Historically, plumbing has played a vital role in the development of civilization and the public’s health overall. World Plumbing Day is an international event on March 11 celebrating the important role plumbing plays in the health and safety of modern society.
The International Code Council and its Members, support public safety and sanitation along with energy and water efficiency through the advancement of codes and standards. ICC focuses on code adoptions, often working at the grass roots level to assist governmental bodies to adopt the International Plumbing Code (IPC) for the first time. ICC also supports its Members and others in the adoption and understanding of codes, standards and related documents. ICC developed the new International Swimming Pool and Spa Code and is working in cooperation with Underwriters Laboratories to develop a new ANSI standard—Devices to Control and Operate Automatic Landscape Irrigation Systems. The standard will ensure the basic safety and function of landscape irrigation controllers.
While celebrating the laudable achievements of the industry, ICC also looks forward to the substantial work still to be done. ICC is proud of the role it plays in the PMG industry over many decades of work including by its legacy founding organizations. ICC is committed to playing a vital role in advancing the goals of the industry.
Recent years have seen the most substantial revisions to plumbing codes in modern history. Decreasing availability of suitable, raw water supplies and increased emphasis on sustainability and water efficiency are driving significant changes to plumbing codes, technologies and design practices. As the developer of the International Plumbing Code (IPC), used in 34 states at the state or local level, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico, ICC is committed to tackling these challenges without compromising public health and safety. The IPC has led the industry in the embrace of new technologies such as PVC and PEX piping. That forward-thinking approach has resulted in advancements and initiatives that are poised to keep codes ahead of future challenges:
- Alternate Water Sources and Non-Potable Water. The ground-breaking International Green Construction Code (IgCC) pioneered water efficiency and alternate water source codes. This advancement will also be added to the 2015 IPC, in the form of a new chapter on alternate non-potable water sources such as graywater, rainwater and reclaimed water. This step ensures the health and safety of sustainable plumbing practices by integrating them into mainstream plumbing codes, as more and more users choose to explore these new technologies. The 2015 IPC is expected to be published and available for adoption in 2014.
- Rainwater Harvesting. Building on the inclusion of rainwater harvesting in the IgCC and IPC, ICC has launched an effort to produce a comprehensive standard addressing the design and construction of rainwater harvesting systems and components. The development of this standard kicks off this spring.
- IgCC Water Efficiency Provisions. Given the urgency of water-related issues in many parts of North America, ICC and ASHRAE teamed up to release a support document for the IgCC and ASHRAE 189.1, extracting all indoor and outdoor water-related provisions into a single, focused document. IgCC Water Efficiency Provisions is available from both ICC and ASHRAE.
- Solar Water Heating. Reflecting the increasing use of solar water heating systems in North America, ICC and the Solar Rating & Certification Corporation have launched an effort to revise and update the SRCC 100 and 300 standards. By taking these standards through ICC's ANSI-approved standard development process, the outcome will promote renewable energy, create jobs, cause less harm to the environment and mesh seamlessly with codes. This effort will kick off this spring.
Around the World: ICC recognizes that much remains to be done to provide basic sanitation and safe water sources worldwide. To this end, ICC is a supporter of the World Toilet Organization (WTO) in its efforts to provide safe, sanitary toilet facilities around the world. ICC has collaborated with the WTO to produce ICC G3-2011 Global Guidelines for Practical Public Toilet Design. This document provides guidance on the construction, design, and maintenance of clean, convenient and hygienic public toilet facilities.
As ICC prepares to celebrate Building Safety Month in May, it remains committed to advancing public health and safety, and providing support products and services to the many dedicated building and plumbing officials worldwide.