The progress of a society may be judged by the way in which it disposes of its human waste material, and thus by the quality of its sewerage system (Mumford 1961, chap. 8). In the ancient world, the Greeks and Romans put great emphasis upon town planning. Roman cities were famed for their sewers, drains, aqueducts, paved streets, and roads. Domestic plumbing ranged from marble bathrooms with under-floor heating and indoor toilets in upmarket villas to basic latrine provision for the Roman army, as found, for example, alongside Hadrian’s Wall in northern Britain (Greed 2003). Following the decline of the Roman Empire, waste disposal returned to more primitive methods. Most ordinary people used an outdoor “privy,” while nobles often had an “indoor” toilet built out from the wall of their castle, hanging over the moat. In the Christian West during the Middle Ages, indoor plumbing, or for that matter personal hygiene and privacy, were not highly esteemed marks of civilization or progress, although washing and bathing, and bathhouses, were given higher priority in the Muslim East (Bonneville 1997).
Plumbing reached its early apex in ancient Rome, which saw the introduction of expansive systems of aqueducts, tile wastewater removal, and widespread use of lead pipes. With the Fall of Rome both water supply and sanitation stagnated—or regressed—for well over 1,000 years. Improvement was very slow, with little effective progress made until the growth of modern densely populated cities in the 1800s. During this period, public health authorities began pressing for better waste disposal systems to be installed, to prevent or control epidemics of disease. Earlier, the waste disposal system had merely consisted of collecting waste and dumping it on the ground or into a river. Eventually the development of separate, underground water and sewage systems eliminated open sewage ditches and cesspools.
Help! The toilet won’t stop running. It’s a bummer, sure, but it’s something you don’t need to call your plumber about. In fact, DIYers should take note that it’s a quick fix that will cost you just $5. For instance, your handle might just be sticking, which can be solved by spraying some lubricant where the handle meets the porcelain. Ready to DIY? Here’s how to fix a running toilet.
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine, and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty, and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected], and check out her website: livingbylex.com

You might not hear a lot of advice about letting your faucets drip, but when it comes to wintertime, plumbers advise you avoid frozen pipes this way. If you’ve had frozen pipes in the past, you’ll likely have them again, unless you’ve taken preventive measures, so if temps drop to frigid levels, open a faucet slightly and let a steady drip occur to prevent frozen pipes. Check out these 13 tips to prepare your plumbing for winter.


Westbrook knows that quality construction starts with quality plumbing. Our design build experts use the latest techniques and technology to ensure that every building is fitted, piped and pressurized for maximum water flow and efficiency. With Westbrook’s team of plumbing experts, you can be sure that any new building won’t go without clean and safe water service.

Atomic Plumbing is your first call for Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk plumbing needs – residential or commercial. If you have a leaky pipe or drain clog, or wish to install new bathroom fixtures, Atomic Plumbing can help. Our plumbing team is certified and trained to tackle any sewer or drainage problem, using the latest parts and equipment to repair frozen or damaged pipes or faulty water heaters.
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