Info About the History of Indoor Plumbing

Info About the History of Indoor Plumbing

In our modern day society in San Antonio, TX, we take for granted the convenience, comfort and sanitary conditions that indoor plumbing provides. However, indoor plumbing, and the network of piping and infrastructure behind it is quite complex.

And when you consider the humble roots of indoor plumbing, it is fascinating to see the way that this infrastructure has evolved to its current iteration.

Indoor Plumbing in the Very Beginning

The earliest indoor plumbing is traced back to around 4000-6000 B.C. Copper piping was discovered in the ruins of a palace from this era, in what is known today as India.

The first indoor plumbing “network” harkens back to Crete a few centuries later, where there was an underground drainage system. The first flushing toilet is also credited to Crete during the same era under King Minos, although a primitive flushing system had been found in a Neolithic village in the UK, 1200 years prior.

Egypt, Rome and Onward: Plumbing Evolves

In Egypt, elaborate bathrooms were constructed within the pyramids, including irrigation and sewage systems, which were remarkable during the time period. The Egyptians also included these bathrooms in their tombs in reverence for their dead, whom they felt deserved all the modern comforts to continue with them into the afterlife.

In the era spanning 500 B.C. - 455 A.D., the Romans created a complex system of sewers and aqueducts that ran for miles. Because of this achievement, they are to this day considered some of the most innovative plumbers in history. These aqueducts fed into public bath-houses and used gravity to move the water.

Indoor Plumbing: The Evolution Continues

It took many centuries for indoor plumbing to be fairly standard in homes. For instance, you would have thought that in Versailles, where opulence was standard procedure, Marie Antoinette would have indoor toilets.

Instead they were required to use commodes which were emptied communally into a courtyard. As a side note- the stench from this practice is apparently one of the reasons that Marie Antoinette is so well known for the use of floral fragrances.

Fast forward to today. Indoor plumbing isn’t just about function now; it’s also about fashion. Current trends include rainfall showerheads, sleek faucets, toilets, bathtubs and sinks with contemporary lines.

Mindful of the water scarcity crisis in the world, along with the high cost of household bills, there are a number of eco-friendly plumbing fixtures available.

Low-flow showerheads, motion-sensor faucets, and dual flush toilets use a fraction of the water that older models do, marking the next phase in plumbing history.