Water’s Off volunteers provide plumbing repairs for low-income homeowners

“This is too good to be true,” Laurene Gruett said as Gerald Keating and Brett Sergot, members of St. Paul Plumbers Local 34, repaired the basement shower and kitchen sink in her North St. Paul home March 21. “What a blessing. Keating and Sergot were among 57 volunteers from Local 34 who participated in the annual Water’s Off day of service. St. Paul plumbers provided free service and repairs to 50 low-income, senior or disabled homeowners.

“Usually, it’s simple fixes that help people lower their water bill and keep their property from flooding,” Keating said. “It’s just a nice chance to give back.”

This marked the 21st consecutive year plumbers unions in Minnesota have teamed with their contractors, members of the Minnesota Mechanical Contractors Association, on the day of service. Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties helps identify homeowners who need plumbing assistance.

At Gruett’s house, that meant fixing a leaky shower base and adjusting the basement toilet, repairs Keating, in his fifth year of volunteering, and Sergot, in his 14th year, made easily. The two work for Chaska-based Dynamic Mechanical.

“This is about having a good hear,” Sergot said, “and doing work that needs to be done.”

Water’s Off started in the Twin Cities in 1994 and is now a national volunteer program.

Article reprinted from Union Advocate.