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Fun Facts About the History of Plumbing

Certified Plumbing of Brevard - March 9, 2022 - 0 comments

Plumbing has been a part of everyday life for so many years. Today, it is easy to take the things we have for granted – especially our modern-day plumbing! Did you know that some of the advancements in this industry have only been made recently? Plumbing pipes have come a long way from the ancient Greeks and Romans’ wooden logs used as water lines! 

Ancient Plumbinghistory of plumbing

Plumbing has been around for thousands of years! Records indicate that standardized plumbing systems existed as early as 3000 BC. The ancient Egyptians were the first to use copper pipes to carry water through their homes. In Ancient Egypt, Plumbing was very important. There were primitive bathrooms when the pyramids were built! The Egyptians created plumbing because of the irrigation systems that made farming possible.

Although the modern shower wouldn’t be invented until much later on, the ancient Greeks invented the concept of a modern shower. Initially, showers were simply holes in the wall where servants would pour water on them while they bathe, but eventually, they would use intricate showerheads, much like the ones we use today! The athletes from the ancient Olympics would use this system for bathing!

The greeks even mastered the art of hot and cold water. At the time, hot showers were reserved only for the elderly. Hot showers were seen as unmanly. The Romans believed that cold showers were healthy and invigorating.

The construction of the Roman aqueduct system was one of humanity’s most significant accomplishments. From 312 B.C. to A.D. 226, the Roman Empire built aqueducts that connected many cities and towns to supply water. It was a channel used to transport fresh water to highly populated areas. Some of their infrastructures are still used today!

Development of Personal Hygiene

Plumbing as we know it began in the early 1800s. Before that, people would use metal or wooden buckets to bring water from a well or river into their homes. People first used plumbing in houses to carry away wastewater. People would often dump their wastewater out their windows!

Did you realize that Sir John Harington invented the first flushing toilet in 1596? This is where the term “using the John” comes from. He would give his invention to Queen Elizabeth I; however, the monarch would be too scared to use it because of the loud whooshing sound when it flushed.

Did you know that indoor Plumbing wasn’t widely accessible until the mid-nineteenth century? Before then, indoor Plumbing was considered a luxury affordable only by the very wealthy.

Showers are a necessity in everyday life. Most people probably take them for granted. When the modern shower was heavily improved upon in 1810 it continually pumped the same wastewater from the lower basin to the top and dumped water directly above the bather’s head. It was considered a novelty and performed only once or twice a year.

Furthermore, personal hygiene made another advancement in 1883 when John Michael Kohler invented the first modern bathtub. He took a cast-iron horse trough, added decorative feet, and covered it with an enamel finish. This made it easier for the average person to bathe, and the trend slowly caught on.

If you recognize Kohler’s name, he founded Kohler Company, a major company that still exists today! Initially, the company specialized in making plows and other metalwork. After inventing the bathtub, the company shifted its focus to Plumbing. 

Although bathtubs were invented in 1883, most people didn’t install bathtubs until after WWI. After WWI, the Roaring 1920s came, and there was a significant construction boom, leading to more infrastructure and luxuries being installed.

Advancements in Clean Water

Clean water is another thing some of us take for granted. Plumbing makes it possible to have clean water delivered right to our homes. And before indoor Plumbing became common, people would have to travel long distances to get water from a clean source. However, this all changed when Philadelphia took on the responsibility to take on a safe water supply in 1815. Thousands of people would live longer if this were implemented. It would also aid in the prevention of epidemics by cutting down on the spread of illnesses.

It wasn’t until 1819, when Sir Joseph Bazalgette designed the London sewer system, that Plumbing took off. The sewers carried both wastewater and stormwater away from the city.

Another fun fact was that the White House received running water in 1833 under the Jackson administration. Being one of the most important buildings in America, the need for fire suppression was a must-have. Additionally, the president and his guest would need a place to wash up. It is not surprising that personal hygiene plays a massive part in diplomacy.

The Need for a Public Water System

New York has been the center of many technological advantages in the past. Plumbing is no different. In the 19th century, New York was plagued by constant fires. The New York Fire Department was in desperate need of a water system. Thus The first public water main was installed under New York streets in 1830. This new invention quickly caught on, and soon cities across the country were installing their water mains. Plumbing services gradually became more significant as time progressed.

Meanwhile, thousands of people were getting sick in Chicago because The city dumped the local sewer system in Lake Michigan. These outbreaks would cause 75,000 people to lose their lives. This led to America’s first integrated sewer system being created in the 1850s.

With all of this history, it’s no wonder why our modern Plumbing is so extensive! Plumbing has come a long way over the centuries and continues to make life easier for everyone today. Thanks, Plumbing!

Water Conservation

Water conservation is an issue that has come into play recently. Plumbers are now being called upon to install low-flow toilets and showerheads to conserve this valuable resource. Plumbers are also being asked to help people who have been affected by the drought in California.

In 1978 some of the first water conservation laws were introduced. They were created to combat water shortages in California. In 1987 the Plumbing Fixture Efficiency Act was passed. This act regulated the flow of water from plumbing fixtures. In 1992, the Energy Policy Act was introduced, which set the standards for water conservation. The Energy Policy Act also provided tax credits for people who made energy-efficient upgrades to their homes, including installing new plumbing fixtures.

In 2006, California passed the Plumbing Standards Law. This law required that all new homes in California be plumbed with low-flow toilets and showerheads. In 2009, Congress introduced the Water Conservation Rebate Program. This program provided rebates to homeowners who installed water-saving devices, such as low-flow toilets and showerheads.

Modern Times

Plumbing has come a long way over the years. From simple irrigation systems to modern indoor Plumbing, Plumbing has evolved to meet the needs of society.

Today, Plumbing is more crucial than ever. Plumbing helps us conserve water and keeps us safe from harmful bacteria and viruses. Plumbing is a necessary part of every home and every business. Without Plumbing, our world would be a very different place.

If you need quality Plumbing, be sure to contact Certified Plumbing of Brevard county. We are experts in all things Plumbing, and we can help you with all of your plumbing needs. Give us a call today!

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