When the plumbers in Texas were overwhelmed by winter storms and the cold left broken pipes, professionals from the United States flocked to the United States to lend a hand.
The freezing temperatures from two explosions in February caused so many malfunctions and pipes to burst. At one point, 14.5 million Texans – half the state’s population – did not have clean, safe water for drinking, flushing toilets, showering, or washing clothes.
Water Mission, a not-for-profit engineering group based in North Charleston, SC, mobilized professionals and began collecting tools.
“We are actively involved in Austin [Texas]-based groups and our corporate partners to provide the resources needed for the recovery effort, including plumbing supplies and equipment, “said George C. Greene IV, CEO and President of Water Mission, in a cry for help.
Uponor North America is not one of the corporate sponsors listed on the Water Mission website, but officials have heeded the call. Based in Apple Valley, Minnesota, the company donated $ 15,000 to Water Mission and $ 15,000 to the Central and South Texas Region of the American Red Cross.
Part of the goal is to provide plumbers with the tools they need to get safe water flowing back into homes, especially for vulnerable storm victims such as the elderly, disabled, and uninsured or underinsured.
Uponor produces sanitary systems made of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) for residential purposes. Maybe the company’s products will be used, maybe not, but the financial support will come back on track, which most people take for granted.
“Our hearts go out to those in Texas who are affected by extreme weather and damage to homes and businesses,” said Bill Gray, president of Uponor North America, in a press release. “We understand the importance of clean, healthy water and we proudly stand behind the professionals who work hard every day to ensure that our plumbing systems consistently and reliably deliver this vital resource.”
The need for plumbers and repair supplies remains in Texas, according to Rogers Hook, Water Mission’s strategic partner.
“I spoke to a CEO of a major plumbing company in Austin, and the explosive growth in the area meant that plumbers were running out,” Hook said in the press release. “They have more than 1,000 jobs on their calendar, all emergency calls to restore water. They estimate it will take up to two months to meet the demand.”
Meanwhile, Greene told NBC that plumbers are tearing the list of residents waiting for repairs, often getting through the weeks of miserable situations quickly.
“There was a plumbing fix that took 15 minutes,” Greene told NBC News. “In those 15 minutes they restored the flow of water to a house that had run out of water for two weeks.”
If only there was a quick fix to what really hurts Texas: a failed primary power grid that couldn’t meet home heating needs. Many of these are not winter-proof and are prone to freezing temperatures and frozen pipes.
The problem is many and the solution will also be for plastic installation companies and materials to play a role.