March 11 is World Plumbing Day

World Plumbing Day logo

Did you know that your plumbing is critical to your health? It’s true. Before our modern era of safe drinking water and sanitation, people regularly died of water-related illnesses like cholera and dysentery.

It’s an easy thing to take for granted. After all, we just open the tap and we get clean water to drink. We flush the toilet and our waste gets flushed away. In Calgary, as in most cities in Canada, sewage is specially treated so that any microbes are killed before they go into the natural water system. We  are the lucky ones.

Don’t Take Your Plumbing For Granted

In many parts of the world, people still get very sick and even die of illnesses they get from their water supply. This is because, without sanitation, infectious diseases can get into drinking water sources through natural dissipation into the groundwater.

According to Ryan’s Well, a charity that helps build wells and sanitary facilities in developing countries:

  • Human beings need a minimum of 20 litres of water a day (depending on climate). This does not include things like bathing and laundry.
  • 1 person in 6 does not have safe water to drink.
  • Every 20 seconds, a child under the age of 5 dies due to preventable water-related illnesses.
  • At any given time, about half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by someone suffering from a water-related illness.

Your clean water system and your plumbing is essential to your health. In developed countries, we also need it for comfort and hygiene. Just imagine not being able to take a hot shower when you need one, or not being able to wash your clothes. Plumbing makes all these things possible.

Using Water Wisely

Our water is a precious resource, so we should use it wisely. These tips will help you conserve water and save money on your water bill while you’re at it.

  • Get leaky plumbing fixed right away. If your tap is dripping at 1 drop per second, that adds up to 20 thousand litres over a year.
  • Get a modern low-volume flush toilet installed. You can get ones that are designed to flush well using less than 6 litres per flush or less. The City of Calgary can even help you out with a rebate.
  • When brushing your teeth, turn off the tap until you need it.
  • Have aerators installed on your shower and taps. You’ll use less water but still get the feeling of lots of water volume.
  • Don’t water your garden in the middle of the day – the sun will cause a lot of the water to evaporate. Water very early in the morning or late in the evening.

World Plumbing Day

Every year on March 11, let’s take a moment to think about how lucky we are to have plumbing that works and plumbers who can have problems fixed whenever you call. You can learn more about World Plumbing Day here.