With the ongoing health crises, have you ever considered the role of modern plumbing in protecting the health of the nation? Plumbing and the health of the nation go hand in (washed) hand. The Centers for Disease Control considers the availability of clean water one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century because of plumbing’s fundamental impact on the spread of communicable diseases.

For that very reason, plumbing and the plumbers that uphold these systems are a necessity in the battle for our health. In the wake of nationwide closures, plumbers remain vital. Several counties that have issued shelter-in-place orders consider plumbers as “essential services” because water and wastewater systems are fundamental to our health. As you know, handwashing and proper hygiene is one of the most important ways to protect yourself from COVID-19.

Before the advancement of the water technology that we have come to rely on, outbreaks of preventable disease and illness were much more common. Remember the classic 90’s game Oregon Trail where you traveled west as a band of settlers in search of new land? Countless challenges threatened your survival, amongst them were dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever. These diseases are just a few of the examples of the dangers of contaminated water in real life.

Back in the day, our society did not understand how most illnesses spread. For instance, in 1800’s London, the Thames River was a source of drinking water — but it was also the place where waste would go. As a result, Cholera outbreaks claimed many lives. In another part of London, Doctor John Snow, one of the founders of modern epidemiology, realized that an outbreak of Cholera affected a very specific community. He traced the source of the disease to one particular well pump that the residents drank from. After urging the city officials to shut down that source of water, the cases of new infections stopped. It was later discovered that a woman cleaned a dirty diaper in the well from a sick baby.

Around the same time a Hungarian doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis was observing a maternity ward and trying to figure out why so many women in maternity wards were dying from puerperal fever — commonly known as childbed fever. He noticed that the mothers who had their babies delivered by the doctors and medical students were five times more likely to contract a fever than those tended to by the midwives. After many observations and experiments, Semmelweis found a connection. The doctors and students were in contact with patients who were ill while the midwives were not. He then instructed the doctors to wash their hands after touching infected individuals. When the doctors washed their hands, the rate of childbed fever dropped significantly. Semmelweis is now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures and one of the first to advocate handwashing to prevent disease.

Although we don’t hear about these diseases often today in the United States, they are far from extinct. Several developing countries still face issues with diseases like these that are easily preventable with sanitary water systems. Modern medicine relies on access to clean water to keep many communicable diseases at bay and to prevent other medical threats such as the flu.

Plumbing is as important to your residential or commercial building as oxygen is to the body. Plumbing is what allows clean water to come into your property and liquid waste out of your property. We use plumbing every day to keep ourselves clean when we shower, bathe, wash our hands, or brush our teeth. Keeping up with personal hygiene is one of many ways we personally combat spreading germs and illness every day. Clean potable water delivered straight to your faucet also allows us to stay hydrated without running to the store, which is essential for your immune system. Finally, without water in the home, cleaning other things like bathroom or kitchen surfaces would become a much bigger challenge. Without plumbing, you also would not be able to flush your toilet, and while there are certainly alternatives to it, using a modern toilet is a great way to keep bacteria away from you and your family.

We are grateful every day for our plumbers who protect the health of the nation alongside medical professionals. If you are experiencing any issues with your plumbing, we are here to help. We have a team of compassionate plumbers who are passionate about what they do. Call Heil the next time you need a plumber and don’t forget to wash your hands!

With the rising concerns regarding COVID-19, Heil Plumbing’s goal is to provide continued services while maintaining the well-being of our customers and employees. We are taking COVID-19 very seriously, and we continue to monitor the most up-to-date reports in order to follow guidelines from the CDC and local, state and federal governments. Our trained and expert plumbers and apprentice will exercise the greatest caution as they serve your needs. As a company, we are abiding by the CDC’s specified preventative measures.

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We’re dedicated to offering the highest quality residential and commercial plumbing services for every customer. Our plumbers are available to respond to your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our residential and commercial plumbers in Columbia and Ellicott City cover every need, from simple fixture repairs to complex drain and sewer problems.

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While we are based in Jessup, Maryland, our plumbing contractors also service Catonsville, Columbia, Ellicott City, Odenton, Clarksville, Elkridge, Fulton, Laurel, and Severn.