October 21, 2021
In line with UL’s mission of working for a safer world, the company will participate in Imagine a Day Without Water on Oct. 21, 2021. This national campaign brings awareness to the need to view water as an essential and invaluable resource. Organizations and leaders, including water service providers, local officials, engineers, schools and aquariums, are encouraged to participate in this day of action by spreading the message that water is the world’s most essential resource and that the infrastructure providing water services needs our attention.
While many Americans have easy access to water for drinking, bathing or washing clothes, this is not the case for everyone. According to the Safe Water Network, who UL has partnered with since 2012, nearly a billion people across the world do not have access to clean water. According to Imagine a Day Without Water, approximately two million Americans live without safe, reliable water and wastewater services. They are likely relying on bottled water and maybe living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
“To sustain life on this planet, everyone needs access to clean water, whether to quench our thirst, prepare food, clean our bodies or simply enjoy recreational access to pollutant-free water,” Amanda Fisher, global business development manager at UL, told H2O Global News in a September 2021 interview.
Water as an industry
The current Imagine a Day Without Water event, which is in its seventh year, aims to educate people about where our water comes from and where it goes after using it. According to the Value of Water Campaign, an average American uses 176 gallons of water daily. And before we can return wastewater to our lakes and rivers, every gallon used must be treated to remove potential contaminants.
However, many people are unaware of the complex infrastructure behind the delivery and cleaning of water, notes the Value of Water Campaign. We may think of our local water treatment plant as the sole entity behind our water quality, but the process is much broader than that. Fisher noted that as water moves through the distribution system, “there is an increase in contaminants due to the myriad touchpoints on the journey, including pipes, fittings, coatings and valves.”
The manufacturers of all those touchpoints are part of the water industry, as are companies that provide testing, treatment options, or maintenance services and supplies. If the individual components and the overall system are not maintained, updated and repaired routinely, aging and leaking pipes or water main breaks may compromise the safety of our drinking water. The continued monitoring and testing of our water must continue, but we also also need to invest in repairs and upgrades to the infrastructure.
Making clean water a reality
We all have a role to play in keeping our water clean. As Fisher stated in the interview, “Every individual or business that uses water, every industrial manufacturer that discharges it into our waterways and every regulator that decides how to fund and monitor our water systems must consider what steps they can take to continuously improve our water quality.”
Potential action steps, according to Fisher, can include:
- Water infrastructure product manufacturers examining the materials and ingredients they use to help ensure harmful contaminants don’t seep into the water
- Water utilities and municipalities developing solutions to repair or replace aging infrastructure
- Water treatment product manufacturers designing products to remove new contaminants or reduce levels of existing contaminants and making lower-cost treatment alternatives
- Companies, such as UL, testing and certifying water products to verify that products perform as expected and do not cause adverse health impacts
- Building and homeowners staying informed on their water quality and using filters or other treatment devices certified to address their contaminants of concern.
UL’s commitment to clean water
UL promotes safe living and working environments year-round. The company’s commitment to clean water goes beyond Imagine a Day Without Water and the partnership with the Safe Water Network. As an active participant and leader in standards development, technical committees and industry groups, UL’s engineers understand water supply systems and the increasingly complex issues surrounding the treatment and distribution of clean water.
To help ensure consumers receive clean, safe water, UL offers testing, inspection and certification services for water and plumbing products. Whether used in the water infrastructure or commercial and residential buildings, UL evaluates the products, components and materials used in water treatment and distribution to verify that they meet the related standards and requirements. UL also offers product reliability testing, UL Marketing Claim Verification and other needs specific to your business.
Learn more about UL’s water and plumbing services. Sign up on the campaign’s website to learn more about how your organization can get involved in Imagine a Day Without Water.