When it comes to protecting the public’s health, doctors can’t hold a candle – or wrench – to plumbers.
In times like these, as we face uncertainty with the Coronavirus, we all need to make sure we enforce our first line of defense. What does this mean? It means we need to make sure we take the necessary safety precautions to maintain the safety of our employees and loved ones. Follow basic sanitary practices like washing hands, wearing protective gear at work and making sure all our work and living spaces are clean and well kept. To learn more about how Perry Plumbing and Pipelining can help you keep your drains clean click here.
Story From “Inside The Industry”
Story by Geoff Bilau
Several years ago, Elizabeth Ann Volkers was assigned a high school report profiling the profession of one of her parents. The daughter of IAPMO board member Fred Volkers told her teacher she’d like to write about her father, a plumber.
“Her teacher said, ‘But your mom’s a nurse. Do that instead,’ ” Volkers recalls. “She didn’t think a report about a plumber would be all that interesting. She just thought of the guy who comes out to unclog the drain or fix the pipe.”
Elizabeth Ann was undeterred, however, and her completed report earned her not only high marks. But a heartfelt apology from her teacher, who admitted she learned more about the plumbing profession than she had ever expected.
“She never considered all of the infrastructure that goes in before that pipe gets clogged, nor the health benefit that good plumbing ensures,” Volkers says. It had not occurred to her that a great deal of the work performed by plumbers actually prevents the very maladies by plumbers actually prevents the very maladies that are treated by doctors and nurses.
That teacher was not alone in her limited perspective, of course. Plumbers have long battled against simple stereotypes while performing vital work that is frequently taken for granted.
“There’s so much negative out there about there about plumbers: butt crack jokes, we charge too much…but what price do you place on your health?” Volkers asks. “Isn’t it important that somebody knows what he or she is doing?”
Some Background About the First Line of Defense
If history is any indicator, the answer to that question is yes. The Romans are generally credited with developing and refining the first plumbing systems. Moving enormous amounts of water via their famed aqueducts. But even with their advances, sanitation was more of an afterthought than a specified purpose. It would be several hundred more years before science would uncover the threat of bacteria and disease that existed in the stagnant, unfiltered waters of the Roman public baths.
Still, the Romans did develop the sewer, which improved sanitation around the home — while unfortunately turning the rivers into cesspools.
The fall of the Roman Empire, however, took sanitation back to its most rudimentary levels and ushered in the Dark Ages and the Black Plague. One-third of the population of Europe was wiped out as flea-ravaged vermin ran rampant in man’s filth. In successive years, dysentery, typhus and typhoid epidemics were even more directly born of poor sanitation practices. The latter, however, did afford one plumber to distinguish himself as more than a guy who unclogs the pipes.
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