Plumbers have been voted the greatest medical milestone since 1840 by the British Medical Journal, beating out antibiotics, anaesthesia, vaccines and the discovery of the DNA structure.

The plumbing industry has made a significant contribution to protecting the public’s health, regardless of the less-than-positive perception of plumbers among the same public. Generally taken for granted and called upon only in the event of a problem, a plumber is seen as the person who unblocks drains, fixes leaks and mends heating systems.

The World Plumbing Council (WPC) has designated 11 March 2013 as the third annual World Plumbing Day. The aim of the Day is to raise awareness about the critical role played by the plumbing industry in maintaining public health and the health of the environment.

Australian plumber and inventor Alex John will join this year’s celebration of the World Plumbing Day, where he will share his unique time-saving invention with the world. After 15 years in the plumbing industry, Alex John developed bendable silicone nozzles for caulking guns designed to simplify the application of silicone in hard-to-reach places.

Pointing out that the public took sanitation for granted in Australia, he observed that the recent flooding in Queensland saw the Brisbane City Council stockpile 40,000 one-litre bottles of water in case the taps ran dry in seven suburbs while elective surgery and specialist outpatient appointments at one of Brisbane's biggest hospitals were suspended until water supplies returned to normal. He explains that these disasters are a reminder of the importance of clean water and sanitation to public health.

This feature is presented by Infolink .