Plumbers head to legislature over proposed code - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Plumbers head to legislature over proposed code

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There's a legislative fight brewing between some builders and plumbers-- over statewide standards for plumbing.    A proposed law would replace current standards with a code used in a number of other states.  

Local plumbers say it would mean weaker standards proper plumbing is crucial to safe drinking water as well as proper sewage disposal and treatment.  And a number of local plumbers plan to travel to Baton Rouge Wednesday to fight what they say would lower the standards.

 Proposed law would replace current standards with what's called the International Plumbing Code.

Veteran master plumber Buddy Pesson says he and others fear it jeopardize public health and safety.

"I just have a tremendous amount of confidence with what's presently in place statewide based on the state plumbing board and D H AND H (Department of Health and Hospitals) that they have been very, very thorough in taking care of issues that had not been taken care of 20 years ago,"said Pesson.

Pesson says the International Code was developed in states with climates different from Louisiana.

Master Plumber Ricky Campbell says even if the law is changed he will adhere to the higher standards in place now. In his words it's the right thing to do.

"The plumbers are only trying to protect the health of the people of Louisiana.  The people of Louisiana have a lot to lose in this because of venting, potable water storage.  The standards of the IPC code are very low," said Campbell.

Campbell says Legionnaires disease  is an example of one disease found in states with the International Code but not here in Louisiana.

"Thirty three of the 35 states that have adopted this already have already amended this code to upgrade it because it's such a low standard code. So you wouldn't in truth be unifying anything because 33 of the other 35 states have already amended this code," said Campbell.

Campbell says in his opinion those behind the bill are seeking a way to bring in less qualified, out of state plumbers. A number of local plumbers plan to appear before a State Senate committee to voice their concerns.  

The measure has passed the House. To hear more of our interviews with plumbers look for the web extras at www.kplctv.com  Read the proposed law here.

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