Five years ago, The World Plumbing Council designated March 11th as World Plumbing Day, an annual international event celebrating the important role plumbing plays in the health and safety of modern society. The Council aims to educate plumbers and consumers around the world about proper plumbing procedures and conservation efforts, and reminds us not to take clean water for granted.
Educating Other Countries
Because one in eight people in the world does not have access to clean water, an important goal of this day is to bring awareness about the plumbing methods and procedures used to ensure cleaner drinking water and sanitary facilities. Together with the World Health Organization, the World Plumbing Council created a publication titled “Health Aspects of Plumbing” to be distributed to those responsible for plumbing systems in countries where infections disease in water is common. Some of the topics the book includes are basic principles of safe drinking water supply, codes of practice for plumbing, standards for materials used in plumbing systems, storm water drainage, and design of plumbing systems.
Working to Conserve Water
Another reason for World Plumbing Day is to educate the general public about the work our industry performs every day to conserve the world’s overstretched sources of drinking water and promote energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable sources of energy.
These efforts range from simple household changes to wide scale government sponsored endeavors. Highlights include:
The plumbing industry focuses on three methods of water reuse that are rapidly increasing in popularity all over the world:
Rainwater harvesting is pretty simple at its core — the capture and storage of rainwater that would otherwise return to the water table through natural means — but the plumbing industry is hard at work developing equipment and methods to increase its efficiency and usage.
Grey water systems can range from redirecting sink drain water to a toilet tank for flushing to city wide systems used to water greenbelts and water tolerant landscaping.
Sewage water recycling is the filtration, treatment and natural return to the water table of water used to remove sewage from our homes and businesses. Municipalities are investing heavily in these systems that literally and figuratively remove the waste from our water.
Limiting Water Use
Various water efficient products such as low-flow showerheads and waterless urinals have been introduced to consumers by plumbing manufacturers. These efficient systems fall into government rebate programs and meet mandatory efficiency standards.
Desalination (converting salt water to fresh water)
Researchers continue to develop newer, more efficient means for converting salt water to drinkable fresh water, a process that has previously been cost prohibitive and detrimental to the environment.
Solar Water Heating
New technologies for solar collectors, storage and delivery of hot water offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional electrical and gas powered systems.
Manufacturers are developing water heaters and appliances that not only use less water, but also require less power to operate them. From high efficiency water heaters to Energy Star-rated dishwashers, washing machines, boilers and room air conditioners, these products are much greener than models produced even as recently as five years earlier.
We at Putman Plumbing are thankful for clean water and healthy plumbing systems. To find out more about the World Plumbing Council’s efforts, visit worldplumbingday.org.