Celebrate World Toilet Day: November 19, 2014
Did you know that it is World Toilet Day, today? Recognized by the United Nations as the founding day of World Toilet Organization, World Toilet Day is about action and awareness. There are approximately 2.5 billion people (a little over a third of the world’s population) who do not have access to improved sanitation. According to the UNWater.org, 1 billion people still defecate in the open.
2014 marks the second annual World Toilet Day. Designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 to officially act as a day to bring awareness and take action to improve the word’s sanitation and ensure everyone has access to the basic right of decent water and sanitation.
We are fortunate to have modern plumbing in San Diego and across America, but the world’s problem is ours as well. Poor sanitation is linked to poor health, disease and death and these problems do not stay in some remote corner of the world. They can reach out and affect everyone as the recent Ebola scare has shown how globally connected we are.
We believe that plumbing, and in turn plumbers, affects the “Health of the Nation” and in the spirit of World Health Day, we hope you will take part in raising awareness. Please visit UNWater.Org and see what you can do to help.
And in the meantime, here is a great infographic “Know Your Toilet” from Water.Org and a few toilet facts!
- The Scots and the Greeks are the early inventors of the toilet. Drains leading outside of stone huts have been found (and believed to be early bathrooms) in Scotland dating back to 3,000 BCE, and the Palace of Knossos on Crete built around 1,700 BCE has “definite latrines”
- Medieval England used a system of garderobes, a room that jutted out form the castle with a small opening form which royalty would “do their business.” The opening was generally located above a moat.
- Although in 1596, Sir John Harrington published the Metamorphosis of Ajax, describing a water closet with a pipe that would run water with a valve, it was a man named Alexander Cummings 200 years later who invented the S-shaped pope underneath that trapped the odors.
- In the 19th century, a London plumber named Thomas Crapper was hired by Prince Edward to build lavatories in several royal palaces. And while Crapper patented several inventions, he is not the actual inventor of the modern toilet as many believe.
- During the 20th century, flush valves, water tanks resting directly on top of the bowl and toilet paper on rolls were invented.
- And, in 1994, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act requiring common flush toilets to use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush.
Sources for this Blog came from the following:
Springer, Jon. (2014, November 18). Why World Toilet Day Should Matter to You. Forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonspringer/2014/11/18/why-world-toilet-day-should-matter-to-you/
Suddath, Claire (2009, November 19). A Brief History of Toilets. Time.Com http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1940525,00.html