LaTischa Franzmeier, Staff Writer
Six members of the Plumbing Crew, Rentals and Renovations and Energy Efficiency Crews participating in a new “green plumbing” class held their breaths as the water level rose in the pitcher measuring water in Gladfelter’s ice cream scoop waterwell. The results reported that, at a rate of 32 ounces per minute for nine hours each day, 135 gallons are used daily. While the amount may be necessary to meet sanitation standards, this is the sort of circumstance being addressed as the students learn the methods and means to becoming eco-friendly plumbers.
“Essentially, what the program does is bring environmental literacy to the plumbing trade,” said Chris Hanson, Plumbing Crew supervisor and teacher of the course.
Hanson is one of two individuals certified to teach green plumbing practices in North Carolina.
The costs of the students’ training is covered by the Work Program Office. At $350 per person, this is generous, especially since passing the test at the end of the 32-hour course means the stu- dents will be listed as certified “green” plumbers on the Green Plumbers USA website.
“It gives them concrete tools and knowledge they can put to market,”said Hanson.“Theycan advise other people on water and energy efficiency.”
Students taking the course have made two-year commitments to their work crews and the training will do much to bolster their knowledge of their trade.
“I feel like plumbers are regarded as butt crack-showing turd-herders,” said senior Molly Hardy of the Plumbing Crew, “but this training gives plumbing a context for being a steward of the environment.”