Code Council Supports U.N. World Water Day; Proper Sanitation is Key

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Lack of safe drinking water and access to proper sanitation affects over 40 percent of the world’s population and kills a child approximately every 15 seconds. The issue is so critical that it has surpassed global warming as the highest priority for many global councils. These serious issues are the reason why this year’s United Nations World Water Day on March 22 is “Clean Water for a Healthy World.”

About every 15 seconds a child dies from a waterborne-related disease. Over 40 percent of people have no access to toilets. Safe drinking water is unavailable to 1.1 billion people. These are very startling statistics. Many American organizations and citizens have joined forces with global groups that are working to completely eradicate illness and death caused by a lack of safe drinking water and access to proper sanitation worldwide. This issue is so critical on a global level that safe water and basic sanitation have surpassed global warming as the highest priority for many global councils.

A huge international effort initiated by the United Nations will attempt to raise the profile of water quality to the same level of importance as water quantity among elected officials. This year’s very appropriate and very necessary theme for the U.N.’s annual World Water Day on March 22 is “Clean Water for a Healthy World.”

Organizations, schoolchildren, environmental groups and myriad others are conducting events all over the world to raise awareness of the plight of such a huge percentage of the world’s population. The U.N. and these groups are also sharing suggestions for small and large steps that can be taken to work towards the ultimate end of unsafe drinking water and improper sanitation.

Toilets Key to Safe Water.
A main reason why so much available drinking water is unsafe because 1.1 billion people do not have access to toilets. While there are social aspects associated with this issue, the fact is untreated waste contaminates the drinking water supply and is a great health threat.

The International Code Council, a leader in building safety and fire prevention codes, is a strong supporter of the U.N.’s World Water Day and other respected global organizations’ water- and sanitation-related initiatives. One outstanding example is a project the Code Council and the World Toilet Organization (WTO) are partnering on with assistance from several other noted global sanitation organizations. The Global Guideline for Practical Toilet Design, currently in development, can be used by any country seeking to improve sanitation conditions by properly installing toilets, waste pipes and related fixtures. The WTO is devoted exclusively to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide so the partnership between these two organizations couldn’t be a better match.

“This guideline is being developed in such a straightforward and easy to implement way that it will become a means to standardization, enabling any country that wants to adapt it to their specific needs to do so quickly and easily.” said Jay Peters, Executive Director for the Code Council’s Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas (PMG) Group. “This means that toilets will be installed more efficiency while balancing cost, safety and sanitation with no compromise with regard to quality. It is very fulfilling to be involved with a project that will help so many people live healthier lives.”

Cleaner water, greater efficiency.
The ICC also is leading the way to greater water conservation. Although it has offered building codes that provide sustainable solutions for years, the Code Council has devoted a code specific to green building practices. The International Green Construction Code provides green applications for every area of building design, but much of its contents are devoted to sanitation and water efficiency.

Visit http://www.worldwaterday.org to learn about all the wonderful events so many people are taking the time to put on globally in support of others who they’ll never know, but who thank them just the same.

The International Code Council publishes building safety, energy efficiency and fire prevention codes that are used in the construction of residential and commercial buildings. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the I-Codes based on their outstanding quality. The ICC’s Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas (PMG) Group is devoted exclusively to providing PMG products and support to jurisdictions and construction industry professionals across the country and around the globe, with one or more PMG code adopted in 49 states. The over 200 superior products and related services were developed specifically by and for plumbing and mechanical professionals. Contact the PMG Group for additional information at 1-888-ICC-SAFE, x4PMG, PMGResourceCenter(at)iccsafe(dot)org, or visit http://www.iccsafe.org.

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Jay Peters
International Code Council
1-888-422-7233 ext. 4PMG
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