Did you know that 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe water? And that 3.1 million children die from water-related diseases every year? I bet you also didn’t know that, at any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by people with water-related diseases.

2South Africa boasts one of the cleanest water systems in the world. When people in urban areas turn on their taps, clean drinking water gushes out. For these people, flushing toilets are a standard. As a result, they take their ample supply of water for granted and, often, they waste it. However, many people living in more rural areas, or in informal settlements, don’t have any access to clean water. Often, these people don’t have flushing toilets either and are forced to use the bucket system instead. In these areas, the threat of water-borne diseases is rife.

A consequence of this dichotomy is that very little thought is given to the engineering expertise provided by plumbers to ensure that water systems function effectively.

That’s why the World Plumbing Council has created World Plumbing Day. This international event, occurring on 11 March each year, aims to highlight and celebrate the significant role played by the plumbing industry in improving the health and safety of modern societies. On this day, representatives of the plumbing industry from all over the world will be drawing attention to the industry’s achievements.

Homeowners can contribute too in the following areas:


5Adjust your air conditioning by a few degrees, so that it is more efficient, and insulate your hot water pipes, roofs and walls.




7Install a solar geyser or a heat pump.









8Be aware of the causes of water-borne diseases and how they can be prevented.






Put food colouring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the bowl without flushing, you have leak – fix it.

For any additional information, see World Plumbing Day.