March 11 is World Plumbing Day!

This is a special occasion to high-five all the plumbers you know, and recognise the plumbing industry for keeping people safe with clean water. The event was started in 2010 by the World Plumbing Council as a way of focusing on plumbing’s contribution to sustainable, healthy housing and cities — both in the Western world and in developing countries.

To celebrate, we thought we’d take a look at plumbing in Australia, the perks of the job, and the industry’s (sometimes) surprising history.

Plumbing the suburbs


It’s a little-known fact that many homes in the outer suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane lacked indoor toilets until the late 1960s. It seems unbelievable now, but in the middle of that decade, 45 per cent of Australians lived in houses without a connection to the sewerage system.

In 1967, Gough Whitlam won the federal seat of Werriwa in western Sydney, and started championing the needs of people in the outer suburbs. The first item of business: sewerage connections and indoor toilets. In later years, former New South Wales premier Neville Wran remembered: “It was said of Caesar that he found Rome brick, and left it marble. It will be said of Gough Whitlam that he found the outer suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane un-sewered, and left them fully flushed”. Thanks, Gough!

Plumbing: one of Australia’s most-wanted jobs


Plumbing is an essential trade that involves the installation, maintenance, and repair of water pipes, fixtures, and other existing systems that are used to transport water, waste, and gas in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. Plumbers are responsible for ensuring that these plumbing systems are installed and maintained correctly to ensure the safety and well-being of the people who use them.

It’s easy to see why: plumbers earn great pay, and there’s always lots of work available. At the time, Plumbing Trades Employees Union boss Paddy McCrudden said, “If you are unemployed as a plumber in Australia, there must be something wrong; you’ve either got a bad work ethic or are charging too much. There is always work out there for a plumber”.

Recently, a report commissioned by the South Australian government showed that plumbing is one of the most high-priority skills among employers in the state. The only skilled trade that topped it was bricklaying.

Our plumbing systems’ twenty-first century problems


If you know a plumber, you’ve probably heard them say, ‘don’t flush baby wipes’. But unfortunately, most Aussies haven’t caught on to this important message.

A quick search of the hashtag #KeepWipesOutOfPipes reveals the effect of thousands of wet wipes entering our sewer systems each day. They’re called ‘fatbergs’: congealed lumps of fat, wet wipes, and similar items that don’t break down like toilet paper.

Not too long ago, a one-tonne cluster blew out a pumping station near Lake Macquarie. The Sydney Morning Herald reported: “Three-quarters of the one-tonne cluster of sewage and wet wipes was removed with specialised equipment from the station at Eleebana. But the rest, 300 kilograms, was removed by hand, one bucket at a time, according to Hunter Water Corporation spokesman Nick Kaiser”.

Interested in plumbing work? Become a licensed plumber


At Builders Academy Australia, we are committed to providing nationally accredited plumbing qualifications to aspiring plumbers to help them develop the necessary skills and knowledge they need to succeed in this important trade. Our plumbing courses are designed to provide students with a solid foundation in plumbing theory and practical skills, including installation, maintenance, and repair of plumbing systems.

Our courses also cover the latest developments in sustainable plumbing practices, such as water-saving technologies and renewable energy systems. This is essential for budding plumbers who need to understand the importance of conserving water and reducing energy consumption in plumbing systems to meet the needs of a growing population and address climate change.

If you want to run your own jobs, start your own plumbing business, or become a fully licensed plumber, we’ve got a few exciting updates for prospective students in our CPC40920 Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services.

In addition to our plumbing courses, we also offer a range of other trade courses that prepare students for careers in the construction industry. This includes courses in building and construction, leadership and management, and more. Our courses are designed to provide students with the practical skills, knowledge, and hands-on experience they need to succeed in their chosen trade.

Visit our course page to register your interest or give us a call on 1300 LEGEND.