In a typical day in Boca Raton, FL, you make use of your indoor plumbing multiple times. But do you know anything about where and how it started?
The history of indoor plumbing is actually very interesting. It reveals a lot about how the construction and technology have evolved over time, but also shows a lot about various, societies and people over history and how they lived.
The Earliest Indoor Plumbing
According to historians, the earliest plumbing is dated back to about 4000-3000 B.C. A basic network of earthenware pipes was uncovered in the ruins of a palace in ancient India. The palace had bathrooms, which featured drainage.
Thousands of years later in about 600 B.C, in Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar II had lavish bathrooms in his palace that were equipped with drains. These bathrooms also featured latrines with raised seats (which were an innovation of the era); they also were connected via a covered sewer system.
Egypt and Rome Continue Plumbing’s Evolution
Egyptians built complex bathrooms with drains and irrigation systems right into their pyramids. Their “toilets” were latrines that were built with an underground pipe. They “flushed” the toilet, using buckets of water to move waste through the pipe.
They built similar facilities into the tombs for their dead. The belief was that the dead still required many of the same comforts that they did when they were alive. Romans are credited with building a complex aqueduct system that eventually ran for hundreds of miles.
The network delivered fresh water to the famous Roman bathhouses using gravity. The bathhouses were not only used for hygienic purposes, but were also a mark of status in their society. There were steam rooms and hot running water available.
Versailles: Indoor Plumbing, But No Toilets
In 17th century France, King Louis XIV installed a cast-iron main sewer line in the palace at Versailles. Despite having the infrastructure in place, it was many decades before there were any indoor toilets at all at Versailles. In the 18th century, during the reign of Marie Antoinette, they were forced to use commodes.
Apparently, members of her court took to relieving themselves in the hallways and courtyards. It sort of paints a different image of the luxury that you associate with Marie Antoinette and her lavish tastes.
Modern Plumbing in Boca Raton Advances Now
Plumbing has been shaped in the past by the needs of the current day. Right now, there is a growing need for eco-friendly plumbing that lets homeowners save money and be environmentally friendly.
One recent advance is the dual flush toilet. The user controls change how much water they need to flush solids or liquids, using far less water than traditional toilets.
Another toilet innovation is the composting toilet, which uses almost no water at all. This appeals to folks who are serious about water conservation.