\’Good plumbing can prevent diseases\’

“It is time to recognise the impact of good and bad plumbing on the environment, health and hygiene,” says Sudhakaran Nair, president of the Indian Plumbing Association (IPA), the country's umbrella body for plumbing professionals. The IPA is hosting the 10th World Plumbing Conference to be held in New Delhi in November. It is the first time that India is hosting the triennial event.

“Sanitation is an integral part of our lives and should not be treated as just another building service. It is a public health issue and illustrates the dire conditions faced by people without access to clean water and adequate sanitation,” Sudhakaran said.

He said that good sanitation reduces water bills and prevents outbreaks of contagious diseases like cholera and jaundice. As an industry, sanitation plays a crucial role in providing potable water, safe sanitation and water conservation, apart from ensuring the safety of buildings and their occupants.

Poor sanitation has led to epidemics in the past, Sudhakaran said. “The WHO confirmed that the spread of the SARS virus, which claimed 299 lives in Hong Kong in 2003, was caused by faulty plumbing. When an infected person used the toilet on an upper floor of a multi-storey residential building, the virus spread to the lower floors through floor drains with inadequate water seals. It is only with the introduction of proper sanitation that many diseases such as malaria, cholera, typhoid and diarrhea are now under control,” he said.

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