Plumbing Through the Ages

Fresh Water Supply from the Ancients to the ModernsAs far as fresh water is concerned, there have been advancements in terms of pipe sizes, and tanks being put onto the top of skyscrapers. As many buildings have solid cement walls, water pipes are placed on the outside in temperate climates and on the inside in colder climates. Modern residential buildings have plumbing in the interior wood framed walls as much as possible.As piping materials progressed over the ages from clay in Mesopotamia from around 3000 BC. Copper and brass materials were found in Egypt and utilized around 2500 BC. The Romans used lead, as we have seen in the pipes leading to the Bath site in England. Today, water is heated in tanks, either powered by gas, oil, electricity directly, or off of a furnace as a separate zone.Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) had been developed on an experimental level, but not used commercially until BF Goodrich developed the plasticization of PVC, which was used in…
Read more
  • 0

Plumbing in Modern Times

Progressive Development in 18 Century England into the 21st Century AmericaCivilization was on the way back with the progressive reinvention of the toilet. The flushing toilet actually was developed in China and the first known one was found in a king's tomb by archeologists which existed in the Han province during the Western Han Dynasty, 206 BC - 24 AD. However, in Britain, several versions of the flushing toilet appeared and were refined upon. The first British flush toilet was invented by J. F. Brondel in 1798.As science began to seriously develop in Europe and people became more sophisticated to diseases, it became apparent that good clean water, separate from raw sewage, had to be accomplished, not only for olfactory reasons, but for the progress of civilization living in close proximity, such as London. In the mid 1800's, all of the sewers from London's three million inhabitants flowed directly into the Thames river. Drinking water came from public pumps, ser…
Read more
  • 0

Plumbing in the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages in England and into the mid 18th century, plumbing was a challenge and changes to sewer discharge and water supply was driven by diseases, specifically, Dysentery and Typhoid. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 600's to Scots, Saxons, Irish and Picts, which were more mobile than sedentary, sanitation went back to its very basic level. In 1281, in the Newgate jail, it took a crew of 13 men five nights to clean out its sewer pit. The Black Plague of 1348 appeared in Melcombe and one third of the population of Europe was lost to it.In England during the 14 century, in the kitchen of the king, there was an open channel through the Great Hall for waste discharge. Aside from chamber pots, carried by servants, or honey pots and outhouses, there was no fixed plumbing within houses for the common person, and only a few of the elite had any type of piped outlets that were limited to the ground floor.
Read more
  • 0

Ancient Plumbing

Separation of Fresh Water from Sewer Waste

Greece In Greece, in the city of Crete, the Minoans had built a system of sewage disposal, that utilized the steep grades that also removed drainage and was built in the range of 3000 to 1500 BC. This system helped drain off disposed water from the terra cotta tubs by hand and poured into an outlet in a floor. These terra cotta tubs were found in King Minos' palace that dated back to about 1700 BC. The materials used for these drains consisted of clay, limestone and terra cotta. There were also channels that had been found underground, which were man made and also were made of natural stone formations. These are still in use today when heavy rains overflow into them. RomeIn Rome, plumbing developed considerably. Plumbum, which is Latin, represented the modern word plumbing and is defined as lead, as pipes in Rome were originally made of lead.Sewers first appeared in Rome around 800 B.C., …
Read more
  • 0