About American Society of Sanitary Engineering
American Society of Sanitary Engineering
The American Society of Sanitary Engineering grew out of a meeting held in Washington, D.C., January 29-31, 1906.
Henry B. Davis, Chief Plumbing Inspector for the District of Columbia, believed it was vital that plumbing practice in the United States be standardized.
Davis invited 25 inspectors from other American cities to organize an association of plumbing inspectors and sanitary engineers. The fundamental principle they decided to follow: "Prevention Rather Than Cure," which still guides the Society's activities in a wide range of programs designed to educate the industry and the public on the importance and necessity of safe and correct plumbing installations.
In the 1940's the Society and the industry undertook an extensive effort to prove that polio, than a major scourge -- was a waterborne disease. ASSE and the industry contended the viral disease was spread through polluted potable water, much caused by such faulty plumbing practices as cross-connections which led to backsiphonage. Surprisingly, this theory was not universally accepted, as obvious as it may seem today. The ASSE campaign was of major importance in developing greater consciousness of the importance of proper plumbing practice and the Society has continued its emphasis on "Prevention Rather Than Cure."
Since that time, the ASSE has developed a far reaching Standards Program for products that are components of the plumbing system. The standards, which have a heavy emphasis on backflow prevention devices, are used by national and local codes throughout the country.
Other research in which the Society has been involved includes the recent investigation into Legionnaires' Disease. The Society publishes books such as the Plumbing Dictionary, the Energy and Water Conservation Guidelines, the Plumbing Inspection Manual, and the Refresher Course Series of technical papers covering subjects such as "Safety and Innovations in Plumbing", "Codes and Conservation" and "Institutional and Industrial Plumbing." Also in final stages of preparation is a plumbing Design Correspondence Course.
The American Society of Sanitary Engineering continues to be vital to the industry and the public. Its programs benefit all segments of the plumbing industry.
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