by Duane Blanton on September 28, 2017

Do you Want to Know the History of Indoor Plumbing?

Our daily routines in Round Lake, IL center a great deal on indoor plumbing. However, when you brush your teeth, visit your restroom or unwind in a hot shower, do you ever stop to think about how your plumbing came to be?

Indoor plumbing has a history that extends back thousands of years. Would you like to know about the history of indoor plumbing?

Early History of Indoor Plumbing

In ancient India, in about 4000-3000 B.C. there were bathrooms that had drains, serviced by a pipe, found in the ruins of a palace.

In Crete in ancient Greece, the first flush toilet is credited to King Minos. The people of Crete also created cisterns to hold rainwater for future household water use. The rain harvesting system also had underground drainage.

Roman and Egyptian Influences

Some of the earliest bathrooms were installed right into the pyramids of Egypt. They had latrines that flushed with the help of buckets of water. Waste flowed away through pipes below the latrine. They also installed similar facilities in the tombs so that the dead could have access to the same comforts as the living.

The Romans were accomplished plumbers, even by today’s standards. They constructed hundreds of miles of aqueducts that carried fresh water to their bathhouses, pulled with gravity. The bathhouses had hot water and steam rooms, heated by furnaces.

The Romans were also famous for adapting their pipes to lead, rather than copper, which really helped to improve sanitary conditions in the day. They are also well-known for making lavish plumbing fixtures out of marble, with gold and silver fittings.

Plumbing at Versailles

In the 17th century, King Louis XIV ordered the construction of a main sewer line made of cast-iron at the palace, which was pretty cutting edge for the day.

Even with this innovation, it was many, many years before indoor toilets were available at Versailles. Even Marie Antoinette, with all her extravagance, didn’t have indoor toilets for her court at Versailles.

Instead, they used close stools (upholstered chairs with chamber pots). Apparently, people also relieved themselves all over the palace in the hallways, stairwells and in the courtyards.

Modern Plumbing Advances

Today’s plumbing technology focuses on water conservation. Given that there is a global water crisis and that water bills are expensive, it is essential that today’s plumbing consider water use and water waste.

Dual flush toilets lets the user select how much water they need to use (solid vs. liquid) which reduces water waste significantly. Low-flow showerheads slow down the rate of water coming out of the showerhead, which reduces the amount of water that you need for a good shower.

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