Plumbing has immensely evolved throughout the years. It originated during the ancient civilizations of the Romans, Greeks, Chinese, Indians, and Persians. Those civilizations created public baths; wastewater removal and potable water had to be provided for larger populations.
The ancient cultures predated modern plumbing with the utilization of basic pipes that had conveyed water to public baths. Romans utilized inscriptions on lead pipes to prevent water theft. Meanwhile, standard earthen pipes with broad flanges had been used with asphalt to prevent leaks in the Indus Valley Civilization’s urban settlements by around 2700 BCE.
Life Before Plumbing
While the water needs of public institutions were addressed, individual households had to take care of their own potable water and sanitation needs. In the past, a member of the household would carry water by hand. In more populated areas or in wealthier, larger households, a water carrier can be hired to transport water.
When it came to toilets, a chamber pot was used at night and then emptied in the latrine or sewer. Apartment buildings had a communal toilet, a seat with a hole that led to a waste pit, which was also used to dispose of kitchen waste and dirty wash water.
As for full-immersion bathing, people had to haul water to their respective homes to take a bath. All they needed were a washcloth, washbasin, and pitcher. Washing hair was still rare, as brushing was still the more effective method to clean hair.
The Advances of Plumbing Throughout the Years
The 1920s ushered in indoor plumbing, with most new buildings having at least one bathroom and kitchen plumbing. For existing buildings, unique and creative ways were used to bring in plumbing. Aesthetically-appealing and functional indoor plumbing fixtures like bathroom faucets and kitchen sinks were in demand.
In the 1950s, indoor plumbing became widespread in the U.S. Fashionable faucets, sinks, toilets, and other plumbing fixtures had added another facet to the construction industry. The kitchen had always been a home’s focal point; now, contemporary kitchens have high-tech amenities like a motion detecting kitchen faucet, garbage disposal, and appliances.
While the ancient civilizations used pipes made from lead, clay, wood, bamboo, or stone, advances in technology had led to the creation of metal and durable plastic pipes. Contemporary piping materials are now made of galvanized steel, copper, and plastic like uPVC, PEX, PP, and PBT, among others. Current water supply systems use a network of pipes and high-pressure pumps. Vent and drain lines are made of cast iron, lead, steel, or plastic.
More recent plumbing advances include products to help achieve a healthier and more comfortable living space. Water filtration systems can remove tap water contaminants. Reverse osmosis systems can provide access to drinking water. Even toilets are getting high-tech. You can sweep your hand over a toilet for automatic flushing, and the toilet lid will close automatically without slamming.
As plumbing technology develops, the need for more certified skilled plumbers arises. Our licensed Sin City Plumbing professionals stay on top of industry developments, so we can readily address your plumbing maintenance and repair needs as they arise.