This week (May 16-23) kicks off Infrastructure Week which is designed to educate the public about the critical issues facing us today with regard to our nation’s failing infrastructure. Infrastructure includes water, roads, bridges, rails, ports, airports, the power grid, and broadband which we all rely on every single day. Whether we’re turning on the lights or the faucet, we are depending on our infrastructure to be there when we need it.
At McWane, the products we manufacture are critical to the nation’s water infrastructure system, and we play a critical role in bringing water to the entire world. Water is vital to every other infrastructure system including the power grid, public health, fighting fires, etc. Have you ever considered what you would do if you turned on the faucet to get a drink of water and nothing came out? This could happen if we as a nation don’t reinvest in our water infrastructure in a big way.
We are proud of the fact that many of the ductile iron pipes produced by McWane since 1921, even longer for McWane Ductile-New Jersey, are still in service today. But it’s time to replace those reliable pipes with new pipes that will last for another 100 years or more. Congress has recognized the need for water infrastructure improvements and, through the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), has funded eligible infrastructure projects using State Revolving Funds (SRFs). SRFs provide low-interest loans to be used for water and sanitation projects.
We are competing with plastic pipe makers and foreign producers on those projects. It’s critical that we educate the public and those who make decisions about funding water infrastructure projects about the benefits of using ductile iron pipe so local policy makers will make the wise, strong and sustainable choice ─ ductile iron pipe and fittings.
An article recently appeared in the Huffington Post discussing the water challenges we face. You can read the article at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-deane/solving-complex-water-cha_b_9906068.html
Birmingham, Alabama, February 11, 2015 – Although the world’s attention is drifting away from the Ebola tragedy in West Africa, the crisis continues. However, the joint efforts of those helping on the front lines continue to pay dividends: this month, clean water began flowing from a new WaterHealth Centre in Bomi County, Liberia. Ebola continues to inflict a tragic toll in West Africa, and the delivery and storage of clean water remains a critical weapon in the fight against the disease. Behind a partnership including the McWane Foundation, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, WaterHealth International, and the Global Environment & Technology Foundation, some 22 million liters of safe, World Health Organization-quality water are being provided to existing Ebola Treatment Units in Liberia. The water is critical – by one measure, as many as 52 gallons of water a day are needed to treat every Ebola patient – for drinking, and to wash clothes and disinfect patient hands and bodies. It is also essential in cleaning the outfits used by the medical doctors and nurses. The absence of reliable water and wastewater infrastructure has helped contribute to a chronic lack of clean water in the area. The effort to fight the disease is part of Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), which aims to provide clean water and sanitation access to two million people by the end of the year.
“Clean, safe, reliable drinking water isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity, particularly when treating a disease like Ebola. While Ebola isn’t on the front pages anymore, it’s a crisis that continues to claim hundreds of lives each [day/week],” said G. Ruffner Page, Jr., McWane, Inc.’s President. “And I’m grateful we are working together with a team of such committed partners.”
This month’s news is only the latest in the continuing efforts by the partnership to deliver safe water where it is most needed. While many take for granted water infrastructures that deliver to our homes safe, dependable drinking water, the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa served as yet another reminder of why we shouldn’t. Water infrastructure helps prevent the spread of devastating illness and supports broader efforts at disease eradication and prevention. Last year, McWane contributed $100,000 and its considerable expertise to help deliver water to frontline health clinics in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, a focal point of the outbreak that ignited global panic in 2014. For more information about the RAIN effort, visit: http://www.getf.org/our-projects-partnerships/rain/
Not only on today because of Earth Day, but every day McWane delivers water that is sustainable and safe. Made in America, for America. As America’s water and wastewater infrastructure begins to show its age — and in places it’s well over a century old — it’s important we do what’s right for our families, our communities and our planet. At McWane, we’re committed to doing right, the right way.
Billions of dollars worth of new infrastructure is needed. It’s needed soon. And best of all, it can create thousands of American jobs and pump new life into our economy. The McWane Way has helped lead us to the front of our industry. We’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars to improve safety, efficiency and environmental sustainability and we’re ready to help rebuild America. Our country deserves nothing less than the finest, most durable and safest infrastructure—manufactured right here at home.
There are some who argue for PVC pipe in our water and wastewater infrastructures. But toxic chemicals andour drinking water don’t mix. Dozens of cities and jurisdictions are now suing the largest manufacturer of PVC pipes because of the broken promises, cracked products and limited durability of those pipes.
Every city, and every American family, deserves better.McWane’s ductile iron pipes are made from recycled materials, not toxic chemicals. We turn hundreds of thousands of tons of old cars that would otherwise fill landfills and junkyards into durable, safe, efficient water pipes and fittings. And we’ve been perfecting this for generations.
“We’re about more than compliance with environmental,health and safety regulations,” said Ruffner Page, Jr., McWane president. “We want our initiatives to become a benchmark for the foundry industry, and to lead our industry toward more sustainable practices. We aim to be the best by continuing to do our best.”
Our country deserves the best water infrastructure. It will help create jobs here at home, boost our economy and safeguard our health—all while protecting our environment and communities.