Word Plumbing originated from the Latin word plumbum. The first plumbing systems appeared in settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization by 2700 B.C. (Bronze Age civilization located primarily in the western part of the Indian Subcontinentand flourished around the Indus river). Plumbing originated during civilizations such as the Roman, Indian, Greek, Chinese, and Persian civilizations as they were developing public baths and needed to provide drainage of wastes. Improvements of plumbing systems were very slow, with no visible progress made from the time of the Roman plumbing system until the 19th century. Eventually the development of separate, underground water and sewage systems eliminated open sewage ditches and cesspools.
Plumbing system in Rome
Rome had a complex sanitation system that worked much like modern ones, but the system and knowledge about it were largely lost during the Dark Ages.
A system of eleven aqueducts provided citizens of Rome with water of varying quality, the best being reserved for potable supplies. Lower quality water was used by everyone in the public baths and latrines much like an early form of modern toilets. The Romans had a complex system of sewers covered by stones, much like modern sewers. Waste flushed from the toilets or latrines flowed through a central channel into the main sewage system and into a nearby river or stream.
Archeologists estimate the first sewers of ancient Rome were built between 800 and 735 B.C. Drainage systems had evolved slowly, and began, primarily, as a means to drain marshes and storm runoff. Over time, the Romans expanded the network of sewers that ran through the city and linked most of them, including some drains, to the Cloaca Maxima, which emptied into the Tiber River.
Around 100 A.D., direct connections of homes to sewers began, and the Romans completed, for the most part, the sewer system infrastructure. Sewers ran throughout the city, serving public and some private latrines, and which also served as dumping grounds for those not fortunate enough to live in a directly-connected home. It was mostly the wealthy whose homes were connected to the sewers, through outlets that ran under an extension of the latrine.
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