In a publication released in 2008, the World Plumbing Council and the World Health Organization emphasized the role of plumbers in providing safe drinking water; especially in ensuring the health and safety of children. In order to make health and sanitation facilities truly sustainable, the plumbing systems in place should be capable of supplying potable water in adequate amounts, which all inhabitants of a household can access, hot, cold or both.
The WHO gave emphasis that for a plumbing system to be considered reliable, the plumbing fixtures must also be able to discharge sewage wastes and wastewater either into a private waste disposal system or public sewer.
Nowadays, most governments have invested in greywater systems as a way to conserve water by way of specifically engineered wastewater collection system. Used or black water derived from bathtubs, showers and sinks are filtered and undergoes disinfecting processes by a greywater recycling firm. The latter will them plumb it back as water supply to use in toilets, in watering gardens, cleaning automobiles and other usage not requiring clean drinking water.
However, this makes it even more important to employ licensed professional plumbers as they have adequate skills and knowledge in ensuring that no cross contamination will occur.
Plumbing System as Defined by the WPC and the WHO
The 2008 WPC and WHO publication includes important factors and guidelines in describing and defining what is considered as an adequate and appropriate plumbing system.
The publication defines plumbing as a system involving methods, fixtures, materials as well as best practices, when installing and maintaining piping systems that connect appliances and other building appurtenances to specific facilities. The latter may include public or private suppliers of water, providers of sanitation services, storm drainages and venting outlets.
The publication clearly states that a plumbing system consists of three major components, namely:
1. Plumbing parts that can provide adequate supply of potable water.
2, Plumbing section that serves as an appropriate drainage system, and
3, Plumbing fixtures and equipment that will enable the plumbing system to provide access to clean water and sanitary facilities.
4, Plumbing in a more extensive scope includes the methods, fixtures and materials used for piping repairs or retrofitting.
The plumbing industry makes it clear that drilling water wells or putting in place water-softening elements and equipment are not considered as plumbing activities.
Some Best Practices Recommended by WPC and WHO When Installing Plumbing systems
To ensure sustainability of a plumbing system, the WPC along with the WHO recommend observance of the following best practices:
While the WPC recommends that the piping of the house service line be as short as possible, the plumbing professional in charge must comply with the local or state plumbing codes.
The standard depth by which a house service line must be buried as protection against freezing, is at least under four feet of soil. Yet this depth tends to vary across different jurisdictions from north to south or vice versa.
Piping connections must be minimal as the use of elbows and bends tend to weaken water pressure. Low water pressure after all, limits the delivery of water supply in a building or home. The minimum water pressure that can deliver ample supply is at least
forty pounds per square inch (40 psi)
The local or state plumbing inspector must make sure that the plumbing system installed can remove waste safely awat from the house or building. Moreover, the inspector must ascertain that the occupants are protected against emission of dangerous gases and toxic materials caused by waste backups.