in the project and will coordinate activities with KVCC Instructor Brad Harding.
“We are delighted that KVCC decided to participate in the WaterSense Fix a Leak Week,” said Steve Lehtonen, senior director of Environmental Education for Green Plumbers Training & Accreditation for The IAPMO Group, “because it highlights the KVCC commitment to the environment, and their commitment to creating multiple career pathways for students. We believe the KVCC program provides a model for community colleges around the country, increasing the value that graduates are able to offer to prospective employers.”
“We are truly honored to partner with IAPMO and their Green Plumbers program on the WaterSense Fix a Leak program,” said Dana Doran, KVCC’s director of Energy Programs. “This is an exceptional opportunity for our students to not only learn valuable lessons about water conservation, but have experiential learning which will also have a direct impact upon our campus. IAPMO has been a tremendous partner for the development of the EST program and we feel our students will only benefit from this relationship.”
For more information on WaterSense or Fix a Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.