On Wednesday 11 March, professional plumbers across the land will be celebrated on World Plumbing Day. Initiated by the World Plumbing Council (WPC) - of which the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is a member - World Plumbing Day promotes awareness of the importance of plumbing and plumbers in protecting public health and improving amenity. Advances in modern plumbing mean that it is included in the daily routines of most people in the UK, with barely a moment’s thought. It is trained and skilled plumbers that make this so now and will be needed to do so in the future too.
Living in the UK, we may believe we are safe from the dangers of severe water shortages, but the government is already preparing to act on improving the future resilience of the supply. October last year saw the closure of the Consultation on measures to reduce personal water use and its findings are awaited. However, its background is that climate change and population growth are set to place increased pressures on water resources, meaning plumbers will have a vital role to play in safeguarding our most critical of resources.
Add to this longstanding issues such as hot water scalding, Legionnaires’ disease, lead in water supplies and pollution caused by plumbing misconnections, and the plumber’s role in safeguarding the public health is clear.
CEO of the CIPHE, Kevin Wellman, commented, “Good plumbers really do protect the health and welfare of the nation, and it is high time that plumbing professionals got the recognition they deserve. With the CIPHE’s manifesto highlighting to politicians the role plumbing plays in protecting the health and wealth of the nation, we see World Plumbing Day as an important aspect in raising the profile of professional plumbers.
“We cannot ignore that each year many hundreds of people, often vulnerable, are affected by poorly designed, installed and maintained plumbing systems. At the CIPHE we are currently working in partnership with other leading industry bodies to help raise standards of education and raise concerns direct with Government on skills, compliance and safety issues.
“As an educational charity we encourage consumers to make the right choices when it comes to employing a tradesperson. However, we still recognise that in the current climate, more needs to be done to make all plumbing systems safe and sustainable. This is why we continue to back the introduction of a licence to practice, something which is prevalent in many countries across the globe.”