Nowadays a lot of us take our plumbing systems for granted. It’s not until we look back on history until we see how much we have progressed. Some movies and books depict how every castle had a person who carried around a shovel and a bucket. Before plumbing systems were built, our waste was clearly a problem. As the old saying goes, “Where would you go if you didn’t have a plumber?”
Plumbing originated from the need for sanitation. Proper waste disposal was a serious issue that had yet to be tackled. Somewhere along the way, people figured out that there was a better method to deal with our waste. Plumbing addresses the problem, and it has greatly reduced our exposure to dangerous pathogens that could cause disease.
This is where the aqueducts and rudimentary sewer system in Rome came into play. It was nothing more than just a pipe system that transported waste away from the population. Those were plumbing’s origins, and they have carried on to this day. Modern plumbers play a role in keeping homes safe and keeping people sanitary. We’ve made some huge advancements since then.
One of the ways that plumbing has advanced is with the different types of materials we use. Back in the 1940s and 1950s, concrete pipes were widely used. There was even a time when pipes were made out of tar paper (not such a brilliant idea). There were also Quest (polybutylene) pipes that were prone to leaking. The only thing they contributed to the industry was a series of lawsuits.
Even though there were some things in the history of the plumbing industry that weren’t so good, there were also many positive advancements we’ve seen in a short time. For instance, PVC pipe is still being used today. There were many naysayers when PVC pipes were first introduced, but they have since demonstrated their versatility and longevity. We have gone from concrete to cast iron to galvanized steel.
There has also been a growing concern for lead content in the piping. Lead is known to be harmful to people, especially young children. Advancements in the plumbing industry have come about due to our increased knowledge about what substances are harmful to us. One reason plumbing is evolving is because we are finding new ways to deliver safe, clean water to families.
A lot of times, we just take plumbing for granted—we flush the toilet and open the faucet just expecting it to work. We usually don’t give any thought to the underlying workings. There is a lot of progress that has allowed it all to happen. Over the past few decades, plumbing has evolved from outhouses to having multiple toilets in our homes.
It’s rather amazing how much plumbing has changed since its beginnings. It all started with the need to have sanitation and safety. It’s carried through to our modern homes, where we now take pride in our beautiful bathrooms and kitchens. Throughout the history of plumbing there has been great advances
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