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Interesting Facts About the History of Indoor Plumbing

Like all of your Little Rock, AR home’s components, your plumbing has evolved over time to suit the needs of homeowners over the years. Things like materials, lifestyle, housing and climate all have factored in to how indoor plumbing has changed over history.

It’s quite a story when you look back at where plumbing has been and when you consider where it is going.

The Early History of Indoor Plumbing

Archeologists have traced back the earliest indoor plumbing to around 4000-6000 B.C. Copper piping in a palace in India ran to various buildings within the palace. They actually had bathrooms with drains and “toilets” that used septic tanks, not totally unlike what we have today.

In Crete, a few hundred years later, they built underground drainage systems. The same era produced the first flushing toilet on record (although some contend that the earliest was found in a Neolithic village in the UK, dated back 1200 years earlier).

Interesting Facts from Egypt, Rome, and France

One of the great architectural marvels of all time is the bathrooms that they Egyptians installed in the pyramids. They were extremely elaborate, considering the era. The bathrooms had drainage and irrigation.

Interestingly, they made similar bathrooms in the tombs for their dead. They believed that the dead deserved the same conveniences and comfort that the living did. For thousands of years, the ancient Romans have been considered the best plumbers in history.

This is because of the lengthy and complex aqueduct system that they built through the city to carry fresh water to their bath houses. Not only did they have a steady supply, they had built-in systems to carry away wastewater, eliminated into the Tiber River.

They heated the water for the baths with a furnace and also generated steam for the steam rooms. In the 1600s, King Louis XIV installed a main sewer pipe at Versailles, which was pretty cutting edge. Despite the installation of this plumbing, Versailles didn’t get indoor toilets for many, many years afterwards.

During Marie Antoinette’s time in the palace in the 18th century, members of the court (and there were thousands in the palace at once) using latrines, hallways, vacant rooms and the courtyard to do their business. You can imagine that it didn’t smell very good. It is rumored that this is the reason that Marie Antoinette was so fascinated with perfumes, particularly floral fragrances.

Eco-Friendly Future

The new trend for indoor plumbing seems to be in an eco-friendly direction. Many homeowners are environmentally and cost conscious, so eco-friendly plumbing fixtures offer a great option.

Low-flow showers save billions of gallons of water per year in the country. Dual flush toilets substantially reduce water use in the household, as do motion-sensor faucets.

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