Plumbers have the training, knowledge, and experience to clear clogs and fix dripping faucets. But they also uphold a responsibility to our community: to properly contain drinking water separately from waste water. Preventing cross-contamination is the difference between sickness and health.
Life Before Plumbing
Imagine a community where anyone could connect a pipe to a main water supply and route it into their home. A well-meaning citizen could elevate the end of a pipe for a shower, not realizing they are sending unused water back into the water supply. Back flow increases the possibility of contamination.
Before pipes, people would hand carry water in and out of homes. Dirty water was dumped outside or poured back into the same river it was pulled from. Rules for one area were different from those in another area. And because there was little understanding of basic hygiene, people didn’t wash their hands. Therefore, farm to table and to city was dirty business, and disease due to unsanitary practices was commonplace.
Life With Plumbing Standards
As knowledge grew about bacteria and how diseases spread, plumbing codes were introduced and standardized. Toilets, sinks, tubs, wash machines, hoses, boilers, and ice makers now have strict installation codes in order to protect consumers’ health. In this country, we readily assume drain water will not contaminate drinking water, and we assume our drinking water is safe.
However, in some countries and some sections in the United States, it is considered unsafe to drink the water. According to the CDC, findings from 2013-2014 reported states with legionella, norovirus, and cyanobacteria in drinking water. These originated from what the CDC refers to as ‘human made water systems’.
The Plumbers’ Role
The American Standard fixture company created a poster in 1924 that read, “The Plumber Protects the Health of Our Nation.” This poster, and others like it, brought awareness to the job role that set and practiced hygiene standards and ensured drinking water was safe from contamination by sewage, back flowing water, and other potential contaminants.
Plumbers strive to make all drinking water safe and there are strict codes to protect consumers. Help ensure codes are followed: don’t attempt to fix or reroute water lines or drain pipes, and when buying a house, ask an expert if the plumbing is to code.
At Raymark Plumbing and Sewer, we honor our plumbers and utility workers. We know they have a tough but valuable job: to protect our health. Call us for all your fresh water and drain water needs. 206-440-9077