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COVID-19 Safety Update
Element Plumbing & Gas: COVID-19 Wastewater Plumbing Systems Info

Hi, I’m Brad from Element Plumbing & Gas. My professional team and I are committed to your safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the COVID-19 safety measures we’re practicing at client premises?

We are maintaining social distance, regularly washing our hands and frequently using hand sanitizer. The plumbing team and I wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) including gloves, when accessing wastewater pipes.

Element Plumbing & Gas: COVID-19 PPE

We also make sure we disinfect:

  • All surfaces touched whilst onsite
  • Hand tools we use while working on your job
  • Vehicles in our fleet

Furthermore, we are adhering to the following recommendations. We encourage our clients to do the same.

SARS-CoV-2 and proactive plumbing maintenance

The Lancet Global Health Report published on 23 March 2020 recommends the following steps be taken to ensure that transmission through the wastewater plumbing system is minimised:

  1. Do not ignore unexplained foul smells in bathrooms, kitchens, or wash areas;
  2. Make sure that all water appliances in bathrooms and kitchens are fitted with a functioning U-bend;
  3. To prevent the loss of the water trap seal within a U-bend, open a tap on all water appliances for at least 5 s twice a day (morning and evening) paying special attention to floor drains in bathrooms and wet rooms;
  4. If the wastewater pipework from an appliance appears to be disconnected or open, seal it immediately (i.e. use an elastic rubber glove to cover the end; a plastic bag and some tape will suffice, ensuring the bag has no holes);
  5. If there appears to be any crack or leak in pipework, seal with tape or glue; and
  6. Continuously monitor whole system performance (for large or tall buildings).

Are wastewater plumbing systems a transmission pathway for COVID-19?

The answer is; yes. The potential for a substantial viral load within the wastewater plumbing system (and therefore the main sewer system), in combination with the potential for airborne transmission due to aerosolisation of the virus, calls for wastewater plumbing systems to be considered as a potential transmission pathway for COVID-19.

The interconnectedness of the wastewater plumbing network can facilitate exposure to SARS-CoV-2 within, or even between, buildings. This is of particular concern in high risk transmission settings such as hospitals and health-care buildings.

Following the proactive plumbing recommendations set out above will help to minimise the risk of transmission.

Public health matters

As plumbers, we are the first line of defense in public health. Where necessary, we as plumbers need to inform our customers of potential risks. The team at Element Plumbing & Gas have your best interests in mind.

Please, stay safe! Contact us for assistance.