DearColleague.us

Letter

From: The Honorable Matt Cartwright
Sent By:
jocelyn.ziemian@mail.house.gov

Date: 12/30/2016

Update our Plumbing for Safety, Cost Savings, and Efficiency!

The NIST Plumbing Research Act

(115th Congress reintroduction – H.R. 6424 in 114th Congress)

Deadline for original cosponsors: Thursday, Jan. 5

Endorsed by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO)

Dear Colleague,

American consumers today reap the benefits of state-of-the-art water fixtures and appliances, such as water-saving shower heads and efficient washing machines.  Technological advances to these products enable us to meet our daily water needs in our homes,
offices, and elsewhere, while conserving ever-increasing amounts of fresh water and reducing the costs of water utility bills.  However, the plumbing that carries water to these fixtures and appliances has not kept pace.  In fact, the research and data which
are the basis for U.S. plumbing structure, design, and construction standards have barely changed since they were developed in the early 20th century.  As a result, even newly built plumbing systems are often inefficient and inappropriate for current plumbing
fixtures and appliances.

This mismatch of technologies can cause problems.  For example, an outdated algorithm for estimating water demand leads builders to use unnecessarily large pipes, supplying more water than needed to buildings.  This wastes water that is critical to the wellbeing
of our communities and our environment.  Excess water lingering in pipes can be a health hazard, potentially harboring pathogens such as
Legionella bacteria, which is responsible for Legionnaires’ disease.  In addition, water flow through these improperly sized pipes can be too weak to move solids, resulting in sewage backups and costly repairs for consumers.

We must invest in research to bring the data for U.S. plumbing standards into the 21st century, making our plumbing systems safer, more reliable, and more water-efficient.  The NIST Plumbing Research Act accomplishes this by directing the National Institute
of Standards and Technology (NIST) to conduct research on plumbing systems.

As the federal government’s laboratory for industrial standards, NIST is well placed to conduct plumbing systems research.  From the 1920s through the early 1980s, NIST’s predecessor, the National Bureau of Standards, produced the data underlying the plumbing
standards we use today.  NIST has the intellectual resources, infrastructure, and procedures necessary to relaunch this research.

The NIST Plumbing Research Act is a win on multiple fronts.  It will spark innovation in the plumbing industry.  Consumers will save money thanks to fewer plumbing repairs, and will be exposed to fewer health risks.  And better plumbing means more water
conservation and better use of our fresh water resources.

Please join me in modernizing our nation’s plumbing.  If you have questions or wish to cosponsor this legislation, please contact Jocelyn Ziemian in my office at 5-5546 or jocelyn.ziemian@mail.house.gov.