Using improved plumbing technology can protect public health, say experts
Improvement in plumbing technology and services can improve public health and the environment in future, said experts on plumbing, attending a two day event in New Delhi, ending November 15—the 10th World Plumbing Conference. The meet deliberated on different aspects of plumbing, sanitation and water safety in the country and abroad.
The conference outlined objectives of achieving professional standards of plumbing, betterment of the quality of technical plumbing education and training. “The theme of this year’s conference is environment, health and hygiene because a plumber protects the health of millions,” said Gurmeet Singh Arora, chairperson of Indian Plumbing Association (IPA), Mumbai Chapter.
A lot of water goes waste in leakages from taps and pipelines if plumbing is not done right, the experts said. “Just by tightening of leaking taps in 1,666 households in Mumbai, we saved 414,000 litres of water between 2007 and 2008,” said Aabid Surti, chairperson of Drop Dead Foundation, a non profit based in Mumbai. Surti said that the event allowed him the opportunity to propagate his idea of saving every drop and understanding its importance.
Sudhakaran Nair, president of IPA, said 75 per cent of plumbers in India are working in the unorganized sector and lack training. It causes high levels of unsafe installations which may put lives of many people at risk. “Unless there are stringent regulatory and administrative checks, we cannot ensure sanitation which is linked to the health of the people,” added Nair. IPA hosted the triennial meet.
The experts also voiced their concerns on the non-existing coordination between different government agencies at the centre and the state governments. The most highlighted issue was the inactivity of the global plumbing industry with regard to various alarming global problems and initiatives that could be taken to change the situation.
The experts at the conference noted the improvement in knowledge sharing on the subject over the years. “I see enormous differences. The stakeholders are better organized and more involved at policy level and are beginning to be more assertive about making their voice heard,” said Mala Rao from University of East London.
The conference ended on a positive note where the need to continue to communicate, advocate, educate and innovate was understood and emphasis was laid on the cooperation in working of industries and governments. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that we are going to do things differently right away, but it allows the exchange of ideas and receive knowledge from one another and incorporate these ideas into our undertakings,” said Shayne La Combre, CEO of Australia based Pluming Industry Climate Action Centre.