ROCHESTER — Volunteers from the Rochester Plumbers and Pipefitters Local #6 are ready to improve the quality of life of low-income seniors and disabled homeowners across southeast Minnesota.

Local #6 started Water’s Off in 1994, along with unions from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Mankato. The program is back this year after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic, and Local #6 is prepared to help up to 12 families.

Water’s Off began as a response to research that showed homeowners with the most expensive water bills were also the homeowners who could least afford their bills. Volunteer plumbers, pipefitters and contractors perform maintenance and repair at no cost to the homeowner.

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The Rochester union partners with Three Rivers Community Action to develop a list of homeowners who qualify for these repairs.

Rochester Plumbers and Pipefitters union wants to improve quality of life

On the surface, this program provides repairs that lower the cost of water for homeowners and reiterates the importance of conserving water. But the volunteers are doing more than fixing a leaky faucet.


“What we see the most is elderly people, their bathtub doesn’t drain, and we’ve seen them shower in their sink,” said Jeremy Andrist,the business manager of Local #6. “Or their toilets don’t work.”

“The water conservation is important, but it’s just their quality of life,” said Brianna Hofschulte, who works at Local #6.

Volunteers also check smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and the like to ensure everything is operating properly at the home.

Water’s Off is on Saturday, March 26, 2022.