Much of the work in populated areas is regulated by government or quasi-government agencies due to the direct impact on the public’s health, safety, and welfare. Iinstallation and repair work on residences and other buildings generally must be done according to plumbing and building codes to protect the inhabitants of the buildings and to ensure safe, quality construction to future buyers. If permits are required for work, contractors typically secure them from the authorities on behalf of home or building owners.
In the United Kingdom the professional body is the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (educational charity status) and it is true that the trade still remains virtually ungoverned; there are no systems in place to monitor or control the activities of unqualified plumbers or those home owners who choose to undertake installation and maintenance works themselves, despite the health and safety issues which arise from such works when they are undertaken incorrectly; see Health Aspects of Plumbing (HAP) published jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Plumbing Council (WPC). WPC has subsequently appointed a representative to the World Health Organization to take forward various projects related to Health Aspects of Plumbing.
In the United States, codes and licensing are generally controlled by state and local governments. At the national level, the Environmental Protection Agency has set guidelines about what constitutes lead-free fittings and pipes, in order to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Some widely used Standards in the United States are:
- ASME A112.6.3 – Floor and Trench Drains
- ASME A112.6.4 – Roof, Deck, and Balcony Drains
- ASME A112.18.1/CSA B125.1 – Supply Fittings
- ASME A112.19.1/CSA B45.2 – Enameled Cast Iron and Enameled Steel Fixtures
- ASME A112.19.2/CSA B45.1 – Ceramic Fixtures