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Local plumbers fix leaks for needy

Rosemount residents Mike Follmer from St. Paul Plumbers Local #34 and Domonic Nelson from Minneapolis Plumbers Local #15 along with 147 other union volunteer plumbers around the state repaired plumbing problems for 110 low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners during Project Water's Off held March 31 at an estimated value of $73,500. Area contractors Ryan Mechanical and Wenzel-Plymouth Plumbing provided parts, tools and trucks for the event.

Each year hundreds of union volunteer plumbers and contractors from the Minnesota Mechanical Contractors Association and the Metro Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association help needy homeowners reduce their water bills by fixing leaky fixtures. The free service, which includes all parts and labor, is available to homeowners who qualify through their local Community Action Programs.

Water's Off started in the Twin Cities in 1994 and is now a national volunteer program. Minnesota holds the largest Water's Off in the nation with support from Minneapolis/St. Cloud Plumbers Local #15 and St. Paul/Mankato Plumbers Local #34, and Rochester Plumbers Local #6.

Homeowners were pre-qualified with the help of local community human service organizations including the Minneapolis Community Action Agency, Community Action for Suburban Hennepin, and the Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties.