The Grenada National Stadium saw the gathering of a profession not normally associated with workshops and conferencing in the Spice Isles. Sixty-five plumbers, with varying degrees of skill, education and longevity in the profession, attended a half day workshop entitled “Proper Plumbing with PVC.”
Seeking to address the challenges that both plumbers and consumers have highlighted, Christopher Husbands, General Manager NAWASA and Philbert Lewis, General Manager (Ag) Hubbard’s, decided that collaboration was the best approach and contacted one of the main PVC suppliers from Trinidad and Tobago, the Electrical Industries Group (EIG), to see how such an educational process could be facilitated.
At the opening of the well-attended event, Lewis highlighted that the reason for the workshop was to improve knowledge and skills, an area that Hubbard’s feels strongly about as a corporate citizen, who is known for building excellent relationships with its customers.
He made clear that with the move from copper and lead piping to affordable and environmentally friendly PVC, there has also been a shift in what is expected of professional plumbers. This has moved from just fixing leaks and installing pipes and fittings to stewardship and sustainability in the plumbing industry.
Lewis implored the participants to focus on climate change and the preservation of the environment, which he said can have a direct impact on the availability of water to the said customers they now serve. He concluded his remarks with the words “To attain knowledge, you must add something new every day. We can promise you, certain things will be added at this workshop. Please grasp this opportunity with both hands.”
NAWASA’s representative Ernest Bruno, Assistant Manager Transmission and Distribution Department, informed that 2017 saw $150,000 spent by the company in repairing leaks on customer properties, which could be reduced through correct plumbing. This could allow funds to be better spent on improving service delivery and water quality and in providing more schools with tanks for use in the dry season. He assured those present that the workshop would benefit all parties; the public, plumbers, NAWASA and Hubbard’s. He implored, “please ask questions, share your knowledge and experiences” and reminded everyone that “conservation practices by NAWASA are also the business of all, especially those in the plumbing industry. Our industries must work hand in hand, the country is growing, and plumbers have to grow along with it,” he concluded.
The workshop got fully underway with a two-part presentation by the Electrical Industries Group (EIG), from Trinidad, Hubbard’s chief supplier of PVC piping, who were extremely pleased to be part of the workshop initiative. Their initial presentation gave the professionals a bird’s-eye view of their company, followed by a technical presentation on their products, and a fully interactive Question & Answer session with their company’s in-house expert. EIG applauded the time, effort and finance invested by both NAWASA and Hubbard’s in this first-time venture. Proper Plumbing and PVC workshop was also held in Carriacou on Thursday, 28 June.