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Green Plumbers Combat Climate Change

2009 July 23

Back in the day, when I thought about green plumbers, the famed video game character, an Italian plumber named Luigi, came to mind. But while his hat and suspenders may have been green in color, he fought fanged mushrooms and evil turtles, not inefficient water use and global climate change—and that, it turns out, is what real green plumbers do.

Though they lack super mushrooms inducing gigantism, flowery fireballs, and bouncing stars granting temporary invincibility, GreenPlumbers® have an impressive arsenal:

– They conduct water audits in homes, identifying how much water is used and how much can be saved.
– They replace water-guzzling, leaky toilets, wasteful faucets, and shabby irrigation equipment with high efficiency models.
– They install and maintain water efficient systems like rainwater catchment and greywater systems.

For all their hard work, GreenPlumbers® recently received a 2009 EPA Pacific Southwest Environmental Award.

In the Pacific Southwest, extracting, conveying, treating, distributing, and using water, and then collecting and treating wastewater uses a lot of energy. In California, for example, 20% of the State’s electricity use and 30% of their natural gas use is attributed to water use. EPA estimates 3% of national energy consumption– equivalent to approximately 56 billion kilowatt hours (kWh)–is used for drinking water and wastewater services. Assuming the average mix of energy sources in the country, this adds about 45 million tons of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.

By reducing water use, green plumbers reduce the amount of water flowing through our inefficient water infrastructure to directly reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

My perception of plumbers has been transformed, thanks to these amazing, award-winning Green Plumbers. You can join me in finding certified GreenPlumbers® and learning about their national training and accreditation program at

About the author: Charlotte Ely spent two years jumping from office to office through the Environmental Intern Program. She landed in EPA’s Pacific Southwest Sustainable Water Infrastructure and Climate Change program in the fall of 2008, and plans to stay put for a while.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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8 Responses leave one →
  1. Johnny R. permalink
    July 27, 2009

    Whatever efficiencies installed by green plumbers are overwhelmed by the demands of a growing human population, but a growing economy on a shrinking planet has no future.

  2. Roger W permalink
    August 18, 2009

    Johnny, exactly the reason that we need GreenPlumbers. In a world that is moving in the direction that ours is, we need to do everything that we can for ourselves and our children. We need to support and push for changes in laws on water and energy conservation. This needs to become a requirement, not just a pricey option. Demands are getting greater, and if we don’t step up to the challenge we will run out of water one day. Only we can change the world!

  3. emergency plumber philadelphia permalink
    August 23, 2009

    Green revolution . love this post , thanks for sharing

  4. Building Materials Supplies permalink
    September 30, 2009

    “Green Plumbers Combat Climate Change”

    Thanks for sharing

  5. Jon permalink
    September 30, 2009

    I admire what the green plumbers are trying to do but wouldn’t it be easier if local and state governments just mandated increased water efficiency of new toilets, showers, washing machines, etc?

    For example, why not mandate waterless urinals everywhere like Germany seems to have done?

    Good article and Go Green Plumbers,
    Everblue Energy Inc

  6. Plumbers permalink
    January 30, 2010

    I think that if you look closely, most plumbers today work toward greener standards. When you are looking at saving water, using less and recycle of product, there has never been such an important part to the real “green plumbers” standard practice.

    I know that we work to this ethical standard, and I’m pretty much sure that most plumbers are the same.

    Plumbers In

  7. Locksmith Marvin Nc permalink
    July 10, 2011

    I like this website it’s really cool
    Thanks for the information

  8. Brian representing Plumbers Manchester permalink
    August 31, 2011

    Green plumbers sounds great, you are obviously a very professional organisation

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