Community Plumbing Challenge 2017: Day 7

Community Plumbing Challenge 2017: Day 7

Editor’s Note: Randy Lorge is one of the coaches for the Community Plumbing Challenge team, which is currently in Indonesia doing a project for a school in a small village. It’s the third year for the program that aims to bring together plumbers and engineers from around the world to help regions that still lack basic sanitation and access to clean drinking water. Lorge will be blogging each day during the team’s time in Indonesia, detailing the work that they are doing.

Today was another first for me. My good friend Greg Tink from Australia and I were tasked with continuing the training program we began yesterday, but this time there was an audience change. We spoke to a group of teachers from area technical colleges who teach AutoCAD to young, aspiring engineers. The goal of our presentation was to give a brief history of plumbing and the importance it plays in ensuring the quality of life for all. We also were charged with introducing Indonesia’s newly adopted plumbing standard, similar to our plumbing codes in the United States.

The audience had almost no experience with plumbing, so the first part of informing them about the role plumbing plays in life was crucial. It set up the importance of the standard and the impact it will have not only on the quality of life for the residents of Indonesia, but also the economic side of things in the country. Without safe plumbing systems in place in the surrounding villages and towns, attracting new business for growth and income will be hard pressed to say the least. Who would want to start a business where there is no infrastructure to support it?

The newly adopted plumbing standard SNI 8153-2015 is a very basic standard which establishes the minimum requirements for plumbing. Backflow protection, drains, vents, water distribution, and material standards are all addressed, as well as terminology and stormwater systems.

The course only lasted about six hours, but we tried to accomplish as much as we could. One of our field trips allowed us to use Indonesia’s newly established International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials testing lab to explain drain flow and carry of wastewater. We also took the group to the school site for a tour of the project where it was very easy to give them a visual of what we were talking about. The experience was very rewarding for me as well. I truly enjoyed seeing the “lights go on” for the group during the tour, which generated great questions and comments. I think we nailed it and I could see the gears turning for these teachers and how this training could play out in their classrooms. Being an instructor myself, I always strive to find something from a presentation that can make my students better at what they do.

This time, I think my counterpart and I found a way to make a difference to not only a classroom of students, but also to a country.


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