To mark World Plumbing Day on 11 March 11, WaterSafe is celebrating the role qualified plumbers play in keeping drinking water safe in homes and businesses across the UK.

WaterSafe is a government-backed approved contractor scheme that provides consumers with access to professional plumbers, qualified to work safely with drinking water across the UK.

Research has shown that Britons spend billions of pounds putting right jobs, which have gone wrong at the hands of unqualified plumbers.

However, the greater risk is that poor plumbing can lead to water contamination and upset stomachs for families or employees, or in rare cases more serious conditions.

“World Plumbing Day is about celebrating the role this army of unsung heroes play in keeping our drinking water and families safe and healthy every day,” said Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe.

We are fortunate in this country to have high quality tap water readily available, but around the world others are less fortunate.

Some 40% of the world's population does not have access to proper sanitation, a working sewerage system or wholesome drinking water. Every 15 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease and half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from water-related diseases.

World Plumbing Day invites plumbing professionals to celebrate the importance of plumbing and how far the UK has come in regards to safe water, sanitation and water conservation.

It also highlights, however, how much work there is still left to do on a global level.

"Events such as World Plumbing Day not only highlight the fact that many parts of the world still suffer immensely from the consequence of lack of access to basic plumbing systems, but also remind us of the work that there is still to be done here in the UK,” said Kevin Wellman, chief executive officer of CIPHE and founder of WaterSafe.

"The threat of a global water shortage makes water conservation an industry-wide priority. We also need to take further steps to reduce those being harmed by unsafe practices and unscrupulous installers.

"Most importantly, the industry needs to attract the next generation of skilled, knowledgeable, passionate and qualified plumbers, through a world-class apprenticeship system. These things are achievable and we are calling on the whole industry to work with us to accomplish it together."