Hundreds of Plumbers Assemble in Flint to Install Faucets and Water Filters for Residents in Need

Plumbers Unite to Help Flint Residents During Water Crisis
Gary Young addressing the volunteer plumbers
Source: The Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council/Facebook

02/02/2016 AT 12:15 PM EST

In an effort to help alleviate the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, more than 300 union plumbers assembled in the devastated town on Saturday to lend a hand.

The plumbers, representing the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry, visited over 1,100 Flint homes to help install new faucets and water filters free of charge.

More than 300 volunteer plumbers set to install donated products from Plumbing Manufacturers International members so...

Posted by Safe Plumbing on Saturday, January 30, 2016

Local United Association member Harold Harrington welcomed the volunteer workers with a rousing speech.

"We did not cause this American tragedy in Flint, but we certainly can help correct the damage that has been done!" he said to the group, according to Michigan Radio.

The workers were paired up, given a list of addresses and handed filters and faucets donated by Plumbing Manufacturers, International.

Two plumber volunteers from Local 333 await a homeowner in Flint as they distribute water and install filters.

Posted by The Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council on Saturday, January 30, 2016

Many Flint residents were in desperate need of installation help because their existing faucets were too old to accommodate new filters intended to remove the excess of lead found in the town's water.

"We know when we've been going door to door servicing inbound people that many fixtures are old, the faucets, and they don’t adjust to the filters," Genesee County sheriff Robert Pickell told ABC12 on Saturday.

The sheriff added that Flint residents were grateful for the kindness of the volunteer plumbers.

"They're here to donate their time and skill over the years that they've learned this trade and put it to good use today for people that are vulnerable," he told the station.

Cases of water are distributed at Flint Local 370.

Posted by The Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council on Saturday, January 30, 2016

Although the new faucets are a comfort to Flint residents, they only filter out 150 parts per billion (of lead) – and some residents have up to 4,000 ppb.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit announced that the FBI has joined a U.S. criminal investigation into the water contamination crisis occurring in Flint, reports Reuters.
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