Merrillville, Indiana-based Leeps Supply, in partnership with Leonard Valve, recently hosted a group of nearly 70 regional plumbers and water-treatment and facilities maintenance professionals from more than 40 different companies for a unique discussion on public safety.

The evening was spent detailing proper processes and risks associated with Legionella bacteria, a type of bacterium found in potable water systems that causes Legionnaires’ disease. Plumbers from across Northwest Indiana and Chicago attended a three-hour workshop and training, held by Leeps Supply at its Merrillville location.

Leeps Supply partners with manufacturers often to host a variety of training classes for plumbers and field-maintenance professionals.

“This is an important topic and a potential threat to public safety” said Travis Maples of Leeps Supply. “It’s been in the news a lot lately both locally and nationally. Plumbers and wholesalers have become all too aware of the real threat we face. Working to educate plumbers is something we take seriously and staying ahead of this will require all of us working together. Based on the participation of tonight’s event, I would imagine we’ll be doing this one again soon.”

Leeps partnered with Leonard Valve , a manufacturer of water-temperature controls, and its manufacturers representative Inland Sales to provide the training. Brian Yelton of Inland Sales led the training, covering everything from where Legionella lives and how it spreads to the types of buildings and water systems that are most at risk.

Yelton also discussed the importance of equipment maintenance and having the right equipment for the right situation. Legionella usually is associated with water stored between 68 and 122° F. Water is stored in a variety of ways based on the type of facility.  

“Every situation is different,” Yelton said. “Because current codes don’t address the issue specifically, it is up to us to communicate the standards and educate the trades and facilities professionals about the risks involved and how to avoid those risks”.

One of the participants, Plumbers Local 210 instructor Kevin Hooseveen said, “I’ve been hearing more and more about Legionella lately, and tonight was an important reminder of the key role that the plumbers play in ensuring the health and safety of our communities.”

Founded in 1954, Leeps Supply currently operates under two banners in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan with eight plumbing-supply counters and three showrooms. For more information, visit or