Veterans Day 2019

November 11, 1918, marked a turning point for the world, WWI had officially ended. A Federal Holiday, Armistice Day, was established to commemorate all the men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces.

Today, 101 years later, it is better known as Veterans Day. 

Each year the Veterans Day National Committee selects a themed poster highlighting either a milestone or focus. This year the poster focuses on “service.” Veterans not only serve our country in times of war but also in times of peace. 

The role of Armed Forces Members doesn’t end when they take off their uniform. These men and women take their experiences, skills, and education from active duty and use them to strengthen communities. Veterans volunteer, open businesses of their own, and contribute to the productive workforce. 

Their personal sacrifice of comfort, family, and dreams can never be fully repaid, but we ask this year you take a moment to honor those who have served and continue to serve our country. Many of us struggle to show support, so we’ve compiled a quick list of unique ways to thank a Veteran!

  • Make a frequent-flyer mile donation. Fisher House’s Hero Miles has provided over 70,000 tickets. 
  • Bring in a Veteran Speaker. Veterans provide more than war stories. They have deep knowledge of leadership, crisis management, and motivation. 
  • Shop at Veteran-owned businesses. According to the Coalition for Veteran Owned Business, more than 5.8 million people are employed by Veteran businesses generating $1.2 trillion in sales per year! 

Thank you for joining Specification Rubber Products in taking the time to honor those who have served our country.

Imagine a Day Without Water 2019

Millions of Americans take water service for granted every day. Turn on the tap, and clean water flows out. Flush the toilet, and dirty water goes away. With reliable water service, people don’t have to think twice about the infrastructure that brings water to their homes, and then safely returns water to the environment – but everyone should be concerned with the fragility of those systems. 

 

On Imagine a Day Without Water, take a moment to think about what your day would be like if you couldn’t turn on the tap and get clean drinking water, or if you flushed the toilet and wastewater didn’t go anywhere. What would that day be like? What would firefighters do? Could hospitals be sanitary without clean tap water, or without wastewater service? Would restaurants and hotels be able to serve guests? Would manufacturing plants that require vast amounts of clean water, such as pipe or gasket manufacturers, shut down?

 

It is often for granted that we don’t have to ask those questions every day, but America’s water infrastructure is aging and failing. Stories of communities with neglected infrastructure and compromised drinking water bubble up regularly. Record rainfalls in the Midwest this spring flooded the Mississippi River with pollution, and this summer toxic algae bloomed in the Great Lakes – a critical source of drinking water for millions of Americans. In other parts of the country, drought and wildfires threaten critical water supplies for communities and farmers. There are even communities, especially in many rural places across the country, that have never had access to infrastructure in the first place. Americans can’t take their water infrastructure for granted. 

 

Water infrastructure is the lifeline of our community. Our water infrastructure supports every facet of our daily lives, but our water infrastructure is facing challenges. 

 

At home, The Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) is the largest water utility in the state serving more than 600,000 people in Jefferson, Shelby, Blount, St. Clair and Walker Counties.  Birmingham Water Works remains one of the top water producers every year, and its water is ranked as some of the best in the nation. But maintaining infrastructure and equipment such as facilities, water meters, fire hydrants, water mains, and tanks, to ensure the integrity of the water system in our region is a commitment that demands ongoing attention. 

 

Water challenges look different to different communities and will require local solutions, but reinvestment in water systems should be a national priority. Strong leadership on water is key to securing America’s future. On October 23rd, Imagine a Day Without Water is an opportunity for everyone to get educated about water systems, their challenges and to be informed about what organizations are trying to do to solve our big water problems. It is also a day for us to raise awareness with our elected leaders and say, with one voice, that these are big problems that won’t be solved in a silo. We need leadership at every level if we want to secure a better future for the millions of Americans who don’t have reliable water service today and ensure a reliable water future for generations to come. Investing in water is investing in a future where no American will have to imagine a day without water.

 

Please join Specification Rubber Products in spreading awareness. Tell us what a day without water would mean for you or share an experience!

Specification Rubber Products Proudly Takes Part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This October, Specification Rubber Products, once again, is proud to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer in women after skin cancer. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point.

The good news is that most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

  • If you are a woman age 40 to 49, talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.
  • If you are a woman age 50 to 74, be sure to get a mammogram every 2 years. You may also choose to get them more often.

Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of detecting breast cancer early. Make a difference! Spread the word about mammograms, and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved. Most importantly, encourage the women in your life, your wife, mother, sisters, friends, etc. to get screened.

There are some things in life we can’t change. But sometimes we can influence the outcome. 

Specification Rubber Products stands with those affected by breast cancer by donating a percentage of our October sales to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama and will also be collecting donations and supplies for our local cancer center. Please join us in the fight by donating today.

Resources we want to share.

Beyond The Shock is a free, comprehensive, online guide to understanding breast cancer. It is a resource for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, a place for loved ones to gain a better understanding of the disease, and a tool for doctors to share information.

NBCF is dedicated to delivering comprehensive, educational information on breast health and healthy living. From understanding the importance of early detection to knowing how to prepare for a mammogram, NBCF’s online resources and guides aim to empower women and men with useful information.

Information about free or low-cost mammogram screening programs is available through NCI’s Cancer Information Service at 1-800-422-6237.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides access to breast cancer screening services to underserved women in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 5 U.S. territories, and 12 tribal organizations.

And for our homegrown Alabama women: Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama.

Happy Labor Day from Spec Rubber

We want to thank all the men and women who work to sustain and improve our nation. Each of us may seem like a tiny drop in a vast ocean, but when all of those drops work together, we create a mighty force. No matter how insignificant your job may feel, it does play a role in moving this force of a nation. We appreciate all you do. Not one person who does honest work in this nation does it in vain.

 

We want to say a special thanks to all of our family here at Specification Rubber Products. Your dedication and hard work do not go unnoticed and we wouldn’t have been here for over 50 years without you. We have built a company committed to securing safer drinking water for our people and a better way to preserve our country’s precious water. That is something to be proud of.

 

Enjoy this long weekend. Spend some time with your loved ones, rest from your work, and eat some good food! Remember that you are a part of something bigger and take pride in your contribution. And when given the chance, thank the hardest working men and women you know. It will make their day.

 

Spec Rubber will be closed on September 2nd in observance of Labor Day.

 

Thank you and have a blessed, safe, and relaxing Labor Day weekend everyone!

What is NSF-61?

NSF-61 is a set of regulations that covers products that come in contact with drinking water in the USA including pipes, hoses, fittings, gaskets, adhesives, coatings, lubricants, faucets, drinking fountains, filters, water meters, valves, filters, and more.

Basically, if it comes in contact with potable water, NSF-61 verifies that it is safe.

Why is this important? Flint, MI provides a cautionary tale of what can happen when unsafe products come in contact with drinking water.

 

Are you compliant?

 

An Unsafe Drinking Water Catastrophe

In 2014, Flint changed its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Insufficient water treatment caused lead from old and unsafe water pipes to leach into the water delivered to local homes and businesses. The lead pipes in Flint were installed many years before water-safety regulations restricted their use, but the problems didn’t affect citizens until the water source and water treatment changes. Current estimates for fixing these problems range as high as $1,500,000,000.

NSF-61 helps prevent such disasters by ensuring that all components of the water system are certified safe for contact with potable water, preserving the quality and safety of drinking water.

NSF-61 Certification: Good For Water Systems, Good For Citizens

NSF-61 certification has broad benefits for both water systems and consumers. Residents can have peace of mind that the water coming out of their tap is safe to drink.

These regulations are also good for water systems. NSF-61 provides a universally accepted, 3rd-party verification that the pipes, gaskets, and meters utilized for water delivery are drinking water safe. This minimizes the liability faced by water systems and decreases the likelihood of costly repairs and updates in the future. NSF-61 certified components can cost a little more on the front end, but water systems recoup this investment by eliminating the need to dig up pipe to repair or replace sub-standard and unsafe components.

Implementation Varies by State

While NSF-61 is a nationwide certification, implementation can vary from state to state. For example, Alabama recently expanded its NSF-61 requirements to include all gaskets, including water meter gaskets. This bridged a critical gap in coverage that could have allowed unsafe gaskets to leach chemicals into the water delivered to homes.

Visit our NSF-61 interactive map to find out more about implementation in your state.
NSF-61 guidelines provide a standard that can be used for all water system components nationwide, even in areas where certification is not required. Water system engineers and managers can avoid costly repairs and uncomfortable questions by utilizing the NSF-61 framework to guide purchasing decisions. This provides a 3rd party verification that best practices were followed, certifying that the water system did all that it could to protect its citizens.

Certification vs. Compliance

NSF-61 Certification is expensive for manufacturers. Some manufacturers choose to claim “NSF-61 compliance” rather than “NSF-61 certification”. This means that they are claiming to follow NSF-61 practices without submitting to the 3rd party certification. Many water systems don’t know the difference, causing them to purchase products that lack the 3rd party verification that is so helpful when questions arise.

How can you tell the difference? Look for the NSF logo or specific NSF markings on any products utilized by your water system.

Which Products are Certified?

It is important to note that some manufacturers certify a few of their products rather than all of them. This allows them to talk boldly about NSF-61 certification in its materials. The problem is that products are NSF-61 certified, not companies. EVERY PRODUCT must be submitted for NSF-61 certification.

Be careful to check the NSF-61 status of every individual part that comes in contact with drinking water to avoid deceptive descriptions from manufacturers and protect your water system from future consumer questions.

Gaskets from Alabama

Specification Rubber Products manufactures gaskets in Alabaster, AL. All of our products are 100% NSF-61 compliant and 100% made in the USA. Would you like to find out more about how NSF-61 affects your water system? Contact us today at 1-800-633-3415!

 

Get compliant

 

Alabama Takes a Key Step to Make Drinking Water Safer

The State of Alabama has taken a key step in helping to ensure safer drinking water for its citizens. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has passed a regulation that requires NSF-61 certified gaskets for all gaskets that contact potable water including meter gaskets. This means that all components of water systems in Alabama are now required to be NSF-61 certified.

 

Are you compliant?

NSF-61

NSF/ANSI Standard 61 affects businesses in the United States that manufacture products that come in contact with drinking water. This standard was developed by a team of scientists and industry experts to set health effects for infrastructure that comes in contact with drinking water. 

 

Why is NSF-61 so important? Gaskets manufactured using cheap and unsafe materials can release chemicals into the water that we consume. With drinking water catastrophes like the one in Flint, MI, regulators and industry experts are implementing measures to make drinking water safe nationwide. NSF-61 is a critical component of this strategy to make sure that more citizens are not exposed to dangerous toxins as they were in Flint. 

 

While this is a nationwide regulation, implementation can vary from state to state.   

 

Alabama’s New Regulation

Alabama has had NSF-61 regulations in place for years. These regulations have focused primarily on buried pipe. This left a critical component, gaskets at the meter and flanged pipe, unregulated even though these gaskets come in direct contact with drinking water. ADEM’s new regulation ensures that all gaskets from the water treatment facility to homes and businesses are water safe. Along with regulations that govern pipe in the ground, the new regulations close the loop on securing Alabama’s drinking water supply.

 

100% NSF-61 Certified and Made in America

Specification Rubber Products has thrived because we are the only gasket manufacturer that is 100% certified NSF-61 compliant and 100% made in America. We have manufactured gaskets at our facility in Alabaster, AL since 1968. Spec Rubber is unique among gasket manufacturers in that we have survived increasing competition by focusing on quality rather than importing cheap gaskets from Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. Many gasket companies claim to be “NSF-61 compliant”, but they forego the costly certification process. Spec Rubber certifies all gaskets so that water system managers can rest assured that gasket problems will not lead to water system issues affecting their customers and local citizens. 

 

Get compliant

 

Would you like to find out more about how Alabama’s new regulations affect your water system?

Contact us today for more information about these important changes.

Celebrating our Nation this Independence Day

Independence. The word by itself fuels an immense variety of meanings. As teenagers, we dream of doing everything without anyone’s input. As matriarchs, we dream of doing everything without the need for physical assistance. Students of all ages seek out independent learning. You can find independent contractors. Many churches identify themselves as being independent. The word independence has many faces. But our nation’s independence, the day on which America was officially born in 1776, should draw a similar picture for all of us.

 

243 years later, any American who can tell the story of our independence from experience or heard the story from a relative who lived it first-hand has long since passed. Everything we know is handed down to us in history books and through internet searches. That can make July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 delegates to the Continental Congress, feel like a distant story instead of what it truly is. To have men and women who could tell stories of what life was like before, after and during the fight for our independence would be absolutely fascinating.

 

We will never have the privilege of shaking the men’s hands who had any part in our initial freedom. We can’t thank them or their families. But we can celebrate the 4th of July in a way that honors them. For example, by making sure our children understand the history of our nation and how we had to fight to be free…and still do. In the Birmingham area, you can take them to places like American Village where learning about our history literally comes alive. Stone Mountain Park just outside of Atlanta celebrates the 4th with special events all day and a spectacular laser show followed by captivating patriotic fireworks to leave your kids in awe, giving you the perfect opportunity to explain why the celebration is so big. Or it can be as simple as talking positively about our nation while enjoying juicy hamburgers and writing names in the dark with sparklers. 

 

However your family celebrates, remember independence. Remember the courageous battles you read about. Remember the determination and hope these men clung to as they refused a different outcome to their efforts. Remember the wise men who put so much thought into the wording and elegance of our Declaration of Independence. Remember that we, as a nation, are blessed. We are free.

 

Our family at Specification Rubber Products wishes you a very happy 4th of July celebration.

Happy Father’s Day from Specification Rubber Products

There are many words we can use to describe Fathers. Strong. Wise. Humble. Gentle. Harsh.

Quiet. Loud. Whether he influenced you with his love for sports, art, the outdoors or books, he

left some type of unforgettable mark on your life. Many people have mixed feelings about their

dads. That’s ok. Our fathers were all boys once and had to learn, adjust, and grow just like the

rest of us. They had a father they learned from – or maybe they didn’t. Whatever their

background, they did the best they could just as we have done.

 

All fathers out there know what it’s like to carry the title “head of the household.” It is a precious

gift, a heavy responsibility, and a difficult task. Today we want to say thank you.

 

Thank you for being committed to providing for us. Thank you for making tough decisions that

only you could make. Thank you for doing whatever it took to provide things you wanted us to

have. Thank you for the family vacations and time spent teaching us how to do things around

the house. Thank you for cheering the loudest at our games. Thank you for putting the fear of

God in us to keep us from making bad choices. Thank you for meaningful talks and loving us

with all your heart.

 

If you know your dad did his best and you appreciate his efforts, tell him today how much he

means to you, that you respect how he gave his all, and that you love him. Fathers don’t have

an easy role. Let’s do our best to honor them as they have done their best to honor the role they

were given when you were born.

 

Happy Father’s Day.

 

We honor the memory of the fallen this Memorial Day

The sacrifice that our men and women make when they choose to serve our country is priceless. The extreme conditions these brave men and women endure, the intense physical strain, the weight of emotional hardships and the aftermath for the families when their loved one is lost, are risks they knowingly take for all of us and a sacrifice we can only accept with gratitude.

Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May each year and is the day we honor those who died serving our country. Many of us will visit cemeteries or memorials, hold a family gathering and participate in parades. At 3:00 pm local time, our nation will observe a moment of remembrance.

Each man and woman who has fallen while serving and protecting us is indeed a hero. They are the ones who have made this nation great. They are the reason we have the freedom to work where we wish, observe our choice of religion, purchase and live on our own land, and enjoy time away from obligations with our families. These freedoms we take for granted don’t exist in many areas of the world, while we can’t imagine life without them.

This Memorial Day, Specification Rubber Products honors the countless men and women who have died while serving our country.

Freedom Is Not Free by Kelly Strong

I watched the flag pass by one day.                                     

It fluttered in the breeze.

A young Marine saluted it,

And then he stood at ease.

 

I looked at him in uniform 

So young, so tall, so proud,

With hair cut square and eyes alert

He’d stand out in any crowd.

 

I thought how many men like him

Had fallen through the years.

How many died on foreign soil?

How many mothers’ tears?

 

How many pilots’ planes shot down?

How many died at sea?

How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?

No, freedom isn’t free.

 

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,

When everything was still

I listened to the bugler play

And felt a sudden chill.

 

I wondered just how many times

That TAPS had meant “Amen,”

When a flag had draped a coffin

Of a brother or a friend.

 

I thought of all the children,

Of the mothers and the wives,

Of fathers, sons and husbands

With interrupted lives.

 

I thought about a graveyard

At the bottom of the sea

Of unmarked graves in Arlington.

No, freedom isn’t free.

Happy Mother’s Day from Specification Rubber Products

 

 

We take one day a year to honor the woman who devotes 365 days a year to us. The title “Mom” holds incredible meaning. None of us could ever recount all the time, tears, prayers, sacrifice, worries, sweat, tough decision-making, guidance and finances she has spent on us. We probably aren’t aware of half the things she has done for us. You can make that one day a year significant by choosing to honor her on Mother’s Day.   

If you are a mom, you know that a sincere thank you every now and then goes a long way. You don’t do it for recognition or glory, but out of sacrificial and unconditional love. If we need you, you find a way to show up and help. Sometimes, that looks like going against what we think should happen. Your wisdom outweighs our own and you’re willing to guide us down the best path, even if it costs you. Thank you for putting our best ahead of your popularity with us and others. You risk so much of yourself to be what we need. How do we thank you for something like that?

Maybe gratitude presents itself in how you parent your own children. Take the good you have learned from your mother and love your children that way. Accept she isn’t perfect – with grace – and learn from her mistakes. Call her and ask for advice when you’re stuck on what to do with your own kids. Call her just to talk. Let her know she is just as important today as when she was on the frontline of your life. Once you step into the background as you emerge into adulthood, don’t let it be the end of her influence. Let her influence far outlive her. She is Mom.

Our family at Specification Rubber Products wishes you a very fulfilling and blessed Mother’s Day.

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