Name the number one invention of all time according to a scientists’ study. The answer may surprise you — plumbing.
No surprise to those who took part in World Plumbing Day on March 11 — there is nothing more important than clean drinking water and good basic sanitation to keep the world and the people in it, healthy.
The World Plumbing Council (WPC) introduced World Plumbing Day in 2010, and the event is building momentum each year with the strong support of member organizations resulting in events and activities being held in every corner of the globe.
Parliamentary proclamations, International poster competitions in schools, powerpoints in classes and for community groups were some of the dynamic and educational activities happening across the planet.
From the Australia to Trinidad, the United States to the United Kingdom, Canada to Spain, and India to Scotland, on March 11 plumbers around the world were celebrated for everything they do to protect our health and safety.
According to WPC Chairman GP Russ Chaney, CEO of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), this is exactly what the World Plumbing Council is about.
“It’s more than giving plumbers a pat on the back. It’s about empowering an undervalued profession today and creating new generation of innovative professionals for tomorrow.” said Chaney. “It’s especially important in developing countries where a good plumber may be as vital to a young child’s survival as the doctor who treats a water borne disease that could have been avoided.”
The statistics are sobering. According to the World Health Organization 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe clean water supplies and 2.6 billion do not enjoy the use of effective sanitation systems. The tragic result is 3.1 million children die each year as a result of diseases that could have been prevented if only the children had access to basic facilities.
World Plumbing Day raises awareness and salutes the integral role plumbers play to not only protect citizen’s health and safety — but to boldly pursue innovations that improve lives.
WPC Chairman GP Russ Chaney, also recorded a video message posted on the World Plumbing Day Website (www.worldplumbingday.org) that provides background on the important occasion as well as a call for everybody to get involved in spreading the word, the video was used extensively around the world.
WPC members everywhere delivered presentations on water, health and plumbing to schoolchildren, community and industry groups. The children were also invited to participate in an international poster contest that, in addition to smaller local prizes, could ultimately result in cash prizes for the students and their schools. See separate article “World Plumbing Day International Poster Competition”.
In India, Members of the Indian Plumbing Association joined hands to educate and to help people and communities promote better water management and sanitation. Many events and activities were held by IPA Chapters at Bangalore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Dwelhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kerala and Chennai, including developing and using a World Plumbing Day Oath;
“Today, on 11th March, while celebrating World Plumbing Day, I pledge that to the best of my ability, I will strive to preserve the precious natural resource of water and to protect the Environment. As a member of the Plumbing Fraternity, I declare that it is my responsibility to contribute towards provision of potable Water and safe Sanitation to those of my Countrymen, who are deprived of these basic facilities.”
The promotion of World Plumbing Day continued to roll out across Canada, with some 22 jurisdictions throughout Canada, including British Columbia, Vancouver, Surrey, Toronto, Brampton, St. John’s, Mount Pearl and Edmonton, officially declaring March 11 as World Plumbing Day, including a statement in the Canadian Senate by the Hon. Donald Neil Plett: “Honourable senators, it is easy to take the availability of clean drinking water and sanitation systems for granted. ------------ Today, I pay tribute to World Plumbing Day, which is celebrated around the world on March 11. This is the third celebrated year World Plumbing Day aims to help the general public better understand the vital role the plumbing industry plays in protecting the public's health and safety in both developed and developing nations. It further helps to educate the public about the work the industry does in helping to conserve the world's increasingly overstretched resources of drinking water and to promote energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable sources of energy.?Honourable senators, please join me on March 11 in celebrating World Plumbing Day and recognize the tremendous contribution that the World Plumbing Council and its members make to improve living conditions around the world.”?? The Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) and the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC) teamed up to promote the day throughout the country.
The “Hug a Plumber” campaign continued in Canada, with distributors such as the EMCO Corp. branch in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, distributing T-shirts and making presentations at schools.
EMECO Team at Mt. Pearl Newfoundland celebrating World Plumbing Day. sporting their “Hug a Plumber” T-shirts with local plumbers. Bev Arnott (EMCO), CArl Burt ( CIPH-NL President), Stephanie Dodd (EMCO), Kimberley Hemeon (EMCO), Darlene Nelder (EMCO), Rita Pynn (EMCO), Lisa Mercer (EMCO), Terry Sweetapple (NICO Plumbing ), Deb Tucker (EMCO)
In Australia it was the turn of the Australian Parliament to recognize World Plumbing Day, with both Houses, the Senate and House of Representatives moving motions in support of World Plumbing Day.
The Hon Greg Hunt MP Member for Flinders moved the motion in support of World Plumbing Day with several Members from both sides of the House of Representatives, speaking strongly in support of the Motion.
In moving the motion the Hon Greg Hunt MP said, “Community health is based in much part upon having a sound and safe sanitation and water system. That this House:
(1) recognises the:
(a) importance of World Plumbing Day on 11 March and its aim of highlighting the role that the plumbing industry plays in relation to health, through the provision of safe water and sanitation; and
(b) environmental role of the industry in water conservation and in energy efficiency and the increasing use of renewable sources of energy;
(2) notes that it is estimated that 3.1 million children die each year as a result of water related diseases; and
(3) congratulates the World Plumbing Council on its role in promoting the importance of the plumbing industry both in developed countries and in developing countries where good plumbing could save lives”.
Kelvin Thompson MP Member for Wills - The vocation of plumbing is at the coalface of sustainability. Whether plumbers are dealing with water, sanitation, gas or solar, raising plumbing industry standards and becoming a venue for innovative research and development of sustainable practices are paramount for the industry and for government. Mr. Thompson also spoke highly of the work undertaken by the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre, a Member of the World Plumbing Council.
Ken Wyatt MP Member for Hasluck - When you consider that water is a precious commodity, which covers 70 per cent of the earth's surface but only 2.5 per cent is fresh water and only 0.77 per cent is easily available as potable water, a civilised society or one that is developing cannot survive and function effectively without adequate plumbing infrastructure. Plumbing systems allow people to live together.
Shayne Neumann MP Member for Blair - In my home state, plumbers are well represented by the Plumbers Union Qld. I want to pay tribute to the Plumbers' Union for its advocacy on behalf of workers and its cooperation in the role of vocational education and training. I want to thank the Plumbers' Union, particularly, for the nearly $33,000 that it contributed to the industry flood relief appeal, which helps people in south-east Queensland particularly.
Ms. Kirsten Livermore MP Member for Capricornia - The plumbers of the world, as represented by the World Plumbing Council, take those obligations very seriously too. They are out there every day providing the clean water and sanitation essential to good health and human development. Clean water and sanitation are explicitly included in Millennium Development Goal No. 10, with the aim being to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015.
John Forrest MP Member for Mallee - I would like to recognise the contribution that plumbers and engineers have made; I dare say that their contribution to human longevity has been greater than that of the medical profession. Today I salute them and join in the comments from other members in recognising that safe and secure water is the key to good health.
In Melbourne, Plumbing Industry Commissioner Michael Kefford hosted a World Plumbing Day lunch for Melbourne plumbing practitioners and industry stakeholders at the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Center in Brunswick. About 230 people attended the event, which included guest speakers, Mr. Graeme Gillespie, Director ofv Health Protection; Mr. Craig Tobler, General Manager, ShelterBox, Australia; Mr. Jason Issa, Department of Health.
Students at the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre, Melbourne, Australia displaying their World Plumbing Day T-shirts.
Additionally, 80 people attended a barbecue at the Plumbing Industry Commission offices in Ballarat.
The Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland, in conjunction with supply stores around the state, offered free breakfasts for plumbers, along with a golf day in Brisbane.
In Perth, Western Australia, some of that cities hottest models dressed in their best plumbing outfits and headed to local shopping centres distributing quirky bathroom hangers and alerting the community about World Plumbing Day. In addition, 3 Mercedes Benz Smart cars towing 3 sided wedge trailers with large illuminated posters drove through the Perth CBD giving World Plumbing Day the rock star reception it deserved and ensuring maximum community exposure.
In Scotland, the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation (SNIPEF) commissioned a 15-minute DVD of Professor Mala Rao’s presentation on the links between plumbing and health. Rao, previously head of Public Health Workforce and Capacity at the Department of Health in England and a director of Public Health in the National Health Service for many years, is now director of the Indian Institute of Public Health in Hyderabad (part of the Public Health Foundation of India). Six other UK-based plumbing industry organizations supported the project. The video was posted on several Websites — including YouTube — and also was shown at a number of industry meetings, at schools and rotary clubs around the world in the lead up to and following World Plumbing Day.
SNIPEF CEO — and former WPC Chair — Robert Burgon made two presentations at local primary schools and was invited to speak about the day in his local church. Additionally, the Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, MSP, expressed his support for World Plumbing Day and a corresponding press release was issued.
In Spain, the Confederación Nacional de Asociaciones de Empresas de Fontanería, Gas, Calefacción, Climatización, Protección contra Incendios, Electricidad y Afines (CONAIF), featured prominent articles on both World Plumbing Day and the World Plumbing Council, including an extensive interview with World Plumbing Council Chairman GP Russ Chaney.
Meanwhile, in Trinidad, Plumbing Solutions took the initiative to invite schools to participate in the WPC’s World Plumbing Day International Poster Competition.
On Friday 9th, March, 2012, Plumbing Solutions officially launched World Plumbing Day at Bishop Anstey Junior School in St. Ann’s, Trinidad. The launch was formally opened by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Utilities, Dr. Terrance Jurawan, who commended Plumbing Solutions for being the first company in Trinidad and Tobago to acknowledge, observe and celebrate World Plumbing Day.
The Launch began with the choir of the host school, Bishop Anstey Junior School singing the National Anthem. Marketing Manager, Simone Roach shared with the audience the invitation extended to primary schools to participate in the World Plumbing Council’s International Poster Design Competition. Ms. Roach also noted the prizes offered by the World Plumbing Council: $1,000 U.S. Dollars for the first prize for the School of the student with the winning entry, and $500 U.S. Dollars for the student. Additionally, Plumbing Solutions will offer to one of the local primary schools a prize amounting to $10,000 TT Dollars in plumbing supplies/services, and to the winning student $500 TT Dollars in Unit Trust units. Each school will select the top entry from each class and these entries will be forwarded by Plumbing Solutions to the World Plumbing Council to be judged.
Managing Director of Plumbing Solutions, Mr. Scott Fabres encouraged the students to do research on how water flows from taps, shower heads and what happens when it leaves the drains. He also made the children aware of the important work performed by plumbers, and informed them of careers in the industry such as inspectors, engineers and licensed constructors.
Mr. Fabres brought the launch to a close with a vote of thanks and by presenting a token of appreciation to Dr. Terrance Jurawan, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Utilities for officially opening the launch, and to Bishop Anstey Junior School Principal, Ms. Teri Shuler for hosting the launch. After the launch, the children were treated to refreshments and a video presentation on the work plumbers do to ensure that homes, schools, and businesses are safe and sanitary.
Dr. Terrance Jurawan, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Utilities, Mr. Scott Fabres, Managing Director of Plumbing Solutions, Trinidad with students from Bishop Anstey Junior School celebrating the launch of World Plumbing Day. Every single person on this planet is affected by the availability of clean drinking water and basic sanitation. Plumbing Solutions takes water efficiency and preservation seriously and promotes it to our consumers within their homes and businesses. We remain steadfast and committed in our role towards the health of our nation.
For the second straight year, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan resolution formally designating March 11, 2012, as World Plumbing Day.
Senate Resolution 393, introduced by Sen. Michael Bennet (D–Colo.) and co?sponsored by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R–Utah), John Boozman (R–Ark.), Patty Murray (D–Wash.) and Jeff Merkley (D–Ore.), highlights the role plumbing plays in safeguarding public health in the United States and worldwide, addresses the lack of safe drinking water and sanitation across the globe, declares access to such a vital human right and praises trained plumbing professionals for maintaining, repairing and rebuilding the aging water infrastructure of the United States.
“Whereas the installation of modern plumbing systems must be accomplished in a specific, safe manner by trained professionals in order to prevent widespread disease, which can be crippling and deadly to the community; … Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Senate designates March 11, 2012, as ‘World Plumbing Day,’ ”
In Ohio, USA, the subject of World Plumbing Day also received valuable airtime ahead of March 11.
WPC Director Richard Prospal was interviewed about World Plumbing Day on the “America’s Work Force” radio program on March 7. Prospal also spoke to about 350 children in Brunswick, Ohio, and wrote a guest column for the Brunswick Post newspaper. To read his column, visit http://nortonpost.com/ brunswick/Opinion/guest-column-prospal- B-2-11. The Brunswick City Council also passed a World Plumbing Day resolution.
In California, Gaby Davis, senior director of Worldwide Operations for IAPMO, appeared as a guest on “Cajun Contractor” Michael King’s nationally syndicated radio program, “Home Talk USA.” Broadcast in 217 million radio markets covering all 50 states, the program reaches 6.1 million listeners each week.
“World Plumbing Day is about recognizing the important role that plumbing plays in protecting our health and safety,” said Davis, who also visited classrooms to spread the world about World Plumbing Day. “Some time ago, a study was done on the most important inventions of all time and, wouldn’t you know, the invention of basic plumbing systems ranked No. 1 because scientists around the world realize just how important clean drinking water and good basic sanitation is to keeping us all healthy."
IAPMO took an active role in promoting World Plumbing Day, encouraging students in grades six through eight to participate in a poster contest with the theme “Plumbing Moves Society Forward,” with the winner from each grade receiving an iPod Touch.
IAPMO Board Member “Bud” Riestenberg accepted proclamations declaring March 11, 2012, World Plumbing Day from Palm Beach County and the city of West Palm Beach, Fla.
Staff members Liz Otto and Genelle Crouch visited local elementary schools, speaking to multiple cl;asses and showing a PowerPoint presentation on the importance of plumbers in protecting our health and safety.
“We had great participation with all of the classes and I truly believe the kids really received how important plumbing and plumbers are for our health and safety,” Otto said.
Crouch added, “The teachers at all of the schools were awesome, as well; they were open to having us there and were very excited to have me share the message with the children.”
Social media also played an active role in promoting World Plumbing Day. With many people following World Plumbing Day on Twitter, several countries and organizations dedicated Facebook pages to World Plumbing Day, and the day received recognition on numerous home pages.
Chairman Chaney said, “Following on from the success of World Plumbing Day we must now begin preparations for celebrating the fourth World Plumbing Day in 2013. I certainly look forward to joining hand-in-hand with all member organizations in an effort to enlighten humanity that our industry has the best and brightest minds working to resolve the challenges of today and for the future. World Plumbing Day has given us the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits the plumbing industry brings to modern civilization. I could not be more enthusiastic that people everywhere will recognize the invaluable contributions to health and safety we provide. With these words, I offer my sincerest appreciation and great thanks to all of you who have helped commission World Plumbing Day 2012”.