If you’ve never heard of World Plumbing Day, it’s a special day set aside by the World Plumbing Council to draw attention to the important role that plumbing plays in sanitation and health. Currently, about 3 million people each year die from preventable water-related illnesses each year. The majority of deaths occur in children under five years of age.
In the US, we have access to reliably clean, safe and abundant water. Sanitation is the other half of the safe-water equation, and we also enjoy some of the most sanitary living conditions in the world – thanks to our strict plumbing and building codes.
For nearly ten years, global organizations like the World Health Organization have been working to bring clean drinking water and improved sanitation to areas of the world where access to these necessities are limited. We tend to think of water-related sanitation as a third-world problem, but every year, we receive many reminders about the dangers that lurk in our own high-quality water supplies.
Legionnaires Disease was first identified in Philadelphia in the mid-1970’s. It is a form of bacterial pneumonia that thrives in treated water systems like cooling towers, air conditioning systems, evaporative coolers, fountains, spas, humidifiers, icemakers, and hot water tanks.
Although we associate Legionnaires Disease with massive outbreaks, as many as 18,000 cases are documented each year in the United States, mostly among individuals. Aerosolized water in hotels, cruise ships, grocery stores, office buildings and public spaces spreads the bacteria. Aggressive changes to plumbing, heating and cooling codes, and procedures for treating and cleaning water-handling and storage systems now discourage major outbreaks of Legionnaires and other similar water-borne illnesses.
Clean, safe drinking water and high-quality sanitation form the basis of our modern society, but even in 2014 in Massachusetts, we still struggle with removing contaminants like lead from our water. According to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, as of September 2013, nearly 2% of “high-risk” homes in Massachusetts still contain lead in the water in unacceptable levels.
At Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating, we take the safety of your plumbing seriously. Whether we work on your home heating, cooling or plumbing systems, you can rely on us to keep your water-handling systems clean and safe. If you have any concerns about the safety of your plumbing, heating, cooling or water-handling systems, contact us for help. We can help identify and remove lead-containing fixtures and water lines, the chief source of lead in residential tap water. Call us anytime at (617) 288-2911 and let us help you maintain your major residential heating, cooling and plumbing systems safely.
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