States update to Plumbing Codes
The Austin City Council, representing the capital of the nation’s second most populous state, has voted unanimously to approve the recommendation of the city’s Mechanical and Plumbing Board to adopt the 2021 editions of the Uniform Plumbing Code® (UPC) and Uniform Mechanical Code® (UMC). The adoptions represent an update from the 2015 editions of these codes and will go into effect on September 1. The city of Austin has utilized the Uniform Codes consistently since the 1970s.
In June 2020, the Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board Code Review Sub Committee solicited code change proposals from all interested parties for the adoption of the 2021 UPC. The Code Review Sub Committee considered each proposal and significant changes from the 2018 UPC for incorporation into Chapter 25, Iowa State Plumbing Code. One key change is the addition of clarifying language that the UPC is the only plumbing code applicable in all Iowa jurisdictions for all building occupancies, and the adoption of other plumbing codes is prohibited.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has approved legislation that officially updates the state’s default plumbing code to the 2018 UPC. The legislation, LB 131, includes the plumbing code bill (formerly LB 218), along with a series of other bills heard by the Urban Affairs Committee. The Nebraska State Legislature passed LB 131 by a 40-7 vote. In February 2021, the Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing to discuss the need for the state to update its default plumbing code from the 2009 UPC, and unanimously advanced LB 218 — which was later merged into LB 131 — to update the plumbing code to the 2018 UPC. The legislation continued the state’s long-standing decision that a default plumbing code will only go into effect if a local jurisdiction does not already have its owned adopted plumbing code.
Ferguson Makes Crucial Donations to Support Wash Station Challenge
IWSH is pleased to announce that Ferguson, the largest US distributor of plumbing supplies, is generously donating water tanks, frost-free faucets and stainless steel basins to be used in community hand-washing stations being deployed on the Navajo Nation. The Wash Station Challenge 2021, which launched June 1, is a collaboration with the DigDeep Navajo Water Project, the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting and Sprinkler Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA), and Ferguson. Read the full release here.
IAPMO, FGI Sign MOU Focusing on Health, Residential Care Facilities Standards
The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in which they agreed to develop and maintain industry standards that include a focus on water safety in health and residential care facilities. The organizations will collaborate to advance each other’s documents and, when mutually beneficial, share in educational opportunities, create joint documents, and advocate for each organization.
“I have designed numerous health care facilities in jurisdictions that have adopted FGI guidelines. FGI is a leading voice in improving health care design and construction practices, which include plumbing and mechanical requirements, among many others,” IAPMO Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Christoph Lohr said. “IAPMO is excited to work more closely with FGI to better align the documents from each organization with an eye toward public health, safety and sustainability.”
FGI is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing guidance for the planning, design, and construction of hospitals, outpatient facilities, and residential health, care, and support facilities. FGI oversees the FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction revision process and publication, funds research, and offers resources that support the development of safe, effective health and residential care built environments. FGI partners with numerous other organizations to help develop the Guidelines and other practical, evidence-informed publications.
“Over the course of my career, I have worked with IAPMO on establishing plumbing and medical gas standards,” FGI CEO Doug Erickson said. “IAPMO is recognized as a premier organization in promoting water and sanitation safety, and our association will assist in keeping both of our standards consistent and current.” Erickson further pointed out, “We are particularly interested in establishing a working group to review and modify the plumbing standards in both organizations’ documents to promote conservation of water and energy in medical and residential care facilities.”
Technical Committee Members Sought
IAPMO is seeking volunteers to participate on the new Technical Committee for the Construction Practices for Potable Water Guideline. IAPMO is looking for experts who fall under one of seven different types of interest categories: manufacturer, user, installer/maintainer, research/standards/testing laboratory, enforcing authority, consumer, or general interest.
Systematic water management during construction of new buildings (including significant additions to the envelope of an existing building) can reduce the risk that the building water system begins its service life contaminated with pathogenic organisms such as Legionella pneumophila (the etiological agent responsible for most cases of Legionnaires’ disease) and can reduce the risk of infections of contractors and others at or near the site during the construction process. This standard will outline a process for developing guidance for contractors and subcontractors installing and managing building water systems during construction.
“This guideline will play a crucial role in reducing the risk of waterborne disease and improving the well-being of building occupants,” said IAPMO Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Christoph Lohr, PE“This focused guidance document is being created in order to establish the improved water systems baselines for occupancy.”
“Maintaining the water system is just as crucial during construction as it is when the building is at full or reduced capacity, or vacant,” said Hugo Aguilar, PE, IAPMO’s Senior VP of Codes and Standards Development. “This manual will complement the published AWWA/IAPMO Construction Practices for Potable Water Guideline, as well as the AWWA/IAPMO Manual of Recommended Practice for The Safe Closure and Reopening of Building Water Systems, which is being developed.”
The deadline to apply is July 30. Anyone interested in serving on the new committee may complete the application online. For specific questions, you may contact Christoph Lohr at (909) 731-0219 or by email at [email protected].