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A Brief History of Plumbing

Tuesday, March 11th is World Plumbing Day, as declared by the World Plumbing Council. On this day, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing takes a moment to remember the history of plumbing and the innumerable benefits it has imparted on society. The introduction of indoor plumbing and centralized water supply reduced the incidence of water-borne illness and increased life expectancy the world over. Plumbing dates back further than many people might expect. Researchers have found evidence of plumbing use in civilizations as early as the Roman and Mayan empires.

When societies perfect water treatment and make potable water publicly available, human populations have been shown to flourish. Water treatment plants adjust pH levels, and remove contaminants from water. They may also add chlorine to kill certain toxins that are harmful to the human body. Generally these water supplies are overseen by government agencies, allowing regulation for safe practices. Home installation, maintenance, and services such as emergency plumbing in Villanova are done by dedicated private companies like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.

Many people today think of plumbing as a modern convenience, but anthropological evidence suggests otherwise. The Roman Empire innovated extensively in the use of aqueducts, and scientists have found ruins of ancient plumbing systems in their drains, palaces, and bath houses. The Minoan Palace of Knossos on the isle of Crete contains what may be the first flushing toilet. Lost to the ages, similar technology would not be seen again until the 16th century, and not patented until almost 200 years later in England by Alexander Cummings. In 2010, possibly the first pressurized water system in the New World was discovered in the Mayan city of Palenque, Mexico.

Not only did the advent of indoor plumbing vastly improve people's health and safety, but plumbers continue to play an important role in the upkeep of running water systems each day. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing provides emergency plumbing services in Villanova and throughout the Bucks and Montgomery County areas. It's easy to take modern plumbing for granted, so take a day each year to thank your plumber.