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World Plumbing Day: Everybody needs good pipes!

10 March 2021

On World Plumbing Day, Thursday 11 March 2021, Southern Downs Regional Council asks residents to consider some very basic questions: Have you ever stopped to think what you would do with no running water, no hot water, nowhere to wash and nowhere to flush?  

Plumbing and water services are a core responsibility for Local Governments around Australia, and something that Council takes pride in delivering. With current issues surrounding public health at the forefront of the global media conversation, now is a good time to appreciate how our modern world is filled with the luxury of plumbing into our homes and businesses.

Plumbing has revolutionised the world and in fact, probably changed the course of history for the Southern Downs when a little town called Warwick became the site of one of the first reticulated water supplies outside of Brisbane.  The Warwick Argus reported on 11 November 1879 that a large crowd gathered on the banks of the Condamine River to witness the steam powered pump station being fired up. Back then Warwick was seen as a centre of great industry boasting two stores and a hotel serving the growing Darling Downs community.

Southern Downs Plumbing Inspector, Glen Reid has served in the industry since 1978 and sees plumbers as custodians of an ancient trade that protects the health and sanitation of the region.

“When you consider that 900 million school aged children across the world have no handwashing facilities, we are pretty lucky to be living in a country where modern plumbing allows us to enjoy good quality hygiene. In this time of severe and prolonged drought, appreciating access to water supply is very important to all of us.”

Southern Downs Water Department Maintenance Supervisor, Louis Van Slobbe agrees: “although our work is largely hidden under ground or behind walls, I take pride in knowing that residents in our community have clean running water in their taps because of the job our plumbers and water team are tasked with.”

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FLTR:Southern Downs Plumbing Inspector Glen Reid andSouthern Downs Water Department Maintenance Supervisor Louis Van Slobbe discussing the old and the new tools of the plumbing trade.

From long drops in Asia to open drains in France and ancient aqueduct systems in Europe, both Glen and Louis are passionate about their jobs and the history of plumbing around the world.

Council employs teams of skilled officers in the Water Department who work across the region to maintain our essential plumbing infrastructure. 

Our plumbing inspectors work closely with local plumbing businesses to approve and manage a wide range of plumbing applications for the region in accordance with legislation. Recent changes to fast tracking applications has seen a remarkable improvement and reduction in inspection and application timeframes, resulting in a transition to more online services.

Director of Sustainable Development, Jane Stroud said she could not be prouder of the response times that the plumbing team consistently achieve: “Our crew work hard  to service all enquiries and it is great to see that 100% of Customer Service queries for plumbing applications are attended to within the desired two-day timeframe.

“Our community can be assured of our team’s best attention at all times and World Plumbing Day gives us the opportunity to highlight the important and sometimes unseen work of Council staff in delivering services” said Ms Stroud.

Established in 2010, World Plumbing Day celebrates the vital role that the international plumbing community play in promoting the link between good quality plumbing, health, environmental sustainability and, increasingly, economic prosperity.

So on World Plumbing Day, when you turn on your tap or flush the toilet please stop and remember the plumbers who over the years have worked to improve our region.

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