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World Plumbing Day Highlights the Important Role Plumbing, Sanitation, and Fresh Water Plays in Global Health and Environmental Efforts

If you've always lived in a modern house or apartment, it can be easy to take indoor plumbing and running water for granted. But for the estimated 768 million people around the world who lack access to safe, clean water and the 2.5 billion people living without basic sanitation, the absence of these amenities is a significant hardship that directly threatens their health and well-being. More than 3 million people die each year from preventable diseases linked to the lack of clean water and sufficient sanitation systems, most of them young children.

Individuals, companies, and organizations worldwide, including the United Nations, are pursuing efforts to bring effective plumbing and sanitation facilities to those currently doing without. And these efforts are paying off: since 1990, an estimated 1.8 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation, bolstering health and quality of life for individuals in countries across the globe. To bring additional attention to the importance of plumbing, the World Plumbing Council has declared March 11, 2014, the fifth annual World Plumbing Day, an international event that highlights the essential role played by plumbers and plumbing systems in improving public health and protecting the environment.

The World Plumbing Council and its activities, including the annual celebration of World Plumbing Day, are supported by a number of international and domestic membership organizations. Many of these groups are also members of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Federation, including:

To improve understanding of plumbing and how it can help safeguard public health, particularly in developing nations, the World Plumbing Council, in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), has released a specialized fact sheet on the issue. "Health Aspects of Plumbing" is available for free download online.

Lack of access to fresh water not only poses major health risks, but also serves to inhibit agriculture and other economic activities. The plumbing industry is a leader in efforts to promotion water-related sustainability, particularly through its support for technologies bolstering water reuse and recovery, including desalination, solar water heating, and the management of gray water. To learn more about how plumbing contributes to efforts to protect the environment, check out the World Plumbing Council's "Environmental Aspects of Plumbing" fact sheet, which is also available online.

To promote World Plumbing Day, the World Plumbing Council has organized an international children's poster contest aimed at first through fifth graders. To be eligible for the contest, which has a top prize of $1,000 for the winning school and $100 for the selected student, entrants must submit a poster drawn on standard-sized paper that contains the words "World Plumbing Day" and "March 11, 2014" by midnight on Sunday, March 30, 2014. Full contest rules are available online. All submissions must be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to: ASPE, c/o WPD Poster Contest, 6400 Schafer Court, Suite 350, Rosemont, Illinois 60018.

ANSI salutes World Plumbing Day and the many plumbing-related organizations working to improve public health and safeguard access to fresh water. To promote effective, sustainable water usage in the United States, ANSI serves as an accreditation body in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s WaterSense program. Under the program, products certified by accredited certification bodies may carry a WaterSense label, helping consumers identify products that assist in the conservation of water. To learn more about ANSI's accreditation work, visit

For more information about World Plumbing Day and its associated events and initiatives, visit


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]