Wastewater Warrior

Director of GreenPlumbers USA, Megan Lehtonen is working to reduce our nation’s water and energy use by offering plumbers comprehensive training on everything from solar hot water to natural wastewater treatment.


| September/October 2009


Director of GreenPlumbers USA, Megan Lehtonen is working to reduce our nation’s water and energy use by offering plumbers comprehensive training on everything from solar hot water to natural wastewater treatment. Adapting the Australian program to the United States just last year, GreenPlumbers USA has already trained more than 3,000 plumbers and plans to train 50,000 to 60,000 more in the next few years.

How does plumbing contribute to global climate change? How would efficient plumbing help reduce it?

Saving water and energy reduces the environmental impact of our society. We are learning more and more about the nexus of water and energy. For example, the transportation of water throughout California accounts for 19 percent of the state’s electrical use. Saving water saves energy, and everybody benefits. Plumbers are the face-to-face end-solution providers for consumers across the country, and efficient plumbing can have an enormous impact on our country’s environmental footprint.

How do you train plumbers to be green? 

Plumbers are incredibly skilled and knowledgeable already. We challenge them to look at their careers in a different way by extending their education to include training related to new technology and advanced conservation techniques. The five courses (32 hours total) include training on everything from solar hot water to how to conduct a detailed, 50-point water audit on homes and businesses. Plumbing companies that commit to training all of their technicians, and adhere to a code of ethics, can become Licensed GreenPlumbers. These companies are listed on our website by location, so consumers can have a conservation option when looking for a plumber.

You call for a “complete culture change in the plumbing industry.” What does that mean?





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