Plumbing leader calls for increased investment in water sanitation
World Toilet Day often brings a smile to the face of the reader, until they realise the seriousness of the topic, and
what the outcome could be if we didn’t have something that we all take from granted, the humble toilet.
World Toilet Day on November 19, highlights the importance of water sanitation with an estimated 2.4 billion (about 1
out of 3 people) lacking access to improved sanitation facilities in 2015. In an analysis of 145 countries, it was
estimated that 58% of all cases of diarrhea were caused by unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene resulting in more
than 526,000 children under the age of 5 dying from water, sanitation and hygiene related diarrhea in 2015 alone.
General Manager of New Zealand’s largest plumbing network, Scott Carr, believes that while New Zealand is not at risk of
the more dramatic statistics, we are in danger of becoming complacent and not keeping up with the growing pressure on
our water sanitation systems. And recent articles reporting issues around defecation in public areas and national parks
seem to indicate that that Carr’s concerns are well founded.
“With a growing population and tourism market, it’s important that the organisations responsible for waste management
stay at the forefront of technology and community needs to keep the environment and water quality of New Zealand
pristine” said Carr.
New Zealand’s tourism market is booming with more than 3.4 million tourists visiting the island nation in 2016. With a
population of 4.5 million people, the influx of tourists is beginning to place a strain on public infrastructure around
the country – and in particular on public toilets.
With aging infrastructure, the amount of public amenities in several of New Zealand's tourism hot spots are unable to
keep up with the numbers of tourists leading to reports of defecation in public parks and overflowing septic tanks.
“Adding to the increasing number of tourists visiting, our own population growth rate of 1.9% and continuing to grow,
it’s important that our Government ensures our waste management facilities and practises also grow to meet demand. This
includes addressing the skills shortage and encouraging people to take on plumbing as a trade”.
“Whilst plumbing isn’t all about waste management, it is important to take the time to appreciate the important role our
plumbers play in keeping our population safe and healthy as well as the impact on our economy through industries such as