Arizona Plumbers and Pipefitters Join International Team of Volunteers to Bring Clean Running Water and Waste Disposal Systems to Remote Navajo Mountain Community
Members of the United Association Local 469 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union participated in the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation’s (IWSH) Community Plumbing Challenge project to bring clean running water and safe waste disposal systems to homes in the remote Navajo Mountain community near the Utah-Arizona border. Local 469 members Larry Savage, Paul Delaware, Michael Savage, Gary Nez, and Major Tso spent five days in the remote high-desert area installing plumbing systems and providing relief to families who had to travel long distances to bring bottled water into their homes, and had to heat water on wood-burning stoves.
“I have always volunteered my time and services but this time it meant more to help out these families that had so little and live so remotely,” said UA 469 Business Agent Larry Savage. “I saw what it took for these families to go out and get their own water, and what they had to do for everyday life to meet their needs.”
The UA Local 469 team joined forces with volunteers from UA Local 78 in Los Angeles, UA Local 400 in Kaukauna, WI, and UA Local 412 in New Mexico and El Paso, TX, as well as volunteers from across the U.S., Canada and Australia. The teams worked from sun up to sun down to connect a water supply from tanks through a pump and wastewater system for families who have never had running water in their homes. In each home, they installed a gas tankless hot water system, as well as bathroom and kitchen fixtures. They also installed septic tanks and dug leach fields.
“As members of Local 469, we are committed to our community,” said UA Local 469 Business Manager Aaron Butler. “We were honored to lend our skills to a project that ensures that families have access to clean, safe and convenient water delivery and disposal systems.”
“As I watched the families turn the water on for the first time, it made me feel good and then I knew it was well worth all of the hard effort to help out with this project,” Savage added.
UA Local 469 members have a reputation for giving back to the community by coordinating donation drives that support various family-focused nonprofits throughout Arizona, and by participating in fundraising activities. They also work with youth and school groups to teach them about the career opportunities in the building and construction trades.