September 24, 2022

Plumbing Challenges Faced by Schools 

It can be a real problem to look for commercial plumbing services for schools, because schools are places where you really don’t want to face serious plumbing problems and challenges, and yet you frequently do. It takes some pretty serious skills and know-how to stay on top of the problems and ensure that everything is working smoothly.

Below are some examples of common challenges that schools face when it comes to their plumbing:

  1. Old Plumbing Systems

Some schools were built a fairly long time ago, and the plumbing hasn’t been updated comprehensively since that time. Australia is luckier than some countries such as the UK, where the majority of public schools were built or upgraded more recently, and there certainly aren’t’ schools dating back to the 1400s and earlier as is common to find in the English countryside. Having said that, dated plumbing remains a challenge: pipes that are worn and not fit for purpose, old toilet cisterns, worn and damaged sinks and drains…the list goes on.

  1. Mischief 

Next, plumbing in schools has one key enemy that seeks to damage and even destroy it, and that’s the kids themselves. Those who are charged with the task of maintaining these plumbing systems have to constantly do battle with kids who refuse to listen to rules about what to put and not to put down the toilet to flush, for instance. Many school bathrooms use paper towels, and if bins are full students might be tempted to flush them, thinking they are just like toilet paper. This is totally wrong, and does damage even to modern plumbing, never mind dated school pipes.

Beyond that, there are students who target the plumbing system with other undesirable objects: fireworks, coins, pages from their books, mop heads, and heaven-forbid even the heads of other students, all as part of some terrible prank war.

  1. Drainage on Sports Fields

Another big challenge for some schools in rural areas is what to do during periods of heavy rain where sports fields become water-logged. Essentially, it’s a problem of drainage, with systems in place not being adequate to cater for perhaps increased rainfall due to climate change, or systems that weren’t updated when sports field areas were expanded. Any way you look at it, there’s a challenge for schools there, as water-logged pitches interfere with interschool sports and athletics meets.

  1. Leaks and Odours

If you’re walking down one of the main corridors in school, and doors and windows are perhaps open to keep a flow of air moving through on a warm day, there’s nothing more uninvited into this situation than a tremendous honk from one of the bathrooms. When drains or toilets get clogged, or have leaking pipes or fixtures, the smell can easily travel into other parts of the school, creating a very unpleasant atmosphere. On those days where doors and windows are open, these odours can also travel into classrooms and disrupt students’ learning.

  1. Budgets

Public schools operate on a tight budget and don’t always have money to invest in upgrading plumbing systems. For some school districts and education authorities, as long as the toilets and drains are working, then that’s enough for them. They may only decide to spend money after something really catastrophic has happened.

  1. Sudden Waves of High Demand

Finally, another challenge for school plumbing is the way that the plumbing can go for many hours almost completely unused, and then faces a sudden wave of demand as students move between classes or go on their break times. This means that the only two settings that the plumbing really deals with are “no demand” and “high demand,” which in turn puts added strain on the plumbing infrastructure.

 

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