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World Plumbing Day ~ Celebrate & Appreciate Plumbers

It is World Plumbing Day, March 11th, every year, everywhere…

I am sharing some valuable information from the World Plumbing Day website.

The key elements from this epidemic that are addressed by the plumbing industry worldwide:

DESIGN: It all begins with the design of the product itself. A trained engineer will know

which materials are viable options for the production of a P-trap and call for these

specifications in his design.

PRODUCTION: Next is the manufacturer. If there is an ISO 9001 Quality Management

System in place, audited regularly by an accredited third party body, the manufacturer is

likely to recognize a deficient material being used in a product and make the correction

before the faulty product can go to market — in this case, the bolts that rusted,

compromising the water seal in the floor drain trap.

STANDARDS TESTING: Similarly, this defect could have been caught during testing at

a properly accredited product-testing laboratory. Standards dictate the allowable

materials, design, function, etc. for a given product. If the product standard calls for

galvanized bolts, for instance, any product not using the specified bolts would not pass

testing to show compliance with the applicable standard(s).

PRODUCT CERTIFICATION: Without meeting the required standards, the product

cannot be certified and listed by a third-party certification body suitably accredited to

grant Marks of Conformity to products. Authorities Having Jurisdiction (a city’s building

inspector, for instance) look for these Marks of Conformity when determining which

plumbing products they will allow for installation within their municipality.

CODES: The adoption of building codes within a municipality goes a long way toward

ensuring the safety of a city’s residents from system failures such as the one at the Amoy


INSTALLATION: A workforce highly trained and educated to the existing code language

is essential to the proper installation of a plumbing system. If the plumber who installed

the P-trap at the Amoy Gardens was properly certified to perform this work, it is quite

possible he would have recognized the potential for failure in this particular product.

INSPECTION: In the same vein, a similarly certified plumbing and mechanical inspector

might have red tagged this installation during his code-dictated on-site inspection of the

installer’s work. This red tag could have required the installer to remove the faulty P-trap

and replace it with the proper part before the plumbing system could be approved as

being compliant.

MAINTENANCE: Over the life of a plumbing system, periodic maintenance is required.

The chances of the system continuing to function in the safest manner possible grow

exponentially when the person performing that maintenance is trained professional

plumber. During routine maintenance of the building’s plumbing system, the failed P-trap

might have been discovered and repaired before the SARS Coronavirus was introduced to


When all of these steps work in concert with each other, it drastically reduces the

likelihood of the type of failure that facilitated the spread of the SARS virus in Hong

Kong. In developing nations, many of these steps are often bypassed, with increased

health risks illustrated by statistics; for example, as many as 7.5 percent of deaths in India

are attributed to water and sanitation related causes, according to statistics from the

World Health Organization — a staggering figure in a nation of 1.1 billion people.

World Plumbing Day seeks to provide additional awareness of these goals and how tools

such as “Health Aspects of Plumbing” contribute toward reaching these humanitarian


Safe, clear drinking water and basic sanitation is possible in any nation, big or small, when simple, sound plumbing practices are adopted.

Contact www.worldplumbing.org to download your copy of Health Aspects of Plumbing today.


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