A Brief History of Plumbing
Plumbing’s humble beginnings
There is evidence that plumbing systems have been there almost as long as people have, and this evidence stretches back to the Neolithic Era. The data suggests that plumbing systems transport water from one location to another. As early as 6,500 B.C., inhabitants in the Jezreel Valley of Israel began digging permanent wells to obtain a supply of potable water. Archaeologists have found evidence of indoor latrines and two-channel systems for bringing in fresh water and disposing of wastewater at the Neolithic hamlet of Skara Brae, Scotland. These systems were used to bring in fresh water and dispose of wastewater. It is astonishing how well-preserved Skara Brae is as a Neolithic settlement site. Skara Brae may be found in Scotland. People stopped dwelling in these houses for the final time close to five thousand years ago.
Throughout history, more technologically evolved societies have developed increasingly complex plumbing systems. The covered sewage system of the ancient city of Lothal, which was situated in the region now India and dated back to the Bronze Age, discharged its waste into surrounding bodies of water or municipal cesspools. Lothal was established in what is now India. As a direct result of the development of this technology, every residence in the city was fitted with at least one bathroom on the interior.
These novel concepts rapidly gained widespread acceptance throughout the ancient world. Archaeologists have found evidence of plumbing systems in places ranging from the British Isles to East Asia. These regions include both urban and rural settings. And as human civilization expanded, plumbing technology likewise improved to a more advanced degree, allowing for more complex plumbing systems.
Aqueducts and Sewers
The water mains and sewage infrastructure we use today did not exist overnight. In fact, a wide variety of ancient civilizations have at least one type of plumbing system. A great number of ancient civilizations, such as those that existed in India, China, Central America, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean, came up with solutions to the problem of garbage disposal in densely populated areas and the provision of clean water to the people who lived there. Ancient Rome was the most technologically advanced civilization, having constructed enormous aqueducts that transported water into city centres and individual residences and employing underground sewers to remove waste from the cities. In addition, the Romans invented the bathhouse, which was the first public restroom.
On the other hand, as the Roman Empire fell apart in the fifth century, many of the plumbing advancements that had been made during that time period were lost. As a direct result of this, people in Europe went back to defecating in chamber pots and open-air latrines for the next nearly one thousand years. Poor sanitation and contaminated drinking water led to the development of diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, and the plague. These diseases all contributed to the deaths of many people and a generally low level of living throughout the region. Poor sanitation and contaminated drinking water led to the development of diseases.
The Spread of Sanitation
Thankfully, plumbing technology made a comeback and contributed to the Western world entering a cleaner and more enlightened era as it helped usher in the new century. In the 17th century, London was the first major metropolis to begin experimenting with ways to supply the city with potable water, but most other population centers lagged much behind. The nation’s cities progressively began integrating their water systems over the course of several decades. In 1833, the first floor of the White House was outfitted with a plumbing system that provided flowing water. It was in 1855 that Chicago, Illinois, became the first city in the United States to put in a complete sewer system.
At the turn of the century, many people still obtained their drinking water using rain barrels and wells, while those who lived in cities relied on public fountains and water trucks to do so. Having easy access to clean water and sewage removal, on the other hand, went from being a luxury to a need throughout the 20th century. And what about the actual toilet? In the course of human history, a number of different attempts had been made to construct a functional model; moreover, it was only in the design created by Thomas Crapper at the end of the 19th century that one gained on with the masses.
Toilets of the Future
In recent decades, practically all of the dwellings across the continent of North America have been upgraded to include indoor plumbing and a source of running water. The mechanisms we currently have in place are continuously improving due to the implementation of novel ideas. Lead, copper, and, increasingly, polymers are being used in their stead as the material of choice for the building of pipes. Lead and copper were traditionally used. Engineers are currently working on producing shower heads and faucets that use less water and are more efficient so that we can alleviate the strain that is being placed on our water supplies. The next wave of technological advancements may come in the form of smart home systems that connect your plumbing to the brain of your house to achieve the highest possible level of water supply efficiency while still catering to your individual preferences. These systems could be referred to as “smart homes.”
If in the future you have an issue with the plumbing in your home, take heart in the fact that you can call a plumber and have the system repaired in a relatively short period of time. If this does happen to you, it is important to plan.