PMI Issues RFP to Determine If
Low Flow Rates in Plumbing Systems Yield Opportunistic
PMI seeks to understand if lower flow rates may impact public
Little scientific research exists on the relationship between low
flow rates and opportunistic waterborne pathogens in plumbing
systems. That’s why Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) today
announced a request for proposal for a test protocol and budget—due
Aug. 26, 2016—supporting research that examines whether the trend
toward the ongoing lowering of flow rates in plumbing systems create
unintended consequences on potable water quality.
“Without much empirical data to date, there isn’t a definition for
what constitutes ‘safe’ flow rates in relation to opportunistic
pathogen growth, which may put the public at risk,” said Matt
Sigler, technical director at PMI. “PMI is looking to select a
thoughtful research proposal and ultimately an experiment that
addresses water quality impacts due to flow rates.”
Through the study, PMI will test the hypothesis that low flow rates
yield a greater proliferation of opportunistic pathogens in potable
water and create unsafe conditions. Potable water should be
satisfactory for drinking and for culinary and domestic uses.
Story continues below
advertisement | your ad here
As part of the request for
proposal, respondents need to provide a well-defined
experiment protocol with budget requirements. The experiment
should be simple, reproducible and run long enough to
achieve a steady state, with both controlled water source
chemistry and a controlled source of opportunistic
pathogens. Flow rate ranges should also represent the
minimum and maximum levels typical to premise plumbing
systems. Other required proposal elements include showing:
• Measured test parameter data
logged over the life of the project.
• Influent and effluent sampling of water at prescribed intervals.
• Biofilm sampling at prescribed location and times during the
• Project report including the charted data, a description of any
anomalies observed during the testing and a summary of the findings
versus the original hypothesis.
Proposals are due by Aug. 26, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. CDT. Submissions
should be addressed to Matt Sigler, technical director at PMI, and
More information about the request for proposal is available at
Questions should be directed to Mr. Sigler at least 48 hours in
advance of the deadline.
Plumbing Manufacturers International is the voluntary,
not-for-profit international industry association of manufacturers
of plumbing products, serving as the Voice of the Plumbing Industry.
Member companies produce 90 percent of the nation’s plumbing
products and represent more than 150 brands. As part of its mission,
PMI advocates for plumbing product performance and innovation
contributing to water savings, sustainability, public health and
safety, and consumer satisfaction. For information on PMI or its
conferences, contact the organization at 1921 Rohlwing Road, Unit G,
Rolling Meadows, IL, 60008; tel.: 847-481-5500; fax: 847-481-5501;