Union plumbers step up to keep St. Paul Schools’ water safe

Tom McCarthy (R), president of St. Paul Plumbers Local 34, received the thanks of St. Paul school board chair Jon Schumacher during the board’s Nov. 15 meeting.

Tom McCarthy (R), president of St. Paul Plumbers Local 34, received the thanks of St. Paul school board chair Jon Schumacher during the board’s Nov. 15 meeting.

Union plumbers are stepping up to make sure drinking water is safe for students and staff in the St. Paul Public Schools.

The district recently finished testing all water fixtures in its buildings for lead. While more than 95 percent of fixtures passed the initial test, maintenance staff identified 233 fixtures that needed replacing.

At the Board of Education’s Nov. 15 meeting, Plumbers Local 34 President Tom McCarthy informed school board members that union members had voted to donate $25,000 toward the lead-mitigation effort.

Facilities management staff members said they were inspired to conduct the lead tests ahead of schedule after reading the news about lead poisoning in Flint, Mich.

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