The Authority Podcast: Plumbing and Mechanical

Episode 3: Lance MacNevin, Sean Cleary, Jeremy Meyers & Trevor Martin

February 23, 2022 IAPMO Season 2 Episode 3
Episode 3: Lance MacNevin, Sean Cleary, Jeremy Meyers & Trevor Martin
The Authority Podcast: Plumbing and Mechanical
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The Authority Podcast: Plumbing and Mechanical
Episode 3: Lance MacNevin, Sean Cleary, Jeremy Meyers & Trevor Martin
Feb 23, 2022 Season 2 Episode 3

acNevin, Director of Engineering for PPI's Building & Construction Division, in our News segment; Sean Cleary, Vice President of Operations for IAPMO's Backflow Prevention Institute, in our Trends segment; and Trevor Martin and Jeremy Meyers, both of Local UA 400 out of Northeast Wisconsin.

Contact Lance MacNevin by email at

Contact Sean Cleary by visiting BPI's website at

Contact Trevor Martin and Jeremy Meyers by visiting Local UA 400's website at or check them out on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Show Notes Transcript

acNevin, Director of Engineering for PPI's Building & Construction Division, in our News segment; Sean Cleary, Vice President of Operations for IAPMO's Backflow Prevention Institute, in our Trends segment; and Trevor Martin and Jeremy Meyers, both of Local UA 400 out of Northeast Wisconsin.

Contact Lance MacNevin by email at

Contact Sean Cleary by visiting BPI's website at

Contact Trevor Martin and Jeremy Meyers by visiting Local UA 400's website at or check them out on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Christoph Lohr: Welcome to The Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical. When talking about the built environment we would do well to remember: We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us. Therefore, on each episode, we'll discuss the latest trends from IAPMO in plumbing and mechanical safety, sustainability and resiliency.

Join me, your host, Christoph Lohr, and together we'll explore the ways we can make our buildings shape us for the better.

Welcome to this episode of The Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical. On this episode, we'll be speaking with Lance MacNevin, director of engineering for PPI's Building & Construction Division, in our news segment; Sean Cleary, vice president of operations for IAPMO's Backflow Prevention Institute, in our trends segment; and Trevor Martin and Jeremy Meyers, both of Local UA 400 out of Wisconsin, in our good vibes segment.

This episode of The Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical is brought to you by the Plastic Pipe Institute, also known as PPI. PPI is your source for the latest industry knowledge on plastic pressure piping materials, such as CPVC, PEX, PERT, PEX-AL-PEX, and polypropylene. To gain expertise on these materials, visit, or try out the new Plastic Pipe Design Calculator at Let's get at it. Here's my conversation with Lance MacNevin, where we discuss research projects and getting directly involved with the plumbing codes. Lance, welcome to the show.

Lance MacNevin: Thanks, Christoph. Glad to be here. 

Christoph Lohr: We're really glad to have you here. I think the first question for our guests to get a better idea is what is the Plastics Pipe Institute, also known as PPI? And what do you all do? 

Lance MacNevin: Great question. Thank you very much. So like IAPMO, PPI, we're a nonprofit trade association. PPI actually began way back in 1950 in the early days of plastic pipes, where a bunch of engineers wanted to get together to coordinate research and develop standards for plastic piping systems and materials. So that was 72 years ago. Today, PPI is based in Irving, Texas, and has 11 full-time employees. And we're supported by member dues from about 170, 175 member firms.

And these are the firms that are producing plastic pipes in North America, the pipe materials, the extrusion equipment, and also certification agencies and others, including IAPMO, and IAPMO is also a member of PPI. And so the firms that belong to PPI, it's not mandatory to belong to PPI, but the firms that belong to PPI are really, these are the firms that are the leaders in the plastic pipe industry that want to collaborate and work together. 

Christoph Lohr: Excellent. Excellent. And from our conversations, PPI has a number of divisions. You are in the Building & Construction Division. So what is the focus of the Building & Construction Division, and what is your role in there? 

Lance MacNevin: So we call it BCD; we use a lot of acronyms here. BCD, our focus is on plastic pressure piping systems for plumbing and mechanical. So to us that means hot and cold water distribution, water service pipes, fire protection, and then all the different hydronic applications, whether it be red tee ing, snow melting, chilled water, but also ground source geothermal piping systems as well.

So we focus on a wide range of applications, wide range of users. So I joined PPI in 2015. Before that I worked for a plastic pipe manufacturer for over 20 years and I was their representative at PPI. So I've been part of the association as a member for many years. And in 2015, PPI wanted to add another staff engineer to support these products.

So I came on board at that time seven years ago, and it's going fast. We're busy. We have a lot of things to do to keep us busy. 

Christoph Lohr: Excellent. And what type of piping materials does the BCD focus on? 

Lance MacNevin: Sure. So the pressure pipe materials used in buildings that most people are probably familiar with, alphabetically I'll go. So it starts with CPVC, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride; and, of course, PEX, cross-linked polyethylene; PERT, which is polyethylene of raised temperature; PEX-Aluminum-PEX, which is a multilayer composite pipe; and then the types of polypropylene pressure pipe, which people probably recognize the terms, PPR and PP-RCT.

And then we also deal with high-density polyethylene pipe from the geothermal perspective. High-density polyethylene, it's also used for water mains and gas pipes and conduit, but that's the focus of the other divisions of PPI. So we focus on when HDP is used for the mechanical systems on the geothermal side of things.

Christoph Lohr: Fascinating. So it sounds like there's a wide variety of piping materials. So what kind of work do you do on a daily basis then? 

Lance MacNevin: Yeah, it's probably like you, shifting gears a lot. Probably one of our core functions is to work for our members, organize member meetings. We have a lot of task groups and different committees where we get our members together.

This is happening every day, different members for different topics. A lot of the documents that you see in the PPI website, they start as drafts within our committees, within our groups. And then they go through a full balloting process where all the members of PPI actually get to review and vote on everything that gets published.

So that's a fair amount of work to coordinate that kind of stuff. In some cases, we do external research where we actually hire outside laboratories to do testing for us. So we coordinate that. We have statistics programs where we try to attract shipments in pounds of different types of pipes in North America. We do technical support, and that could be for an engineer at an MVP firm or the general public or an installer, or for one of our members who wants to know more about something.

And then we also represent our members and all kinds of other organizations. So I'll go through a bit of an alphabet list of organizations here, but that could be everything from ASTM, AWWA, ASHRAE, CSA, NSF, IGSHPA — the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association. So we try to get involved with all those organizations to be a liaison between the pipe industry and those people as well.

So really, as a member-run organization, we try to do all the things that our members want us to do. 

Christoph Lohr: You mentioned research. Are there any interesting research projects at this time that are related to plumbing applications? 

Lance MacNevin: We have a couple underway, actually. One that is literally happening right now at a laboratory in Maryland is to test the pressure loss through all the different types of piping systems used in plumbing systems.

So you may wonder why would you do this? We have equations. We have calculators for measuring pressure loss, and it's true we do. The Darcy-Weisbach equation is the most commonly used one, because that takes into account the temperature and the density of the water. But we can't find evidence that anybody has ever verified that the Darcy-Weisbach equation actually works for smaller-diameter pipes like those used in plumbing.

So a couple of years ago, we actually started developing a test method because there's no official ASTM test method for measuring this either. We worked with Gary Klein, a consultant well-known in this business, and he helped us develop a test method and we've signed a contract with a laboratory, like I said, and they're actually going to be measuring the pressure loss through copper and all the other plastic pipe materials I mentioned a minute ago at multiple different flow rates, multiple diameters and several different water temperatures too. And when all this data comes out, it's going to be used to verify that Darcy-Weisbach works through all these pipes. Or if it doesn't, then we'll have adjustments we can make when people do these kinds of pressure-loss calculations.

Christoph Lohr: That's really interesting, especially in terms of friction losses, and being an engineer myself and having done consulting engineering for such a long time, that's kind of taken for granted. And so that's really cool. That's science in action, is going back and reevaluating and questioning if things are really applicable. Obviously, a lot of plumbing design and engineering has been codified. So obviously that particular research project is one that can have a lot of impact. Does PPI get involved with code development then in terms of when you guys have new, a new development? 

Lance MacNevin: Yeah, exactly. Because it's one thing to generate data or publish a report, but then you need to let people know it exists and if it should impact the code, somebody has to take the step to go ahead and try to revise that code. So this is something that's a relatively new activity for us over the last six years or so, getting involved directly with codes.

So I do represent our members in various ways. I'm a member actually of IAPMO's Uniform Mechanical Code Technical Committee, and also the Uniform Solar Hydronic Geothermal Code Technical Committee. So I sit on those TCS and then also we sometimes submit code change proposals for the codes to try to add new language, whether it's adding a new material or revising an installation step or something like that.

So in the latest code cycle where we're working on the 2024 codes, we submitted six submissions for the UMC, which got approved last May; eight submissions for the IMC, which also got approved last spring; and two submissions for the UPC, for the Uniform Plumbing Code, that didn't get approved last May, but we're also working with the public comment process to revise those submissions slightly based on feedback we heard from the Technical Committee last May.

And we've resubmitted them through public comment to try again, if you will. And one of those has to do with the table for water pipe sizing, and putting an option in there that for certain plumbing fixtures, that designers should be able to use 3/8" tubing, as opposed to a minimum of half inch, should be able to use three eights tuning where hydraulic calculation support the use of that size, and that would help reduce water waste, especially in hot water.

Excellent thinking along that lines, co-development obviously standards are typically for our product and, and codes and standards kind of take it to a higher level in terms of putting together a lot of standards and a lot of ideas into an overarching public health and safety document. So thinking on that high level, PPI, you have a lot of tools and publications.

Christoph Lohr: And we have a lot of policymakers that listen to this podcast, a lot of AHJs and inspectors, but especially on the policymaker, that 30,000-foot-view level, what is the work, whether it's tools or publications or something else that PPI does that would be of interest to them in terms of the big picture of PPI?

Lance MacNevin: Well, I'm glad you asked that because we do generate a lot of publications and these publications are targeted directly for enforcement officials, designers, installers, builders. So examples of some of these — and by the way they're all free on our website, if people just go to and click on the Building & Construction Division, you'll find all these publications available there for download. So, for example, we have something called the PEX Plumbing Design Guide, which has been published there since 2013. So it's a 130-page document that tells you all about how to use PEX for residential plumbing systems. So it's a pretty popular document. We have an online calculator. So as I was mentioning before about pressure-loss calculations, we have a free online calculator that you can do the pressure-loss calculation through all these plastic pipe materials. You can also calculate thermal expansion contraction, the volume of the water inside the pipes, the weight of the pipes and a few other functions, and we're going to be adding more functions to that calculator later this year. We have a lot of different publications that get issued as technical notes or technical reports. So I'm going to read out some of those numbers if I have time. One of them is TN-17, which was our first publication, that basically is the story of PEX. What is PEX all about? We have another one called TN-31 that compares PEX to polybutylene. Polybutylene hasn't been used here in 25 years, but we still get a lot of questions about it. So we have a document there. We have others that focus on freeze break resistance to PEX, or how much insulation do I use, or how closely can I put plastic pipe to recessed lighting, a guide to chlorine resistance for plastic piping products.

So I won't give out the numbers for all of those, but we've got a lot of good technical documents along those lines. 

Christoph Lohr: Excellent. Well, to wrap things up, just to get an overarching summary, what would be one word you would use to describe what you covered today for our listeners to summarize your talk? 

Lance MacNevin: How about knowledge? Because we try to be the source of knowledge for everything related to plastic pipe. 

Christoph Lohr: Excellent. Excellent. I love it. Lance, if our listeners want to get in touch with you or the Plastic Pipe Institute, what's the best way to do so? 

Lance MacNevin: If they go to the website again,, click on Building & Construction. There's even a contact button there. If they hit the contact button, that brings up a little form where they can send us a request. Or if anybody wants to email me directly, that is And I'll respond. 

Christoph Lohr: Excellent. Lance, on behalf of The Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical, thanks for joining the show today. 

Lance MacNevin: My pleasure. Great to be here. 

Christoph Lohr: In our next segment. I talk with Sean Cleary, vice president of operations for IAPMO's Backflow Prevention Institute, where we talk about cross-connection control and advantages versus challenges of living in the 21st century. Sean, welcome to this segment.

Sean Cleary: Good to be here. 

Christoph Lohr: Sean, do you want to give our listeners a quick bio of who you are and a little bit of background, as far as Backflow Prevention Institute, also known as BPI. 

Sean Cleary: Sure. I started my career in the plumbing industry as an apprentice back in 1978. So I've been around for a while. I worked my way through my apprenticeship, became a journeyman, became a licensed master plumber.

I ended up becoming an instructor in my home local and attending the UA Instructor Training Program with the University of Michigan and really got into the training part of things then. I went to work for IAPMO in 2008 as a field manager for Codes and Standards. And then about eight years ago they tasked me to get involved with the IAPMO Backflow Prevention Institute.

The institute was started a number of years ago by Dr. Stu Asay, who was one of the pioneers of the cross-connection industry. Stu was based in Colorado doing training, a lot of training in the state of Colorado. When they brought me on board, they wanted to expand BPI a little bit more. BPI is now the premiere ASSE International school for training in many, many parts of the United States and also on an international basis. We do training in cross-connection control, we do surveying training, administrator specialist, testers, repairs, anything that's related to backflow prevention the Backflow Prevention Institute has a hand in. We try to do the best quality training that is out there, and we have the most up-to-date manuals, training materials, and we are ASSE's largest, farthest-ranging school in cross-connection control.

Christoph Lohr: Well, I have to say, I have to smile a little bit that we have a common connection in the University of Michigan; a good chunk of my family went to the University of Michigan, so definitely a fan of the Wolverines having grown up in the area as well. Too funny that we've got that common background there.

Well, you mentioned backflow prevention. So maybe for some of our policymaker or non-plumbing-industry professional listeners, real quick, give an idea to our listeners as far as what Backflow Prevention is. 

Sean Cleary: OK, well, modern plumbing systems rely on pressure to move water from one end of a distribution system to another.

And the secret is when water is flowing in a distribution system, it can flow any direction it would like based on volume and pressure. But once it enters a facility, we don't want the water to get into a facility, become contaminated by the use of the water in the facility and be allowed to get back out into the public drinking water.

So a backflow prevention is simply the putting of mechanical valves and methods and devices in place to ensure the water only flows in one direction. We're like the traffic policemen for water – we want to make sure the water flows the way we want it to flow, and we don't end up with issues with contamination, with used water getting back into potable water systems.

So it sounds like back in the day, rather simple endeavor to kind of prevent it, and over time it's gotten more complicated. Has that trend of these systems becoming more complicated continued until today? 

It has, and in a lot of cases, obviously systems become more and more complex. We do more things with water every day.

We also have a much greater use of gray water, recycled water, rainwater catchment; our systems become more and more complicated, so it raises the level of protection that we need on these systems. We're in the backflow prevention business; we have to make sure that we look into the future as to what could happen and we have to prevent it from happening.

We don't do cleanup; we do prevention. So the secret to that is we really have to understand the systems that are in place to make sure that we can put the proper protection in place, whether we're talking about ground source heat pumps, geothermal loops, different types of fire protection systems using foams and things like that. To be in this industry, you really have to have a fairly good idea of hazard levels, of hydraulics, and of piping systems themselves to ensure that we keep that one direction flow going. 

Christoph Lohr: Well, and preventing some kind of hazard from going back into the water system and causing a public health or safety issue with people, right? I mean, that's a big part of it. 

Sean Cleary: Yes, it has happened in the past, and we'd like to prevent it from happening. When you're talking about heavy metals and industrial situations, all types of antifreezes and things like that, it can really have an adverse effect on human health. So it is incredibly important that we protect the portable water supply.

Christoph Lohr: Definitely. Well, one of the trends that I've noticed in the general realm of plumbing is the electronification and digitalization of plumbing systems. Is that something that has extended as well to backflow prevention? 

Sean Cleary: Yes, it has, and in a way it's helped the systems out better. The more complicated our systems become, the harder it is to track things. The harder it is to understand what is going on with the systems. And since backflow preventers are mechanical devices, they have to be tested and maintained, and it's very difficult for a large water company, a large water purveyor, to monitor everything that's going on in their systems. So the use of electronic test kits, the use of electronic gauges, the use of software itself just to track all the valves that are in the field, ensure that they're tested, ensure that they're maintained on a regular schedule is incredibly important. 

Christoph Lohr: I was going to say this is where some of the advantages now of the 21st century are really coming into play. But with the 21st century, we also have 21st-century challenges, and one of the things that, out here in Arizona, where I'm recording from, a big issue is water conservation. And with water conservation and the worry of water scarcity, we are seeing more and more water reuse systems that are being brought to market. And my sense is a lot of the recycled water, which is using either wastewater from sinks and lavatories and from showers, or from sewer water from water closets, toilets, urinals and the like, that treatment's a big part of it. And then, making sure that those systems don't interact with the potable water and keeping public health and safety key, it seems like that's going to be a big challenge here for us in the 21st century.

What are you all seeing at BPI in terms of backflow prevention, in terms of protection, what are some of the concerns that people should be aware of in terms of backflow prevention when designing, installing, and maintaining those types of systems? 

Sean Cleary: Well, you've brought up a very good point because of water issues in your state, in California and things like that, we are seeing a lot more recycled water systems and things like that. We're seeing people try to get involved in catching rainwater and storing rainwater, but we don't know what the quality of the water is there. And usually the supply that we have to make up for when we don't have enough recycled water ends up being the potable water system, and in a lot of cases, these systems get tied together. The secret to knowing your water system is knowing what the quality of it is, and that the water is safe to drink and safe to use. When you're using it to tie onto additional systems, that's where we run into some issues with backflow prevention and cross-connection control, because people just think water is water.

Something as simple as in a cemetery or in a public park or something like that, where they're using recycled water for irrigation and things like that. Well, labeling is incredibly important. Education is incredibly important because people have to realize that not every faucet, not every hydrant you open, you should simply assume that the water is safe to drink.

So everything we do is about educating the public and educating people to understand that we have to preserve and protect the water supply we have from source to tap. And we have to ensure that there are barriers in place between what is recycled water, which is an awfully good thing to cut down on our use of the resource we have, but we have to make sure that we keep systems totally separate.

Christoph Lohr: Excellent. Well, as we're wrapping up our conversation here, if you had to choose one word to summarize our talk, what would that word be for our listeners? 

Sean Cleary: I'd have to go with education, because education and understanding of what can happen is incredibly important. People, as an example, you take a hose and throw it into your swimming pool, the hose is connected to the drinking water in your house. The swimming pool is not the same quality of water. By filling your water by submerging that hose, you are creating a cross connection, which in the case of a backflow incident as a result of a water main break or something like that, could prove hazardous to both you and your neighbors.

So educating people about the importance of understanding what can happen, and what does happen, is incredibly important. Education is the key. 

Christoph Lohr: Excellent. Well, for our listeners that are interested in learning more or getting in touch with you or with BPI, what's the best way for folks to reach out to you? 

Sean Cleary: I would say by visiting our website; our website address is

So is the place to go to get to our contact information and also get to a wealth of knowledge and information about what is available for you out there. We also produce a Backflow Prevention Reference Manual. We are currently getting ready to release our fourth edition, with all the up-to-date standards and code regulations in it that should be out in March or June by the latest of this year. And that reference manual is a wealth of knowledge for everyone from the plumbing inspector, to the building owner, to anyone working in the industry or the trade. 

Christoph Lohr: Excellent, Sean. Well, on behalf of The Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical, I want to thank you for joining us on the show today.

Sean Cleary: Thank you, sir. I appreciate having the chance to talk to people. 

Christoph Lohr: In our last segment, I speak with Trevor Martin and Jeremy Meyers of Local UA 400 about skill and training of the plumbing labor pool, and projects completed with IWSH, the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation. Gentlemen, welcome to the call. 

Jeremy Meyers: Thank you. 

Trevor Martin: Yeah, thanks Chris. Appreciate you having us on the call. 

Christoph Lohr: Glad to have you guys. Glad to have you guys. Well, for our listeners of the podcast, Trevor, you want to give a brief introduction, then Jeremy, you want to give a brief introduction just of who you are, who you work for and what you do?

Jeremy Meyers: Sure. 

Trevor Martin: Yeah. So my name is Trevor Martin. I'm the business manager of Plumbers & Steamfitters UA Local 400. We're located in the Fox Valley of Northeast Wisconsin, so Green Bay, Appleton, Fond du Lac, kind of all those in between. I represent an 18-county area there and have 2,300 members that belong to Local 400.

So we service the plumbing and pipe fitting needs of businesses, manufacturers, industry, just residents of that 18-county area. 

Christoph Lohr: Excellent. And Jeremy? 

Jeremy Meyers: Yeah, I'm Jeremy Meyers. I'm the full-time welding instructor here at Local 400. I've been here full-time for two years now, and any one of the members that need welding help or the different certifications and whatnot, they usually come see me and we take care of it right here. 

Christoph Lohr: So for our listeners, we have a number of listeners. We have installers in the plumbing industry, we have engineers and designers, and we also have policy makers and various jurisdictions and manufacturers, but especially for the policymakers that may not know, what does UA 400 do?

Trevor Martin: We're the labor pool. That's a simple way to put it. We recruit, we train and we refer highly skilled, qualified manpower to the plumbing and piping industries to all our employers who are signatory to us. So in Northeast Wisconsin, we have about 90 employers that utilize our labor force, so when they procure a large project and they need to grow their labor pool, they'd call us and say, "Hey, Trevor, I need three plumbers for Monday."

They have that confidence, knowing that they're getting their labor from Local 400, they know the quality of the training that we provide for them so they're able just to pull people from us to help them facilitate their project needs. And then once that project's done, we take them back and we refer them off to the next contractor.

Or if that employee continues to stay busy for them, it could be a 25-year employee as well; kind of a broad spectrum there. But that's our primary function is to, in our industry, we call it fill the call, when an employer that we work with needs manpower, we're the source for them to go to, and part of that relationship is making sure that they are as highly skilled and as highly trained as possible. 

Christoph Lohr: So education is an important part. 

Trevor Martin: Oh, for sure. Yeah. That's the justification to everything we do here. It's like anything else, as a consumer, you want to make sure that what you're buying, what you're paying for, is worth it, and that's what we tout as well. Like our skill, our training, everything that we put behind our name is what justifies what our customers are getting out in the field. 

Christoph Lohr: That makes so much sense. I'm a licensed professional engineer in six states right now, and most of those locations for my licensure or my credentials, but especially for my licensure, I'm required to get continuing education to stay up to speed on what's going on and really making sure I stay sharp as an engineer, and so that idea of education for the folks that are doing the work, I think is just so key. I think it's good stuff that you do in that regard, but we're talking other good vibes. Education's good vibes, but we're also talking good vibes here in terms of some of the other good work that you do. And I heard through the grapevine you guys have done some stuff with IWSH. I was hoping to get maybe a high-level overview of all the things that you guys have been involved with at IWSH over the years. 

Trevor Martin: Yeah, thanks for recognizing that. Where do you start? We've been on the ground floor with IWSH when they started. I believe their first project was back in India; we had our first Local 400 members participate in that. And that just kind of started out on the ground floor, getting them just to go out there and participate and leverage their skills and their leadership skills and organize their project to be a part of that.

I think we had members in South Africa, and then lately over the last few years, the IWSH and Community Plumbing Challenge has come back state side, and a lot of involvement with the projects over in the Navajo Nation. It was like 2019 I believe, pre-pandemic, we had, don't quote me on this, but I think we had at least four to six members out there on that. That was a big project, four to six members out there working with all the other organizations involved. And then most recently, when the pandemic hit shuffle on everybody and we had to think quick, IWSH he came to us and said, "Hey, we still want to be relevant in this time. We still want to help. We have this cool idea about this hand-wash challenge. And we were asked to prototype their first hand-wash station. And so we participated in that, we did the prototype for that. And then also once that prototype turned into a reality, we were a part of that. We donated the funds and the manpower, and that's where Jeremy kind of comes in.

We constructed two more units. So a total of three units came out of Local 400, got distributed through the Navajo Nation, just this last year. It's been an awesome adventure. It makes you feel really good when you're helping out people like that. 

Christoph Lohr: Yeah. 

Trevor Martin: It's one thing to get paid to do your skill, but when you can use your skills to help other people, that's awesome. 

Christoph Lohr: I was going to say, so Jeremy, you got involved in the construction of these units. Can you give our listeners maybe a little bit of an idea of what the units do, what it was like putting them together, maybe paint a little bit of a mental picture for those listening to the podcast?

Jeremy Meyers: Yeah. So like Trevor said, we were the first ones to kind of build the prototypes, kinda got together and just out of like the top of our heads, and we built this frame and it housed a 210-gallon tank on the inside of it. 

Christoph Lohr: Wow, so how big is this wash station then? 

Jeremy Meyers: It's pretty big. It's probably, the full footprint of it's probably 6 by 6, about 6 feet tall.

Christoph Lohr: So these are not small wash stations that maybe some people might have as a mental image. 

Jeremy Meyers: Nope. Nope. Not at all. And then they had charging stations up on top and that would actually heat the water on the inside of the tank so it wouldn't freeze. And then there was lights on them. There's a little faucet with like a little rack with a sink.

And the first two that we built, like I said, they were prototypes. And then they got sent down to the Milwaukee School of Engineering and they got reverse engineered and they came up with a list of drawings to send to other locals and stuff, and when they came back, we got to build another one. And then we jumped on calls weekly with other union locals and figured out what was working, what wasn't working, and then kind of tweaked it a little bit here, tweaked it a little bit there. So hopefully now going forward, they have these prints that could just be distributed to other locals and they have everything they need. There's like a big packet of what they need to buy and go from there. But yeah, being able to help and stuff was, it was really awesome with it.

Christoph Lohr: Shipping one of these things probably was a little bit tricky, especially since you guys are in Wisconsin and the delivery site was in Arizona. Was it easy or simple to ship those things? 

Jeremy Meyers: We actually had a local contractor that does a lot of shipping of piping spools to different stuff, and they stepped up and they paid the shipping costs. So they ship all of the three. We actually housed the two prototypes and they came back then from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and we housed them here until the third one was all ready to go. So they shipped all three, I believe, over to like New Mexico. And they picked up the tab for everything.

They were phenomenal. And that was Team Industries here in Kaukauna. 

Christoph Lohr: That's awesome. That's awesome. So you guys have done a lot of work over the last several years, and obviously the IWSH wash stations, those are incredible. Let me ask a question for each of you. Let's say in another five years, we have both of you guys back on the podcast.

What do you think we would be talking about the next time each of you are on, Trevor and Jeremy, in terms of the work that you guys do with IWSH? What is your sense? Give us a prediction. Give our listeners a prediction here. 

Trevor Martin: From my vantage point, hopefully we're talking about the latest and greatest projects that we're involved with with IWSH. Our members fund all this. Our organization funds this. The people that are a part of the organization, they see the value in this and they fund it. So my hope is that our members continue to want to give back, continue to be a part of something bigger than just going and being a plumber and working 40 hours a week. Being a part of something larger, knowing that they're not only just helping out their neighbors, but they're helping out the world to be quite honest with you. So, yeah, in five years from now, if you had me back on the show, I'm hoping we're talking about the latest project that we were involved with with IWSH. 

Jeremy Meyers: Yeah. So the members are the ones that fund it all, so hopefully it keeps getting funded and in five years from now, we're still talking about IWSH and how we're able to help and be a big part of it going forward.

Christoph Lohr: Awesome, guys. Awesome. Well, if our listeners want to get in touch with either of you specifically or your organization, what's the best way for them to do that? 

Trevor Martin: Obviously our website,, or you can check us out on Facebook or LinkedIn, just search Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 400. You should be able to get linked up from there and, yeah, check us out, follow us. And we're doing a lot of great things here at Local 400 and we love being a part of these community efforts. 

Christoph Lohr: Excellent. Well, on behalf of The Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical, and our industry as well, thanks for the good work you guys do and thanks for joining me on the podcast today. Well, thank you very much for having us on the show. Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of The Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical. Love this episode of the podcast, head over to iTunes to subscribe, rate and leave a review. Please follow us on Twitter @AuthorityPM; on Instagram at theauthoritypodcast; or email us at

Join us next time for another episode of The Authority Podcast: Plumbing & Mechanical. In the meantime, let's work together to make our buildings more resilient and shape us for the better.