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Papers & Publications

Health Aspects of Plumbing

Health Aspects of Plumbing

The World Health Organization and the World Plumbing Council present this publication on health aspects of plumbing noting that sustainable health, especially for children, is not possible without access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation facilities.

This publication describes the processes involved in the design, installation and maintenance of effective plumbing systems. It recommends a number of plumbing system design and installation specifications that have demonstrated their validity from years of experience. It also examines the microbiological, chemical, physical and financial risks associated with plumbing, outlines the major risk management approaches that are used in the plumbing industry and emphasizes the importance of measures to conserve supplies of safe drinking-water.

This publication is dedicated to assisting in achieving the best possible plumbing levels to ensure the highest health benefits from use of sound plumbing practices. It is aimed at administrators and plumbers working in areas that are served by a mains drinking-water supply or sewerage system, or are about to install a mains drinking-water supply or sewerage system. It should be of particular value to those working in countries or areas that are in the early stages of introducing effective plumbing systems.

More details, including transcripts and radio interviews, are available on the WHO website.

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Health aspects of plumbing [PDF 1.23Mb]

Environmental Aspects of Plumbing

The World Plumbing Council is pleased to announce the online publication of the first issue of “Environmental Aspects of Plumbing” (EAP). This publication which has been compiled by WPC Executive Board Directors Blane Judd (UK) and  Richard J Prospal (USA), demonstrates the important role played by today’s plumbing industry in a wide range of environmental issues.
EAP (which is seen as a companion document to the existing WPC/World Health Organisation publication, “Health Aspects of Plumbing” (HAP)), will be updated regularly and future editions will include case study contributions which are now being invited.

Download the Environmental Aspects of Plumbing

Case Studies on the Environmental Aspects of Plumbing

The Environmental Aspects of Plumbing is a living document including case studies from around the world on any of the many topics covered by the original paper.  For a list of the various topics and examples of previous case studies please click here. If you wish to submit a case study for future publication, please see the instructions in the original paper.


Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality - Fourth Edition

This fourth edition of the World Health Organization’s Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality builds on over 50 years of guidance by WHO on drinking-water quality, which has formed an authoritative basis for the setting of national regulations and standards for water safety in support of public health.

It is the product of significant revisions to clarify and elaborate on ways of implementing its recommendations of contextual hazard identification and risk management, through the establishment of health-based targets, catchment-to-consumer water safety plans and independent surveillance. It reflects the renewed focus on primary prevention.

Significant additional guidance on good practice is presented, incorporating changes introduced by the first and second addenda to the third edition. Emerging water management issues are comprehensively addressed for a range of circumstances, from household water treatment and safe storage and the bulk supply of water over long distances to the potential implications of climate change.

Additional risk assessments are presented for a number of new chemical and microbial hazards and applied to a suite of pesticides used for public health purposes. Existing reviews on chemicals and waterborne pathogens have been revised to account for new scientific information. The chapter on radiological aspects of drinking-water quality has been comprehensively updated.

Even more than the previous edition, this new edition emphasizes achievable practices and the formulation of sound regulations, applicable to low-income, middle-income and industrialized countries alike, that aim to prevent a potential health crisis caused by the consumption of unsafe drinking-water, against the backdrop of rapid urbanization, water scarcity and climate change.

Download the flyer/order form for details of the contents and purchase details: Order Form

Water Safety in Buildings

This book provides guidance for managing water supplies in buildings where people may drink water, use water for food preparation, wash, shower, swim or use water for other recreational activities or be exposed to aerosols produced by water-using devices, such as cooling towers. These uses occur in a variety of buildings, such as hospitals, schools, child and aged care, medical and dental facilities, hotels, apartment blocks, sport centres, commercial buildings and transport terminals.

This publication is one of a series of supporting documents that provide guidance on implementing the World Health Organization’s Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. It is intended to support the improvement of water safety within buildings.

The target audience for this book includes the full range of ‘actors’ who influence the overall safe management of building water supplies. In particular, it is directed at those who design, construct, manage, operate, maintain and regulate building water systems. This book is intended to be a useful resource for the development of training and information material.

Download the flyer/order form for details of the contents and purchase details: Order Form

An electronic version of this publication is freely available on the WHO internet site at:

The Role of the Plumbing Industry in Global Health

Robert BurgonIn this paper, Robert Burgon, Deputy Chairman of the World Plumbing Council (WPC), outlines its mission and objectives, and stresses the importance of plumbing as a contributor to global health, citing historic and recent examples of the way in which plumbing and public health are linked.

It suggests that the connection between plumbing and health has been largely forgotten in many developed countries. The paper refers to the joint publication by WPC and the World Health Organisation (WHO) of "Health Aspects of Plumbing" which aims to assist developing countries tackle the issues relating to the improvement of health through water supply and sanitation.

The paper refers to the importance of both industry and public education and refers to a number of initiatives being carried out to share good practice in the field of plumbing training. These include the WPC's annual Lecturers/Trainers Scholarship.

Reference is also made to the need for appropriate registration and licensing arrangements. The paper concludes with some suggestions for future action.

Download "The Role of the Plumbing Industry in Global Health"


© 2014 World Plumbing Council