A History of Plumbing

By July 27, 2016Blog

A History of Plumbing

Modern plumbing infrastructure has evolved over thousands of years of innovation and engineering practice. Most societies have enjoyed indoor plumbing for a relatively short period of time, as this is truly one of the hallmarks of a modern and advanced society. Plumbing problems can be frustrating, but it’s always worth taking a minute to reflect on how amazing these systems are and the quality of life they allow us to enjoy.

Aqueducts and sewers

Ancient civilisations from central America, India, China, the Mediterranean and the Middle East managed to build large structures to carry water from rivers to cities and towns. These tall, bridge like structures are called aqueducts. Ancient Rome boasted the most advanced aqueducts, and used them to power its imperial expansion and domestic prosperity which lasted for a thousand years.

Following the collapse of the Roman Empire in Europe, many of the innovations brought about by the Romans degraded and vanished. Dark Age Europe reverted to the use of chamber pots and latrine trenches, and water was carried by hand from local water sources meaning that settlements needed to be located near rivers or lakes. This resulted in a significant population decrease due to the spread of diseases such as typhoid and cholera which thrived in the unsanitary conditions created through a lack of plumbing.


During the West’s industrialisation several hundred years ago, engineering practices began to develop and better plumbing technologies could once again be used. Even so, plumbing was not seen as an urgent matter and it took hundreds of years for the technology to be widely adopted and used.

As the industrial revolution saw an immense increase in population growth due to more food and work being available, proper plumbing became a necessity in order to minimise the outbreak of deadly disease. A history of plumbing helps put all our contemporary plumbing issues into perspective!

If you would like an obligation free quote, or some simple advice on a plumbing matter, call us today.

Drainfast are the blocked drain and emergency plumber experts of Melbourne, if you’re still unsure on how to unblock a drain, call Drainfast on 1300 102 233 or leave a message on our contact form.


Blocked Drain and Emergency Plumber quick and helpful links:

Melbourne Water
Triple zero – 000
Victoria State Emergency Service
City of Melbourne – Floods and Storms
Yarra Valley Water

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