The U.S. is seeing about 10,000 baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) retire per day. That means every day we lose knowledge from our industry due to retirements. The fact that so much of the construction industry is experience- or knowledge-based work makes this fact especially sobering, but the challenges don’t end there.
Recently, I had the opportunity to go on a fishing trip. It was a “deep-sea” excursion from the northern tip of Plum Island in New England. The recommended method of trickery was to put some pieces of squid on a hook, weight the line with a 16-ounce hunk of lead and let it sink to the bottom of the ocean.
Unintended consequences, that close cousin of mislaid plans, can claim some responsibility for a current conundrum: low-flow fixtures paired with existing oversized piping helped create the growing crisis of legionella bacteria.
Businesses that last share common traits. For example, they have written ownership agreements with key terms; they are structured to prevent conflicts and disputes between co-owners; and they have planned for timely succession to manage next-generation expectations and prevent frustration.
There are four remaining state-written plumbing codes used in the United States. You could say that the remaining four states are just stubborn. Maybe they think they do it better than the model plumbing codes, but they don’t.
Ten years ago, I wrote a column that I entitled “No lead is good lead.” The column raised a number of eyebrows and is still quoted today. Actually, that column was written well after my first involvement with lead. I first got involved with lead in drinking water concerns in the early 1980s. I was interviewed for the Chicago local news in 1986 regarding lead in the Chicago drinking water.
The April 2019 issue of PM Engineer takes an expansive look at the challenges engineers face sizing grease interceptors and how the issue affects municipal sewer systems across the country. Also this month, read exclusive stories about a hydronic water pipeline system installed at a new Four Seasons resort in Calistoga, California, and the value siphonic drains provide in a new manufacturing facility in McPherson, Kansas. Julius Ballanco’s column examines the definition of graywater in plumbing codes, and John Siegenthaler, P.E., gives details for bypassing thermal storage.