We all take plumbing for granted. You don’t give it a second thought because all your life you have had a functioning, modern bathroom. Sewers and plumbing are modern marvels, but their journey began a long time ago. It wasn’t always bubble baths and private vanities. The following is the history of Plumbing and how it found its way into an intriguing part of our lives.
History of Plumbing
Origins of plumbing
Transporting large amounts of water from wells was a burden on people of the past. They needed a faster, more efficient way to water their crops, cook, and drink. Aqueducts — channels for carrying water — were created to transport water from long distances. The Romans were able to create aqueducts by using terra cotta, wood, and lead. Roman systems, as well as the Mexican Tehuacan Valley aqueducts, influence today’s way of moving water.
In the late 1500s, the first flushing toilet was developed for Queen Elizabeth’s godson. Royalty and the wealthy were able to spend the time and money installing pipes to bring running water into their homes and transporting the waste away from them. With the transportation of water using these pipes, builders were able to create indoor bathrooms for the convenience of those who didn’t want to venture outside or use a chamber pot. Septic systems were once as simple as a hole in the ground —far different from the elaborate structures we know today. Such systems help break down the waste as it travels to a sewage plant or is absorbed back into the soil after dangerous bacteria is removed. The removal of bacteria is and remains important; it eliminates dangerous germs which could make people sick and even cause death.
The birth of plumbers
An entire profession stemmed from the evolution of the bathroom. When it comes to your toilet and plumbing, plumbers like those at Shoreline plumbing deal with an array of issues. A plumber unclogs drains, fixes cracked pipes, installs sewer tanks outside, installs and fixes water heaters, and performs a plethora of other jobs. Due to the rise in cisterns and aqueducts, plumbers make sure houses run properly and homeowners don’t experience any unfortunate backup from a tank or the pipes inside. Hair, chemicals, and feminine products flushed down the toilet or drains can cause an array of issues. Ask your local plumber for the right way to dispose of things before you encounter a major problem.
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Old houses certainly have their quirks. Some even come with a toilet in the basement, randomly in one area of the room with no explanation. There is no stall and no ceiling. These oddly place toilets are often called Philadelphia toilets or potties and are not as random as you may think. The theory behind them is that before the pre-world war houses (think Victorian era), men from the mines or ironworks would come home covered in soot, soil, and bits of metal, they would clean themselves off in the cellar or basement before coming into the main living area. While there was usually not shower, there was a slop sink near the toilet to clean off in. The odd thing about these toilets is that they are usually in a weird area such as the middle of the room or off in a corner where anyone can see it.
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They can come in handy when having guests over and you need an extra area to relief yourself, but don’t expect to enjoy the solitude a normal bathroom gives you. Squat toilets are popular overseas and look like the top portion of a toilet that lays flat on the ground. You may need some strong leg muscles to use one, but experts say the angle helps you remove waste easier. If installing a stainless or ceramic floor level toilet isn’t for you, you can buy one of the few squatting stools to help go to the bathroom with ease.
The waste disposal system has come a long way. It’s important to appreciate the convenience these plumbing systems offer, as such mechanisms were once considered luxuries and even impossibilities.