History of Indoor Plumbing Facts You Need To Know

 

Indoor plumbing in a modern Canadian home is something that few residents think about much anymore. After all, it’s just a turn of a tap or throwing some clothes or dishes into an appliance, and the water starts pouring in, almost as if by magic.

Of course, it’s not magic at work when it comes to indoor plumbing. It is a very complex arrangement of pumps, heaters, filters, pipes and other components that are built into walls, floors, and ceilings, so you never have to see all this engineering in action.

We’ve gotten pretty good at implementing it in the 21st century, but for millennia, the idea of reliably getting water was a prime focus of civilization.

Water Meant Survival

For the Ancient Egyptians, water access meant the difference between being a thriving culture and one barely surviving. The Nile River was the only plentiful source of water in an otherwise desert region, but it was impractical for an entire civilization to live just on its shore.

The use of clay pipes to carry water further inland made it possible for the Egyptian culture to spread and flourish. Later, metallurgical techniques allowed the Egyptians to fashion ancient copper pipes.

A few centuries after that, the Roman Empire improved these basic concepts and made them bigger and more grandiose. The famous aqueducts of Rome were capable of carrying water from far away sources all the way back down to cities and towns.

They even made pioneering steps into early sewer engineering, learning to hollow out logs of elm and use them as pipelines to help manage human waste and prevent it from building up to unsafe levels.

Sometimes Lessons Don’t Stick

It’s surprising that the steady advancement of ancient civilizations didn’t always stay relevant as other cultures came to prominence. 18th century France, for example, forgot everything learned by the Egyptians and Romans and royal figures like Marie Antoinette paid the price.

She was famous for her use of perfume, but she did it to hide her stink and the smells that came from the rest of the court. French palaces had no indoor plumbing of any kind.

In fact, getting water into these buildings was so difficult that bathing was only worth the effort about once a month, even for members of the court. What made the palaces so unpleasant, however, was the lack of sewage management.

So in addition to galleries, beautiful paintings, tapestries and stunning architecture, there was also urine pooling in floors, and solid waste is sitting on rugs, piling up in corners and stinking up the entire palace because there were too many people and no efficient way to get rid of their waste.

Plumbing for Modern America

21st-century homeowners are, fortunately, and surprisingly, living a much better life plumbing-wise than 18th century 1%ers. Today’s homeowners have modern showers and tubs that let them bathe anytime of the month they like, multiple times per day.

With comprehensive toilet and sewage systems that not only safely eliminate waste, but also even save water while doing it. Even when there are problems, there’s always some kind help at the ready.

Experienced groups like the staff at Lodder Brothers have been helping homeowners and businesses in Guelph, Ontario for years. And they ensure that when something goes wrong, there’s always a way to fix it quickly.