Of course, some repairs are easier and quicker to handle than others. Some are a major hassle—particularly those that involve working on pipes that are hidden behind walls or under floors or are otherwise difficult to access. This doesn’t mean you can’t do them yourself, it just means you may need a little more instruction, a few more tools, and a load of patience.
Both public and domestic toilet design is becoming increasingly technologically driven, with automatic flushes and sensor-controlled washing-and-drying facilities becoming commonplace. In parallel, environmental sustainability requirements to save water have resulted in a range of dual-flush cisterns, waterless urinals, and human-waste recycling innovations. High levels of toilet provision in every home, along with highly developed sewerage systems, are no longer necessarily seen as signs of progress and economic development. Such assumptions are now being questioned. Many parts of the world are not economically or environmentally in a position to build modern, expensive water and sewerage systems: It is not a high priority. Water is becoming an increasingly expensive and scarce resource; some see it as “the new oil” in terms of future geopolitical tensions. Far from being a sign of economic development, many see the emphasis upon water-based sewerage systems and flushing toilets as old fashioned, colonial, and unsustainable. Instead, new, more sustainable solutions are being developed, especially within prosperous advanced Asian countries that can afford such research. Such systems will incorporate the most modern technological and scientific advances in the fields of engineering, pathogen control, and urban governance (Chun 2002; Mara 2006).
Those who attempted to bring plumbing indoors faced technical as well as attitudinal challenges. Decisions on how wastewater was removed required as much concern as those made to ensure an adequate water supply. But equally vexing was the prevailing miasma theory of disease, which held that illnesses stemmed from "bad air" that was readily identifiable by its offensive odor. This led to a distrust of early indoor plumbing that tended to leak and a deadly fear of the sewer gas that accompanied the leaks. It is no wonder then that many individuals maintained a strong belief that elimination was best taken care of out of doors.