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What The Plumbing Code Means To You

Know Your Air and Water #3

All the water you will ever use has to come from somewhere, and once used, has to be safely treated and moved on. Most of us take water distribution and waste removal for granted. But the quality and reliability of the water we use for drinking, cooking, bathing, and cleaning does not happen by chance.

Water also flows to and through systems you share other homes as well as through public and private buildings such as offices, factories, schools, stores, restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and even prisons.

What protects the integrity of all this water as it flows through every aspect of your life? The answer: plumbing codes – and the licensed plumbing professionals who live by them to protect everyone’s incoming water supply and to take away everyone’s wastewater. Without codes, improper plumbing would be in place that could let pathogenic organisms enter our water and permit toxic gases to enter our environment.

The Illinois Department of Public Health creates the Illinois Plumbing Code, which sets minimum standards regulating the design of plumbing systems, the materials to be used in them, and the construction and installation methods for them. It

also provides a guide for a minimum number of plumbing fixtures required for various types of buildings. Many communities with home rule powers have adopted plumbing codes that are more stringent than the Illinois code.

While the Illinois code establishes minimum requirements for plumbing products, the Department of Public Health has not been successful in keeping products that don’t meet its code out of retail establishments in the state. So if you buy any plumbing products for repair, upgrading or additions, make sure that the products you buy and install meet minimum code standards.

Plumbing is the highway for water moving through your supply and disposal systems. And it is sound, up-to-date plumbing codes that protect your health and safety by protecting your water – and the responsible, trained, licensed plumbers who put the codes to work.

Plumbing codes are not plumbers’ codes but are the rules and regulations set up by cities, counties and states. As technology creates new advances, the codes are updated and so all licensed plumbers in Illinois are required to continue their formal education if they are to maintain their licenses.

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