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To work independently, a plumber is required to receive a license. In most states, the prerequisite for earning this license is two to five years of practical experience. There's also an exam to test technical know-how and understanding of plumbing codes. The United Association's website offers extensive information on licensing requirements by state.
Bacteria have been shown to live in "premises plumbing systems". The latter refers to the "pipes and fixtures within a building that transport water to taps after it is delivered by the utility". Community water systems have been known for centuries to spread waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera, however "opportunistic premises plumbing pathogens" have been recognized only more recently; Legionella pneumophila discovered in 1976, Mycobacterium avium, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are the most commonly tracked bacteria, which people with depressed immunity can inhale or ingest and may become infected with. These opportunistic pathogens can grow for example in faucets, shower heads, water heaters and along pipe walls. Reasons that favor their growth are "high surface-to-volume ratio, intermittent stagnation, low disinfectant residual, and warming cycles". A high surface-to-volume ratio, i.e. a relatively large surface area allows the bacteria to form a biofilm, which protects them from disinfection.
I want to thank Technician Sean D. and his associate Paul C. for during an outstanding job replacing some of my plumbing. They arrived on job site at the time promised and quickly determined my problem. They were both very friendly and professional. Sean was very knowledgeable as to what had to be done and made a good job an excellent job with a few tweaks. Atomic Plumbing is lucky to have employees of this caliber.
Plumbing Repair Co